With the recent release of Jenn Granneman’s The Secret Lives of Introverts, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to share a few more books introverts would enjoy. Books are wonderful for introverts. They allow us to use our imagination to its utmost potential. Also, they let us know that we are not alone, and that there are many others who feel the same way we do.
Here are five books that introverts should consider adding to their reading lists.
1. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
This Swedish crime thriller, which was later adapted for film, raced its way into the hearts of readers. To this day, audiences still beg for more of it. More books, more movies, or anything that features the exhilarating heroine. If anyone ever tells you that introverts are weak or scared little rabbits, you should make them read this novel. The heroine, Lisbeth Salander, is a genius computer hacker of few words and many hardships. Over the course of her life (and the subsequent novels), she survives being attacked, exposes a corrupt businessman, solves a series of murders, and rescues her friend. Much of this is done from the comfort of her own apartment, while avoiding as much interaction and conversation as humanly possible. This novel is proof that you can be both quiet and tough as nails.
2. The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
I’m willing to bet that most of you are familiar with the Disney film adaptation of this classic novel, complete with a singing bear and a vengeful tiger. If you haven’t read the book, I highly encourage you to do so. The movie version, while fun on its own, does not do the story justice. It’s a lovely tale about a boy abandoned by humans and rescued by animals. Each animal teaches the boy a lesson about life based on their unique perspective, and they work together to protect and raise him. If you prefer the company of animals over people (like me!), it’s an absolute treat to read.
3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
This crazy popular fiction book, later made into a film, has become one of the leading books for introverts. It’s the story of Charlie, an average boy who just wants to live his life and (mostly) be left alone. However, he struggles with putting his thoughts into words, so instead of speaking, he writes letters. Thus, the entire story is told through letters written by Charlie. Through these letters (many of them addressed to “friend”), we learn that Charlie is torn between living his life or running from it. Charlie’s desire to be alone, as well as his struggles with verbal communication, are classic introvert struggles that will resonate with all of us.
4. Quiet Faith: An Introvert’s Guide to Spiritual Survival by Judson Edwards
This is the first non-fiction book to make the list. Although it is geared towards evangelical Christians, I believe it will resonate with all introverts on some level. Author Judson Edwards is a pastor who spent years thinking that something was wrong with him because of his introversion. Edwards recounts tales that would likely make any introvert squirm, such as being crammed in a building full of other pastors for a convention; while others were singing praise songs and preaching, he was nearly running towards the exit. He also recounts the mental anguish he felt when he was pushed to pray before a group for the first time. As introverts, we have all been pushed into situations that were just plain uncomfortable or downright painful. Reading his book, you’ll hear a familiar voice, as he describes his journey from self-hatred to recognizing that he is not “wrong” or “broken” simply for preferring the company of only himself.
5. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
If you haven’t read this book, where have you been? This book has become a cornerstone of research and wisdom for all things introvert. Cain recounts tales from her own life about her struggles with being “the quiet one.” She shows how extroversion has taken over our society, and why we should value introversion and the power of quiet once again. The book is comforting, well-researched, and ground-breaking. It made the world stop and listen.
I hope you will check out some, if not all, of these books. There are many other books I could have included in this list, but I chose my personal favorites. These books are not just for introverts. Extroverts, too, would benefit from getting a peek into our world.
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