Quiet: the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking by Susan Cain (Random House Audio, 2011). I learned so much from this book that I am planning to go out and buy a hardcover copy of it for myself after I return the 9-CD set to the library. Susan Cain started out as a Wall Street lawyer so her research into the psychology of introversion comes from an outsider’s perspective, at least as far as academic credentials go. However it is clear that she is herself an introvert with a strong sense of self-esteem. I didn’t realize that the U.S. had become such an extroverted culture that introverted children are taken to therapists to be fixed, instead of being accepted for who they are.  She discusses how American business and education (and even evangelical churches) push the “extrovert ideal” and how children from Asian cultures, as well as shy and quiet American children, feel very alienated as a result. Cain offers excellent and quite specific advice for appreciating and making the most of the talents of the introverts in your life, whether they include yourself, your spouse, your children, or your friends or coworkers.

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