In the last six months, the lust for longer works has returned, and I even started a local book club with an eclectic mix of smart woman at the urging of a friend and now find myself refreshed and excited once again. It's back. It's nice.
A recent find that I would like to recommend is Susan Cain's, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. Likely, you've heard of it, maybe read it. It's been on my list but not until it was also on all the end-of-year "Best of" lists did I finally download it.
This is perhaps the most exciting thing I've read in a long time. It is a piece that validates so much of what I believe, what my husband believes, and what my child, above all, is. This book is so smart and so important, I encourage everyone to read it. I'm frankly sick of living in a society that places so much value on loud and fast-talking over thoughtful responses, that encourages teams over individual effort and that views introversion as a weakness.
Did you know that study after study proves that students do not learn more when working in a cooperative group? Yet, we continue. And...the incidence of using this methodology is more common among our youngest teachers, meaning it will not fade soon. The same holds true of committees and teams in the work force. A team is not greater than an individual.
Introverts? They despise, DESPISE these teams. We call them the anti-social weirdos "unable to work cooperatively with others."
Not so, proves Cain.
Cain traces the growth of these values in our culture, skillfully weaves the research of eminent social scientists, and puts forth a call of action for change.
We need to start celebrating the beauty and the value of the introvert again...and frankly, the extroverts just need to shut up, already...at least until they count to ten (or fifty) and formulate a meaningful thought. (That last part is not exactly the message of the book, just my personal feelings; Susan Cain offers a much, much more intelligent discourse. I couldn't help it.)
If you find yourself with twenty minutes to spare, Susan Cain gives a great TED talk. If you have a bit more time, I suggest you find a copy of the book at your local library.
If you have read it, I'd love to hear what you think about it!