Quiet by Susan Cain [Audiobook]

Posted 9 September, 2014 by Trish in Reading Nook, Review / 25 Comments


quiet audiobook

Title: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking
Author: Susan Cain
Narrator: Kathe Mazur
Published: 2012; Pages: 333
Audio Duration: 10 hrs, 39 min
Genre: Non-fiction
Rating: I *need* a paper copy for all the highlighting

On Amazon | On Indiebound | On Goodreads | On Audible

In Short: The world is full of introverted individuals; Cain explores many of the attributes assigned to and realized by introverts and how the introverted personality type can be one of quiet power.

Why I Listened: As an introvert, I knew I needed to experience this book. Listening was the fastest way I could get to it.

Thoughts in General: For as long as I’ve known about introverts and extroverts, I’ve known that I was an introvert. Sadly, though, I always thought that being an introvert equaled being shy. It wasn’t until a year or two ago that I learned that being an introvert and an extrovert is more about how one recharges energy rather than having anything to do with shyness (Cain talks a great deal about being shy and how this is not limited to introverts). It was a game changer for me when I realized that introverts recharge during quiet activities or time alone and that big boisterous meetings or large groups could be exhausting to an introvert. Yes yes yes! This is me! Now I know why I’m cranky when I don’t have any time alone or at least quiet time.

Susan Cain’s carefully researched and thoughtful book, Quiet, seeks to expel many of the myths surrounding introverts and extroverts (such as extroverts make the best leaders or introverts are all shy). I found myself nodding quite often while listening to her examination of the work force and how introverts and extroverts work within groups, alone, and with different managerial types. I even texted my former boss and recommended that she read this book.

Cain talks about relationships between introverts and extroverts (I’m not sure where Scott lies on the spectrum…possibly an ambivert, but he is certainly not an introvert like I am) and how different combinations of the personality types can best work together. She explored the classroom and teacher/student relationship (I want my sister to listen to this section as she is teaching 4th graders). And the section that made me sit up and pay close attention was the section relating to introverted children. I suspect Elle of being an introvert and I appreciate the wisdom that Cain provided on how to relate to introverted children.

While I loved listening to the audiobook, I do wish that I had a paper copy to highlight and mark up. I know that I’ll eventually seek out a paper copy and read through much of the text again. There is a lot to be learned from Quiet and it is a book that everyone can take away at least a little something. The bottom line for me was that we all need to recognize our own limits and strengths and then play towards those. Being introverted is not a limitation and it certainly isn’t a negative. Cain’s insight on introverted children made me aware at how social agenda is so greatly pushed and how I can be a more sensitive mother to listen to who my child is and not who society thinks she should be. Of course this is true of anything, but sometimes we need a gentle reminder?

Some Quotey Goodness:

“In most settings, people use small talk as a way of relaxing into new a relationship and only once they’re comfortable do they connect more seriously. Sensitive people seem to do the reverse. They enjoy small talk only after they’ve gone deep. When sensitive people are in environments that nurture their authenticity, they laugh and chitchat just as much as anyone else.”

“Relationships make everyone happier, introverts included, but think quality over quantity. The secret to life is to put yourself in the right lighting. For some it’s a Broadway spotlight, for others it’s a lamplit desk.”

Ok, so it’s tough to jot down quotes when listening and even these are typed up from my listening and might not be exactly correct. Heather from Capricious Reader provides many many great quotes from her review of Quiet.

A Note on the Audio: The best way that I can describe Kathe Mazur’s audio narration? Quiet. No really, her narration was slowly paced and softly spoken. I did up the speed to 1.25x but otherwise her narration perfectly fit the tone of the book.

Bottom Line: Read it or listen to it. While there might not be anything earthshattering in Quiet, it will help you understand your own introvertedness or the introvertedness of others around you. Plus it’s just an endlessly fascinating topic. And! It’s currently only $2.99 for the Kindle or Nook!

 Are you in introvert? Do you find yourself misunderstood because of it? Or are you an extrovert with introverts in your close family?




25 Responses to “Quiet by Susan Cain [Audiobook]”

  1. This book did explain a lot about me too. I’m an introvert in a job where I talk to strangers all day. No wonder it mentally wears me out.

  2. This book taught me so much about myself too! I see things more clearly like when I am annoyed or feel uncomfortable with small talk or when it seems like I lose so much energy after lots of socializing. This is definitely a book to have on the shelf!

  3. This book sounds like a great read!! I’m definitely an introvert and the best way I recharge is being by myself, curled up with a book! I know there are times when I’ve spent too much with family or friends, I am mentally exhausted!! I’ll have to read this book, it sounds like you learned a lot and there was valuable information :D

  4. This book actually came up on my book-a-day calendar last week and I marked it on my Nook wish list. I’m glad you liked it. I’m an introvert as well and I think this looks enlightening.


  5. I am less of an introvert than my father and husband who are both serious introverts. I do know that I recharge by being on my own versus being with other people so I’m guessing that points to being introverted. I think I’ll need to buy 2 copies of this – one for me and one as a gift as I know someone who would really enjoy this. Great review!

  6. Ti

    Is there such a thing as something that is in between the two? On the outside, I think most people think I am an extrovert but I know that inside, I am an introvert and becoming more of one as I get older. I don’t think anyone could use the word shy and my name in the same sentence and yet people have told me that their first impression of me is that I am very reserved. I don’t see it but I have heard it many times from folks. Sounds like an interesting read. Maybe even for a book club to discuss.

  7. I only realized in later life that I was an introvert..in high school, I absolutely thought I was extroverted and even scored an E on the Myers Briggs test. Looking back now, I think I was extroverted solely because I went to a very small school and the majority of my class had been together since Kindergarten. Last year, I moved to a new town and my introvertedness really shined through in that the people I connected with were fellow introverts who liked having “real” conversations (i.e. small talk) right away. Even now that I’ve been here a year and a half, I still have trouble connecting with the Queens of Small Talk.

    And – I loved your point about recharging batteries vs. shyness…I tried to explain this to my Extroverted husband when he kept calling me shy :)

    I think I definitely need to read this book…

  8. While I loved listening to the audiobook, I do wish that I had a paper copy to highlight and mark up. I know that I’ll eventually seek out a paper copy and read through much of the text again.

    I actually started to listen to this audio while driving to the coast from Portland last spring, but decided to stop. I knew, just from the first 30 minutes in, that I was going to want to jot down quotes/passages and that listening to the book was not going to be the best way to experience this book. I also think it’s a book Rod would enjoy and I look forward to discussing it with him, since we’re both introverts to a certain extent. I may be more extroverted with good friends, but overall, I’m an introvert.

    Now to remember to get a copy during my employee discount days this winter…

  9. I REALLY want to read this one! I’m definitely an introvert, but I work in banking and manage 10 employees – so I make small talk with strangers all day, handle major issues from customers and employees, and have to be a great leader on top of all of that. I think this book would help me tap into my strengths as an introvert and not be so hard on myself when my true nature comes out!

  10. Read the book a couple of years ago and got the same things that you did. I need to get my own copy to do the same thing, as I read an e-copy from the library.

  11. I kinda wish I could have the highlights of this book, because I once tried to listen to it and was kinda offended by some of the things she said about introverts and especially about extroverts. I think it was just the writing style striking me wrong, so I didn’t continue. I’m fairly split between introversion and extroversion, with a slight leaning toward the latter. I need me-time, down-time to recharge, but I ALSO need social interaction to recharge. Without both, I don’t do well.

  12. I definitely fall into this category and really should read this book as well! I crave quiet weekends for so many of the reasons that you talked about. Adding this book to my TBR list right now!

  13. I know I need to read this book: I’m an introvert too. Just haven’t gotten around to it yet! It’s probably one of those I’m definitely going to want to own.

  14. I’ve been thinking this was one I need to pick up. I’m in the same boat as you, having just learned that new distinction between introverts and extroverts. Although, I’m also, sadly, quite shy around people I don’t know or don’t know well. Will definitely be looking at this one in print.

  15. I have this one in my TBR collection to read. I bought it when it first came out–although, I still haven’t gotten to it. Introversion and extroversion were covered in one of my many college courses, and I remember falling firmly in the introversion camp.

  16. I love Quiet a whole lot. The idea of having a sweet spot as far as social interaction goes makes SO much sense, but I’d heard it explained the way she did.