7 April 2013

essential and less essential reading

I was recently given a copy of

The Power of the Introvert 

by Susan Cain. 

This extensively researched and beautifully written book talks about the power of being an introvert in our modern and noisy world where, to be seen as successful, one must come across as an extrovert. Unless, perhaps, you are someone like Ghandi.

It is not an "easy read" once you get well into the book, as the research is not watered down for the casual reader. But even a "busy" person would gain much from reading at least the first half of the book, and educators would relate well to the research as familiar names and projects are pulled into a new way of looking at the attributes of family members, students and colleagues.

(I have formatted the title this way because the cover of the book itself gives that feeling of quiet, and then quietly affirms that to be an introvert is not a negative thing. My copy, unlike the one in the link, has a white cover and is, unquestionably, quiet). 

I followed this book with what might be its antithesis, the equally interesting but inversely empowering book "Are You Smart Enough to Work for Google? by William Poundstone. If I had not previously read "Quiet" I would have been much less interested in this book, but it certainly made excellent "airport reading" and I look forward to making time to finish the book soon.

(Can something be "inversely empowering"? I'll have to think on that a little further. Perhaps I have just coined a very useful phrase).

But today, after the luxury of sleeping in, safely back in my beloved village after almost four months of "living out of a suitcase", I read a blog column from the New York Times that jogged me into writing this post. It is entitled

I recommend it to you. I have put it in large format bold so you don't miss it. I would call it "essential reading".

It is Sunday, a day of rest, a day for reflection, and for family and friends. So, rather than face the dreaded unpacking of my jumble of bags from various trips, I think I'll head out to a late and lazy lunch with my very neglected friends, and ease back into my "normal" life as gently as I can.

Today I am grateful for publishers. 


nicola said...

" if your job wasn’t performed by a cat or a boa constrictor in a Richard Scarry book I’m not sure I believe it’s necessary"
words to live by?

Kay said...

Maybe... but in fact the Richard Scarry books were always too busy for me!

Perhaps if Miffy doesn't need it, noone does? No, on second thoughts, the Miffy shop at Schiphol has an ever-increasing range of "essentials". The cat and the boa constrictor win.

I'll have to find some Richard Scarry for you-know-who...

Kay said...

Susan Cain on TED:


Kay said...


Mind boggling!