A Reading Idea for the Weekend


happenseveryday 200 A Reading Idea for the WeekendHere’s something you don’t know about me. I am crazy about home décor. Actually, even if you lived right next door to me, or in my own house for that matter, you wouldn’t know this, because for the past few years I’ve been pregnant with babies and books and had no time to think about paint colors and window treatments. Home décor is an all or nothing proposition for me. If I can’t devote an entire weekend to searching happily for the perfect light fixture, I tend to let the whole thing slide.

Anyway, I tell you all this because it has to do with this week’s reading pick. I’m finally thinking about home improvement again, and in my search for the right wallpaper I had a dim memory of reading a book review where they mentioned that the writer had a really great brand of wallpaper in her house.

OK, so I bought the book just so I could find out about the wallpaper.

Then I fell in love with the book. It’s called “Happens Every Day,” by Isabel Gillies, and I couldn’t put it down. It’s a memoir about the sudden breakup of Gillies’ marriage, when her professor husband leaves her for an 18th century literature scholar who looks like Audrey Hepburn.

But it’s not as depressing as that sounds, and it doesn’t matter if you don’t relate to the subject. It’s a book you read because the writing is so raw, honest, and charming. Gillies doesn’t think of herself as a writer, but her friends always told her that she writes great e-mails, and that’s exactly how the book reads – like a long note from your funny friend who’s going through a rough patch. (Of course, this makes her a better writer than most “real” writers.)

Maybe I’ll suggest it as a selection for a future QUIET Book Club meeting. But if you pick it up before then, let me know what you think!

and have a great weekend.



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  1. Muzette on 10.09.2011 at 10:34 (Reply)


    I was fortunate enough to receive your book, “Quiet: The Power of Introverts” as an Advanced Reader’s Copy. I received it yesterday, and haven’t yet started it, but I visited your blog today for the first time, and it made me even more excited to start your book! I read, “16 Things I Believe”, and it made me feel good! Growing up I was quiet, and enjoyed spending time alone, with books or animals (things that didn’t talk back or require my constant input). I went to college and felt like it was required to “come out of my shell” to make friends. I have wonderful lifelong friends from that experience, and I’m grateful. However, most of the time I am perfectly content to spend my extra time in a quiet place with a book or my laptop. I enjoy some people, but do better one on one than in large groups. I’ve pulled out and polished my networking self, and ironically, have spent most of my adult career in marketing - a field that doesn’t work out well for introverts. I used my networking self, my social self, but was relieved to put it away when I was able to go home and relax. Your list of beliefs made me realize that it’s perfectly ok to be me, although there may be situations that if they don’t require, they at least work better if you pretend to be social. So, in my round about way, I wanted to say that I really enjoyed your blog, and your list. I will be reading your book, revisiting your blog, and pulling Geraldine Brook’s book, “The People of the Book” off of my shelf to read along with you!

    1. Susan Cain on 10.09.2011 at 16:21 (Reply)

      Thx much for this note, Muzette. That was an interesting career choice, marketing. How did you get into it? Though in some ways it’s not so surprising — it seems like a form of applied psychology, a subject I’ve noticed appeals to many introverts.

      Glad you’ll be joining us for the next Book Club!

  2. Anne on 11.09.2011 at 20:54 (Reply)

    Hi Susan,
    I bought the book! Books are my weakness, and as soon as a good one is suggested, I start thinking about reading it. I must admit that my “to read” list is pretty long, and I’m not sure when I’ll get to this, but it looks good!

    1. Susan Cain on 11.09.2011 at 21:00 (Reply)

      Ha! If you start this one, you’ll be done by tomorrow morning. It’s very addictive.

  3. philosophotarian on 12.09.2011 at 14:46 (Reply)

    I read Isabel Gillies’ memoir a few months back. Read it one day (I *had* to find out how it ended). I completely agree about the writing style and how addictive it is.

  4. Debbie on 26.09.2011 at 11:37 (Reply)

    I got this book from Amazon and read it in one day. Very true to life and kudos to Isabel for holding on to her sanity and accepting the fact that you just can’t make people do what they should even when you love them.

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