Book List, Staff Post

10 Books Every Introvert Needs to Read

Do you consider yourself an introvert? While extroverts are known for being social, introverts often need to “recharge” their batteries with ‘alone’ time. If you’re like me, cozying up in bed to relax with a good book is the perfect way to end the day. Even better is to read books that make you feel empowered and proud to be your introverted self. The 10 books on this list do exactly that! Whether you’re an introvert hoping to feel seen, or someone who wants to understand why introverted people are the way they are, you can choose from a variety of nonfiction and novels that will shed light on the subject.

Each cover links to the book page on our website for purchase and is followed by the publisher description and a quote from a staff member if it’s one of their favorites!

Nonfiction Books

Quiet by Susan Cain

At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts—Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak—that we owe many of the great contributions to society. 
In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so. She charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal throughout the twentieth century and explores how deeply it has come to permeate our culture. She also introduces us to successful introverts—from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves.

The Secret Lives of Introverts by Jenn Granneman

On behalf of those who have long been misunderstood, rejected, or ignored, fellow introvert Jenn Granneman writes a compassionate vindication—exploring, discovering, and celebrating the secret inner world of introverts that, only until recently, has begun to peek out and emerge into the larger social narrative. Drawing from scientific research, in-depth interviews with experts and other introverts, and her personal story, Granneman reveals the clockwork behind the introvert’s mind—and why so many people get it wrong initially. Chapters include:

  • The Science of Introversion
  • Introverts Aren’t Unsociable—We Socialize Differently
  • Let’s Be Awkward Together—Introverts in Relationships
  • Do I really Have to Do This Again Tomorrow? Introverts and Career
  • Inside the Introvert’s Inner World
  • And much more!

Whether you are a bona fide introvert, an extrovert anxious to learn how we tick, or a curious ambivert, these revelations will answer the questions you’ve always had:

  • What’s going on when introverts go quiet?
  • What do introvert lovers need to flourish in a relationship?
  • How can introverts find their own brand of fulfillment in the workplace?
  • Do introverts really have a lot to say—and how do we draw it out?
  • How can introverts mine their rich inner worlds of creativity and insight?
  • Why might introverts party on a Friday night but stay home alone all Saturday?
  • How can introverts speak out to defend their needs?

With other myths debunked and truths revealed, The Secret Lives of Introverts is an empowering manifesto that guides you toward owning your introversion by working with your nature, rather than against it, in a world where you deserve to be heard.
Is there a hidden part of you that no one else sees? Do you have a vivid inner world of thoughts and emotions that your peers and loved ones can’t seem to access? Have you ever been told you’re too “quiet,” “shy,” “boring,” or “awkward”? Are your habits and comfort zones questioned by a society that doesn’t seem to get the real you? If so, you might be an introvert.

Introvert Power by Laurie Helgoe

Introverts gain energy and power through reflection and solitude. Our culture, however, tends to celebrate extroversion. The pressure to get out there and get happier can lead people to think that an inward orientation is a problem instead of an opportunity.
Helgoe shows that the exact opposite is true: introverts can capitalize on this inner source of power. If you’re looking for books on self-confidence and introversion, Introvert Power is a blueprint for how introverts can take full advantage of this hidden strength in daily life and move more confidently in the world.
Revolutionary and invaluable, Introvert Power includes ideas for how introverts can learn to:

  • Claim private space
  • Bring a slower tempo into daily life
  • Deal effectively with parties, interruptions, and crowds

Quiet is might. Solitude is strength. Introversion is power.

Introvert Doodles by Maureen Marzi Wilson

Whoever said there’s strength in numbers lied.
Meet Marzi. She’s an introvert who often finds herself in awkward situations. Marzi used to feel strange about her introverted tendencies. Not anymore! Now she knows that there are tons of introverts out there just like her–introverts who enjoy peace and quiet, need time alone to recharge their battery, and who prefer staying in with their pet and a good book to awkward social interactions.
Just like Marzi, these introverts can often be found in libraries, at home watching Netflix, brainstorming excuses to miss your next party, or doodling cute cartoons. Being an introvert in an extrovert world isn’t always easy, but it certainly is an adventure. In Introvert Doodles, follow Marzi through all of her most uncomfortable, charming, honest, and hilarious moments that everyone–introvert, extrovert, or somewhere in between–can relate to.

The Awakened Introvert by Arnie Kozak

In a world that favors the outgoing, gregarious extrovert, being an introvert can be difficult. But the truth is that introverts have distinct advantages–as long as they know how to use them. Unlike extroverts, who draw their energy from social interaction, your energy comes from quiet reflection. Is it any wonder then, that mindfulness can help you hone your natural talents?
In The Awakened Introvert, mindfulness expert and card-carrying introvert Arnie Kozak provides a comprehensive set of mindfulness and cognitive behavioral tools to help you maximize your introvert strengths (such as rich access to your interior) while minimizing your introvert weaknesses (such as a tendency toward worry and rumination). In the book, you’ll learn powerful strategies to help you monitor your energy; recharge after social interactions; improve social and communication skills; and take advantage of your capacity for quiet reflection, and sweet, sweet solitude. If you’re looking to unlock the full potential of your unique introvert brain, this book provides a fun, practical, and authentic “user’s manual.

Fiction Books

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman

An ode to bookworms and introvert everywhere, THE BOOKISH LIFE OF NINA HILL, had me smiling and laughing long after I’d finished the last page. With a literary style combined with a Hallmark rom-com, this book weaves the story of introverted indie bookstore employee Nina Hill who finds herself shoved out of her comfort zone via a large extended family she didn’t know she had and a sweet annoyingly persistent suitor. At turns hilarious and poignant, I recommend this book to anyone who wants to smile.

Marielle

The only child of a single mother, Nina has her life just as she wants it: a job in a bookstore, a kick-butt trivia team, a world-class planner and a cat named Phil. If she sometimes suspects there might be more to life than reading, she just shrugs and picks up a new book.
When the father Nina never knew existed suddenly dies, leaving behind innumerable sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews, Nina is horrified. They all live close by! They’re all—or mostly all—excited to meet her! She’ll have to Speak. To. Strangers. It’s a disaster! And as if that wasn’t enough, Tom, her trivia nemesis, has turned out to be cute, funny, and deeply interested in getting to know her. Doesn’t he realize what a terrible idea that is?
Nina considers her options.
1. Completely change her name and appearance. (Too drastic, plus she likes her hair.)
2. Flee to a deserted island. (Hard pass, see: coffee).
3. Hide in a corner of her apartment and rock back and forth. (Already doing it.)
It’s time for Nina to come out of her comfortable shell, but she isn’t convinced real life could ever live up to fiction. It’s going to take a brand-new family, a persistent suitor, and the combined effects of ice cream and trivia to make her turn her own fresh page.

Where’s You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Bernadette Fox is an intelligent, snarky, and loving mother who struggles with everything about her life in Seattle. She hates Galer Street School where her daughter Bee attends, she fights with the other parents, and she’s positive something is amiss with her husband. A few days before Christmas, she disappears from her Seattle home. Normally, the story of a missing mother would not be hilarious, but I laughed my ass off reading this quirky and fun book. While Bee is searching for her mother and developing a plan for finding her, Bernadette is quite possibly finding herself.

Jennifer

Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect; and to 15-year-old Bee, she is her best friend and, simply, Mom.
Then Bernadette vanishes. It all began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette’s intensifying allergy to Seattle — and people in general — has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.
To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, and secret correspondence — creating a compulsively readable and surprisingly touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter’s role in an absurd world.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The critically acclaimed debut novel from Stephen Chbosky, Perks follows observant “wallflower” Charlie as he charts a course through the strange world between adolescence and adulthood. First dates, family drama, and new friends. Sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Devastating loss, young love, and life on the fringes. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it, Charlie must learn to navigate those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.
A years-long #1 New York Times bestseller, an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults and Best Book for Reluctant Readers, and with millions of copies in print, this novel for teen readers (or “wallflowers” of more-advanced age) will make you laugh, cry, and perhaps feel nostalgic for those moments when you, too, tiptoed onto the dance floor of life.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is the debut novel of Scottish author Gail Honeyman. It addresses loneliness, clinical depression, social awkwardness, and trauma – all through the endearing protagonist, Eleanor Oliphant. Although this novel has heartbreaking aspects, it also is hilarious and inspiring at the same time. Being a “cat person” myself, I especially liked Eleanor’s relationship with her cat, Glen. I never anticipated the plot twist at the end. I can’t wait for the movie, due sometime in 2019.

Mary

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. 
But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.
Soon to be a major motion picture produced by Reese Witherspoon, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is the smart, warm, and uplifting story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes. . .
The only way to survive is to open your heart. 

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. No matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.
Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. If Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.
There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker, Reid. He’s a chubby Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him.

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