10 Books Every Introvert Should Read
Would you rather be alone (or in a small group) than in a massive crowd? Does the idea of giving a huge presentation make you sweat a little? Sounds like you’re an introvert. So instead of going to your friend's, friend's birthday party (which—admit it—you really don't want to go to anyway), curl up on the couch with one of these ten amazing books.
Quiet by Susan Cain
Introversion is totally having a moment right now—but way before hygge and self-care became trendy, Cain was exploring the history of the personality in her 2012 book. Learn how to stop comparing yourself to more outspoken introverts (who, on the surface, might appear more outwardly confident) and how to thrive in a culture that might not always fully understand you.
Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
OK, time to dive into a juicy novel: Bernadette Fox is a reclusive architect and mother who goes missing before a family trip. As her daughter tries to find her, she compiles a funny and touching portrait of a woman who is misunderstood and unfairly maligned. (Basically, it’s a reminder to introverted folks that there’s nothing wrong with not fitting into society’s idea of what’s appropriate, personality-wise.)
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Ready to get scientific? This renowned psychologist and Nobel Prize winner helps break down the biological differences between the way introverts and extroverts think. In a nutshell, you’re probably a more deliberate and logical thinker than your extroverted friend, who’s quicker and more intuitive. But great news: there are major advantages to both.
Walden: Life in the Woods by Henry David Thoreau
If living in total solitude sounds like a dream, you’re definitely an introvert (and this book is for you). Thoreau built a cabin in the woods and moved there for two years, then reflected on his simpler life away from the constant noise of society. It kind of makes us want to move to the woods…or at least unplug once in a while.
The Irresistible Introvert by Michaela Chung
Here’s a secret about introverts: They’re more confident than extroverts think they are. In this empowering read, Chung dispels the myth that only extroverts can be charismatic, and offers tips for introverts trying to succeed in a world that favors extroverts—but don’t worry, you won’t have to dip too far out of your comfort zone.
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
You don’t need to have hit the emotional rock bottom like Strayed did in her 2012 memoir—you’ll still relate to her journey hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. She seeks out solitude and quiet in an effort to regroup, recharge and emerge a better, more productive person. Take notes.
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Pretty much all of Ishiguro’s books are perfect for introverts, but we’re partial to his 2005 novel about two friends, Ruth and Kathy, growing up in England. What makes this a must-read is Ishiguro’s choice to put Kathy, the more introverted of the two, in the position of power as the narrator. In friendships, fictional or not, the more reserved half is often relegated to the status of best friend, so it’s refreshing to see a quiet gal get her due.
The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
For all of his extroverted qualities, Holmes is an introvert through and through. Think about it: He needs days to decompress and recharge after a case, and he practices the violin for hours alone. Classic introvert. You and the detective are definitely kindred spirits.
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
Oscar de Leon (nicknamed Oscar Wao) is a nerdy, chubby Dominican kid from New Jersey who’s obsessed with science fiction and fantasy novels and whose greatest fear is that he’ll die a virgin. There’s also the problem of the fuku, a curse that has haunted Oscar’s family for generations. The story is funny, tragic and relatable—you’ll be rooting for Oscar from the first page.
The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson
The notoriously reclusive Dickinson spent the majority of her adult life alone in her family home. (But she did, like many introverts, maintain great friendships through letter writing.) Her beautiful poems discuss her feelings on people in general, as well as her thoughts on confronting the outside world.