I have so much to be thankful for this season — because of you. QUIET is showing up on many lists highlighting the best books of the year, and I could not be more grateful. Here’s a look at the good news we’ve just received:
• QUIET ranks in the top three of Amazon’s Best Nonfiction of the Year, alongside Nate Silver’s The Signal and the Noise and Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit.
• It’s also one of Barnes & Noble’s Best Books of 2012.
• The TODAY Show has named QUIET one of the top ten books of the year.
• People Magazine has named QUIET one of the top ten books of the year.
• Goodreads.com has voted QUIET the #1 Best Nonfiction Book of 2012.
• Brainpickings has chosen QUIET as one of the 10 best Psychology and Philosophy books of 2012.
• Greater Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life has chosen QUIET as one of the 10 Favorite Books of 2012.
• O, The Oprah Magazine has honored it as one of its 19 Favorite Books of the Year.
• Fast Company Magazine names QUIET #1 Best Business Book of the Year.
• 800-CEO-Reads names QUIET #1 Favorite Business Book of the Year.
• Library Journal ranks it among the Best Books of 2012 .
• Hudson Booksellers names QUIET one of the Best Books of 2012.
• The Guardian names QUIET one of the best psychology books of 2012.
• QUIET is one of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Nonfiction of 2012
• Audible.com has named QUIET the Best Nonfiction Book of 2012.
• Christian Science Monitor has included QUIET in its list of Best Books of 2012.
• Inc. Magazine has named QUIET one of their Best Books for Entrepreneurs of 2012!
• The Princeton Alumni Weekly has named Susan Cain one of the top five alumni newsmakers of 2012.
• Inside Higher Ed has selected QUIET the #2 best nonfiction book of 2012.
None of this would be possible without you. Please know that during this holiday season, you have my gratitude.
Huge congrats and well deserved.
Awesome! Written however as a read for introverts… but all is not lost to get the message to extroverts… get the book on tape (or CD). It is phenomenal!
I have learned so much.
I just finished your book. For me as an introvert, I recognized so many situations, descriptions, feelings. The book gave me courage, and I realise now that I can look in a more positive way to myself. En that what I thought was weakness, is indeed strenght.
It is a great book, very well written, with super content. I love it. Thank you!
I gave my vote for the Goodreads choice for 2012. Deserved.
greetings from Belgium (so my English isn’t always correct, I suppose :-))
Congratulations! I am reading your book right now, and it is helping me make some kind of sense of the team-focused middle managers who surround me at the school where I work. I am wondering why it is education administrators are so unwilling to let teachers think.
Thank you for your insights into (the hell of) Groupthink.
That’s fantastic Susan and incredibly well deserved. I’m sure that your book has had a huge impact on so many people’s lives, it can’t just be me and some of the people I work with
This book was wonderful. As an introvert who has learned how to “act” extroverted in many situations and has a lot of people fooled, this was a very thought provoking book that gave me insights into my own temperament as well as others. Like many, I think it should be required reading!
Something struck me and I have a question. Have you (or anyone else out there) done research on whether introverts lean towards participating in and following individual sports, with extroverts preferring to play and watch team sports?? Anecdotally I’ve seemed to notice that, just wondered what others thought.
Thank you again for your book.
Hi, Barbara. I’m certainly no expert, but I suspect you’re onto something with your supposition about introverts being more drawn to individual sports. I think my own experience probably has as much to do with being an introvert as it does to having been small for my age and somewhat uncoordinated at sports while in school. But my favorite exercise activities have been long-distance bicycling and weight training – both things that can be done with others, but don’t need to be.
Hi Susan, I saw your book advertised in a local book catalogue & the heading grabbed my attention. I was always told as a kid “oh that’s just her…. oh she always has a pen & paper in her hand…… she’s only ever had a few friends… & even now there are people (friends & family) I know that think you have to be loud, constantly in peoples faces, have a million “friends”…They are missing out on so much, my daughter (now 5) is similar to me but I am told “Oh, it’s just because she’s an only child…. but get her with her Playgroup buddies & she can be as loud as them, BUT after a few hours she NEEDS quiet to recoup her energy!
I am now at the point of enrolling my daughter in her first school & will definitely have an appointment with the first grade teacher & ask many questions based on ideas etc from your book (group learning vs solitary learning etc) & hope that we can make a great decision. I know what my daughter needs, now I just have to convince others that she is not just shy, but totally deep in thought, considerate of others & focused. (The other day while driving on a highway she asked me to slow down, when I asked her why, I was doing the speed limit, she told me that she need to see the trees!) I think we all need to slow down & really look at the trees!
Your last paragraph in the book Wonderland was amazing, I am going to pass your book onto a friend that has a similar daughter, then to my Kindy Administrator so that everyone knows how to encourage these wonder people to grow & to not see them as simply “just shy”. Thank you for an amazing book!
Hi Susan. I just wanted to say a big congratulations! I’ve waited all my life for your book, and you didn’t disappoint. I have a few questions for you, if you don’t mind. How do you the think the ‘Quiet Revolution’ is going since your book was released? Have you noticed a shift in the way introverts are perceived, either on a big or small scale? Do you think the shift will be short-lived, like a fad that extroverts will soon tire of? Lastly, do you think that schools will, or should, make learning about personality types compulsory? As like you say, “The introvert/extrovert divide is the most fundamental dimension of personality.” Thanks.
No, thank YOU for helping me understand myself and others around me. I just finished your book this past Sunday. It has truly opened my eyes to my so-called ‘problems’ that are really just great introvert traits!!
Thanks, you’re an angel in armor.
Really impressive, this material is amazing.
It’s not cliche like every other book, it works aside the cience.
This is really a nice book (and I’m not even a big fan of reading books).
Thank YOU for this book, it was life-changing. I may have mentioned this already somewhere on this site, but I was so convinced that there was something wrong with me socially that I actually signed up for therapy thinking the therapist was going to teach me how to be more “normal”. While the therapist quickly disabused me of that, it was this book that really made me feel that it was OK and even good in some ways to be like me. So thank you very much again. I’m really happy that this book has seen so much success.
I’m so pleased that this book is getting more attention! I read it several months ago, after hearing an interview (perhaps on NPR’s Fresh Air?), and finally felt somewhat vindicated in letting myself have the alone time and quietness I need without apologizing for it to others who don’t seem to need that. Hurray for introverts! We do have much to offer, if only extroverts will stop talking long enough to notice!
Just finished reading Quiet. Definitely one of the best books I’ve ever read. Thank you Susan for creating much needed awareness in our culture for those of us who prefer the pleasure of quiet solitude and that there’s nothing wrong with that. Interesting that a book titled Quiet is making a lot of noise. Congratulations on all the success this book is receiving, very deserving.
Thank you Susan for producing this wonderful book. I have read it cover to cover and have so many tab markers placed in it where I recognise me and how I am. I wish that I had access to it 60 years ago as I have always been very shy and thought myself alone. Now I know that I’m not. I feel that my life has been blighted socially as I still cannot walk into a crowded room where I do not know anyone. Perhaps now I’ll be able to achieve what I desire in life, a sound, loving, caring relationship. Well done!
It’s valuable that this kind of information has taken on.
There’s definitely nothing wrong with being an introvert.
However I do believe that you can develop your social stamina and thus decrease your introversion, or rather the negative aspects of it. There’s lot of anecdotal evidence of this, for example Steve Pavlina used to be an introvert but at least according to his blog he nowadays passes off as an extrovert and also gets extrovert from Myers-Briggs personality test.
That’s what my ultimate aim is – I’m the lethal combo of introversion and shyness which really limits the experience I have of my life. Now I wouldn’t change being able to have good time alone for anything, but I do want to experience the other side of life as well.
I think travel is an excellent tool for that which is why I threw myself out of my comfort zone by going to Malaysia earlier this year and will keep doing that in early 2012 by going to Japan.
Hi Susan. After watching your Ted Talk I put Quiet on my Christmas wish list. Looking forward to reading it over the holidays. Congratulations on your success. I wish someone had written a book like this one when I was a child, it might have made life easier for me when I was going to school.
I posted the link to your talk on Facebook and remarked that I wished that every teacher in North America would view it. I will certainly be recommending it to my daughter’s teachers the next time they mention that she is a wonderful student but that she is so quiet and reserved. They always mention the last part as though it were a defect. Hopefully, younger generations will not have to put up with this kind of bias.
Fantastic book! A whole new way to see yourself when you like individual people but just can’t fit into a group picture. Saved me from thinking I was anti-social or a hermit. Too much socializing in group activities can lead to lot of gossip and disgruntled behavior. Not interesting to me. Reading this book at the time that I did honestly saved my sanity! Fabulous research and plenty of antidotes. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Dear Susan, Congratulations on an astonishing book and THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU.
I’m reading Quiet and will need to read again. I am dumbfounded by the idea that introversion has a physiological component and at the same time, relieved. I know some of what I experience is cultural, but I am happy to know that my ‘over-the-top’ responses have a definite basis in my genes. Too, I didn’t realize there was such a big difference between being introverted and being shy. I have both going on, though I am happy to say the shyness has pretty much been overcome. I still recall thinking clearly at a job, “I need to start looking people in the eye and it might as well be now!” and it hasn’t been a problem since.
I am also fascinated with the timing of my discovering your book. I will be joining a number of co-workers next month for an all day work seminar on what the business has accomplished and what the next goals should be and I never did care for the group brain-think as the loudest voices seemed to get the most attention (now I know why). I want to take what I have learned into this seminar and see what happens. (Still not sure why my name came up as an attendee…)
Anyway, thank you so much for what you have learned and shared. I think it needs to be required reading for any business major, liberal arts major- actually, anyone with any schooling at all needs to read this. We need the quiet time…
So glad to feel like someone ‘gets’ me, and that I’m not alone. So often when I’m by myself I feel less lonely than with others. But I’m always with my thoughts, or nature or life – just being around ‘yappers’ seems to distract me from being in the moment.
I joined a Toastmasters group about a year ago, really enjoying it. The meetings are so full with planned speaking roles, there’s no room for the small talk so many extroverts resort to. There’s an article in the Dec 2012 Toastmasters magazine about Susan and her book!
Albert Einstein totally speaks for me in his quote:
‘I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.’
I am currently reading Quiet. I was always told I was shy, quiet, and was shunned and made fun of by my peers growing up. This book just confirms my intuition that I am more of an introvert. I have always been happy this way. I dislike loud people. I just wish the general public would understand that there are perfectly normal introverts– we don’t always need to socialize. I think it is unfair to try to convert introverts into extroverts and to think there is something wrong with you if you are quiet.
I am in the middle of reading Quiet–the book is excellent, but I find it a little too much for my highly sensitive nature– ie. with all the studies cited in the book. I had to take a rest from it last night!
I’m so grateful for your book. I’ve blogged (http://www.betsyrobinson-writer.com/blog.htm?post=889891#.UNdf1CqtNio) Thank you, thank you, thank you, Ms. Cain–I’m moaning with gratitude from my present restorative niche.
Congratulations on your book. As a self-identified introvert, I am grateful. And I also can’t help but notice that–ironically–your website supporting the book, with all its announcement and fanfare and self-promotion (yes, of course, I know it’s all part of the modern marketing reality of selling books) demonstrates precisely today’s extrovert style of behavior/communication that makes me cringe.
Bravo, Susan, and thank you! I’m 65, and wish I had your book 30+yrs ago. I’m telling anyone who reads about your book, buying it for some of them, including my children. I’m also an Episcopal priest, and I’m struck by how accurate your descriptions are for myself and many clergy I have known. Your book could well be required reading for self-awareness and pastoral education in seminaries. Wonderful research, clarity, examples, practical useful information, and validation of us introverts. I’m still digesting it, but have gleaned much on first reading.
Congrats! I’m just about half way through and I really like your book. It’s eye-opening to me, not in that I am an introvert – I’ve known that for years but that many of my feelings can be attributed to being an introvert and also that there are millions of other people who feel similar. How else could you be able to describe really well what goes on in my life.
I have not read your book yet but only the 6 bullet points in Oprah Magazine. And they are so true. It is strong suggestion for people to look inside and analyse. And also interestingly people talking deep are so few to come across. I thank you for this interesting insight.
I read your book in one long breath over the holiday weekend. It’s like a weight has been lifted off me. For the longest time I’d thought there was something wrong with me, that I’m less giving, a misanthrope and a crank for not wanting to spend time with people most of the time. I know that’s not true, but the disappointment on the faces of people who invite me along for various things which I decline tells another story. I’d run out of ways to convince them that it’s not personal. The feeling had intensified this past year as I have been sitting in a semi-open desk space in the office, feeling horrible and passing judgment on myself for not wanting to get involved in every bit of conversation and office life that happens all around me, even with a couple of colleagues who are my closest friends. I’d had to give myself huge doses of self-talk this year –‘just because you don’t want to talk doesn’t make you a bad friend’ and so on. So your book, which I happened across at GoodReads, was such a gift to me. And the biggest ‘Ah, of COURSE’ moment. And I realised that without really knowing what I was doing over the years I’d coached myself to be a fake-extrovert for things/occasions that matter. In short, it all made sense. Thank you, Susan. I hope the book does really well.
I was so ecstatic to have found the answer to my question of many years about failing a lie detector test when applying for a job at a bank about 30 years ago. Just like you, the test kept showing that I was lying about never having done drugs but I couldn’t help it as I had always had a very strong negative reaction to the topic of drugs. (Have never understood its attraction.) I guess misery loves company as I was glad it wasn’t as unusual as I thought. Altogether, the book had many aha! moments for me as an introvert and many tips I will use for my daughters as they are very much introverts like me. Thanks!
Thank you for writing this book. I received it as a present at a very timely position in my life. I am being made the first woman manager at my company, in a male dominated industry, and am an introvert to boot. This book has erased any self doubts that I was having in my ability to perform in my new position. Thanks again!
I loved this book, because I seriously didn’t realize that the reason I was treated different than all of the people in my classes was because they were a bunch of extroverts who couldn’t accept me for being introverted. I still can’t stand mandatory group work, but it has helped a lot now that I don’t have to think I’m missing some huge social aspect or something that everyone has. It used to be a big deal to me before I realized what a huge difference there was between me and these types of people, and how there was nothing I could do but me proud that I wasn’t a jerk like most of them. Psychologically, an introvert like me doesn’t need to seek approval from those people, and now that I know how to identify people as intro/extro I’m able to have a bit more empathy for everyone when it comes to social situations. You’ve done every true introvert who’s read this book a huge service Susan, and I will try hard to spread the understanding you’ve given me to those who need help like I did. Thank you!
I am going to order your book. I am an introvert and have read several books already that reinforce the value of the introvert person. I hope the media coverage on your book will help to educate people on what introvert actually means; as most people only associate the word with “shyness.”
In respect to shyness, I was shy as a child through my thirties. I am no longer shy, but I still do not like to be in crowds of people. I totally prefer to have conversations with one or two people and have deeper friendships, rather than many aquaintances. I believe shyness often comes from disturbing experiences with people (often extroverts that have no clue about a person’s sensitve nature and feelings)usually in babyhood or early childhood. One (although there are always more than one)embarrassing or shaming incident can throw the person into never expressing who they really are for a long time. I would like to know if anyone else can relate to this theory. I have been healed from my, “fear of man” for many years, but up until the healing, I never knew what it was like to be free to be “me” ..the person God made me …not what I thought others wanted me to be! ….I stopped believing the lie..and began actually believing what God said about me.
Another question I have is this….At what point does being away from people become unhealthy? I have never liked parties, unless it is with family members or close friends. Frankly, I do not see the point in talking with and spending time with a large group of people and engaging in small talk while never seeing them again. If I am in a group of people who I know somewhat, I can chit-chat for awhile, and then I get the feeling of being overwhelmed with having to choose who to talk with or that I think I need to be everyone’s close friend. Can anyone relate? Thanks.
What a great book! I’m not finished yet but am enjoying every page and having so many “OH that’s why!” moments! I wanted to comment on your section about the Asian scholastic environment in Cupertino, CA (I just read it last night). In the spirit of full disclosure, I am white, grew up in Cupertino and was a Monta Vista grad (’87) and now live in Los Altos, CA (right next door to Cupertino). I pulled my eldest child out of Cupertino schools and by that definition look like part of the “white flight” you talk about in your book. My $.02 (and that’s probably more than it is worth!) is that the issue is not extroversion/introversion or even “too much emphasis on education vs. not enough emphasis on education” — rather I think the nuance is that many of us battle fiercely (ethnicity notwithstanding) to honor a view education that transcends academics and test scores and Ivy League acceptance letters. Getting an education requires unscheduled free time, boredom, outdoor space and the freedom to develop social connections and character, and enjoy solitude, without adults hovering or organizing everything. So, summer “vacation” is not a time away from working on your education (or to wit, your personhood) but an essential part that too many kids are missing here because of how crazy-competitive the Silicon Valley is.
Anyway, thanks so much for such a great book! I’d love to see a blog post (maybe you’ve already done this) on the characteristics of ambiverts!
I’d like to mention another book along the same lines; THE HIGHLY SENSITIVE PERSON, by Elaine Aron, 1997. Says many of the same things, and very helpful to understand those of us who get overwhelmed with too much sensation, especially noise and crowds and hyper people. Explains how some of us are born with more sensitive nervous systems, and what is pleasantly sense evoking in some is overload for many us of introverts. And not our fault, we were born that way.
Between QUIET and this book I’m about finished with now about highly sensitive people, I’m finally finding peace with how I am and others are. Okay, not total peace, but at least a lot more understanding and less frustration. Those neighbors who were blasting their music? They weren’t doing it to be jerks, due to their own nervous systems, they find a great deal of sensation optimizes their happiness and enjoyment of life, similar but also opposite to me, who finds happiness and life enjoyment in peace and quiet.
And like QUIET, it helps us see the blessings our personalities and physiological makeup offer us and the world.
Thanks to anyone out there who’s writing similar helpful books, offering talks and workshops and such.