Why I Wish You a Year Full of Surprise


Photo by John Goodwin via onbeing.org

Hi everyone, happy new year!

One of the best side benefits of writing QUIET is having discovered a group of readers who share similar tastes and sensibilities. I’d like to take advantage of this by regularly passing on articles, books, essays, music, podcasts, etc., that have moved me or made me think. Please do the same, and we’ll end up with quite a collection!

For today, here’s the great spiritual leader Abraham Joshua Heschel (via Krista Tippett’s radio program, “On Being” – also recommended to me by a reader.)

“The meaning of life is to treat your life like a work of art. An individual dies when [s]he ceases to be surprised. I am surprised every morning when I see the sunshine again. When I see an act of evil, I’m not accommodated to the violence. I’m still surprised. So I can fight against it.”

Happy new year — and please share your own recommendations!



  1. Will Jefferson on 02.01.2013 at 14:24 (Reply)

    I absolutely loved your book! Definitely THE book of 2012.
    I have been a professional cricketer for 12 years-a truly extroverted environment for an introvert to try and excel in!
    I am starting to look into studying how the introvert/extrovert balance effects sportspeople.
    Keep up the good work
    With regards
    Will Jefferson

  2. Catherine on 02.01.2013 at 15:18 (Reply)

    Here’s one: “The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking” by Oliver Burkemann

  3. Mark on 03.01.2013 at 09:02 (Reply)

    Read “20,000 DAYS AND COUNTING” over the Holidays — among other things, it made me think about the fact the quality of my life will never exceed the quality of my questions.

  4. Ryan Vanderbilt on 03.01.2013 at 09:19 (Reply)

    Absolutely loved your book. Being an introvert myself, and having a life long interest in learning about social & human behaviors, psychology, mindset, etc. I’m amazed at how much your book had me constantly saying ‘of course’ to myself. Great book for understanding people which is useful for anything in life. I feel like this book could fall under about 50 categories.

    Another book I’d recommend is StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath. Focus on and amplify your strengths, rather than spend all your time trying to make your weaknesses better.

  5. Cindy McMillion on 05.01.2013 at 23:05 (Reply)

    Great idea to share books we’ve enjoyed! Although it doesn’t really have anything to do with introversion, I love Anne Lamott’s nonfiction: Traveling Mercies, Operating Instructions, Bird by Bird. She’s insightful, funny, quirky, and wonderful to read. She has an amazing inner life.

    Susan, I really LOVE the youtube videos (TED Talk, Google, etc.) about Quiet. It’s so great to read and see someone who affirms introversion. You are such an encouragement!

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Quiet: The Book

- Wall Street Journal

Bill Gates names "The Power of Introverts" one of his all-time favorite TED Talks.

Best Nonfiction Book of 2012

QUIET has been voted the best nonfiction book of 2012
by Goodreads.com


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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