Reading Ideas for the Weekend: Signs of a Quiet Revolution


girl solitude Reading Ideas for the Weekend: Signs of a Quiet RevolutionHi everyone,

For this weekend, I’d like to share the signs I see everywhere of a QUIET Revolution. Here are three particularly interesting ones, in written form:

1. “The Joy of Quiet,” by Pico Iyer: Wildly popular essay in the New York Times by the always-thoughtful Iyer.

2. “Solitude and Leadership,” by William Deresiewicz: One of my favorite essays ever, based on a much-circulated speech the author gave at West Point in October 2009. I’ve recommended this one before. You really can’t read it too many times!

3. “Putting Group Work In Its Place,” by Diana Senechal: On the loss of solitude in schools. (This is a big bugaboo of mine. I have an article about it coming out soon. Stay tuned!)

4. ….And of course: my book, “QUIET: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” is due out on January 24. If you want to aid the QUIET Revolution, please consider pre-ordering the book for yourself or a friend here. (The book is nothing like the blog, and overlaps in content by 10-15% at most. And it was just selected as one of the Best Books of the Month by Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the Indie Next List!)




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  1. Mark on 09.01.2012 at 07:59 (Reply)

    Hey Susan

    As always, good stuff — thanks!

    Are you familiar w Anneli Rufus’ Loners Manifesto? I reacquainted myself w it this weekend, and found myself thinking, if you don’t know it, you might find it of interest.

    Enjoy the day — looking forward to reading your book!


  2. Kat Haber on 11.01.2012 at 13:31 (Reply)

    Congratulations on being the final speaker in the first session of TED 2012.
    I will be quietly listening to your persuasive points.

    1. Susan Cain on 11.01.2012 at 13:43 (Reply)

      Thank you Kat! Ridiculously exciting.

  3. Aaron on 11.01.2012 at 23:20 (Reply)

    Deresiewicz and Senechal both rock. I am reading and enjoying Senechal’s just-released book, Republic of Noise: The Loss of Solitude in Schools and Culture. As for Deresiewicz, I recommend his essay “The End of Solitude” and his book A Jane Austen Education, in addition to “Solitude and Leadership.”

    I’m somewhat skeptical about the introvert/extrovert distinction but was charmed by Jonathan Rauch’s 2003 article “Caring for Your Introvert: The Habits and Needs of a Little-Understood Group.” I laughed and said yep, that’s me.

    I first heard the term “introvert” in high school, when we wre reading A Separate Peace. But it was Phineas the “extrovert,” not Gene the “introvert,” who shone in my mind. He seemed more private and noble. It’s a brambly subject, this introversion/extroversion business. I look forward to reading your book.

  4. Stanton Hom on 12.01.2012 at 02:15 (Reply)

    Hi Susan,

    I just saw your name on the TED2012 bill and when I clicked on the link to your site I thought “hmmm”, I wonder if she references Deresiewicz?” I am a West Point grad and wish he had lectured to our class… they would have been wise words to hear in preparing us for life in the army.

    This is my first contact with you, I rarely follow blogs but yours may be my first…


    Stan Hom, DC
    USMA ’00

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1. There’s a word for “people who are in their heads too much”: thinkers.

2. Our culture rightly admires risk-takers, but we need our “heed-takers” more than ever.

3. Solitude is a catalyst for innovation.

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