14 Books All Introverts Should Read
Let's get something straight: not all introverts are book-lovers, and not all book-lovers are introverts. There is, however, definitely some crossover. And you're looking at — well, OK, reading work by — one of them.
As both a book-lover and an introvert myself, I've found that there are a ton of books that really speak to introverts. I've read the books on these list, and found myself totally identifying with the dialogue, or wishing I could tell the characters how much I agreed with what was going on inside their heads. (Except, you know, I wouldn't do that, since I'm an introvert. But I'd TOTALLY THINK IT.)
If you want to know more about the silent powers of introverts, try Susan Cain's Quiet. If you want to feel completely understood, then Tell the Wolves I'm Home might be just the book for you. No matter what you're looking for — or if you just like things a little on the quiet side — take a look at this list of 14 books all introverts should read.
Now, back to my book.
Tell The Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
It's 1987, and June Elbus has lost her best friend in the world, her uncle Finn. June is 14, and reserved in a way her sister, Greta, will never understand. They used to be so close, but now, the only comfort June can find is in the woods, where she is free to think and be alone without the painful eyes of other people on her. As June finds out more about her uncle, and comes to learn more about herself, her family, and the world itself. This perfectly quiet novel will make any shy or introverted person feel immediately understood.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
It's 2044, and the world is falling apart. Ernest Cline's bestselling first novel tells the story of Wade Watts, a teenager who has almost completely removed himself from reality in order to pursue an "Easter Egg" within a video game to win a billion dollar prize. Wade, and the rest of the world, would rather communicate via virtual reality than actual reality, they feel more themselves tucked away, a feeling most introverts know all too well.
The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison
Leslie Jamison takes a look into the inner workings of people you might never have known about: runners of the most intense race around, people who believe they have tiny fibers inside them that they just have to get out. These people are misunderstood, they're quiet, they're introverts, they're looking for a place in the world. You will feel empathy and so much more through Leslie Jamison's exploration of the people slipping through the cracks.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Cath, the fangirl in question, is basically a professional fangirl. She writes fan fiction about her favorite series in the world: Simon Snow. She has thousands of follows waiting impatiently for her next installment, and a twin sister who seems to have grow out of their once shared obsession. When Cath and Wren get to college, they fall in with different crowds: Cath with quiet writers like herself, and Wren with a more outgoing group. Fangirls everywhere will connect with Cath and her struggle to join her fan-life with her "real life."
Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
Bernadette might be the ultimate introvert in literature. She would rather disappear from her daughter's life all together than take a trip to Antarctica, because other people will be there. While we've surely all felt this way at one time or another, Bernadette takes introversion and dislike of crowds to an entirely new, hilarious level.
Susan Cain takes a scientific look at introverts, and the quiet power they hold, even in a society that seems to grow louder and louder every day. A must read for any and all introverts who could use a little empowerment every now and then.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stepehn Chbosky
It wouldn't be a list about being an introvert without this one. Stephen Chbosky (literally) wrote the book on it. There's a good chance you read The Perks of Being a Wallflower at some point in high school and related so well to Charlie that you couldn't quite believe it. He's quiet, he just wants to read his books, go to school, and make things work, and, sometimes, he just can't put those things into words. Been there, felt that.
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Lisbeth Salander is (fictional) proof that you can be a complete badass, while still not wanting to talk to people. Stopping international espionage is no problem. Going under cover? fine? Lisbeth just doesn't want to have a conversation about it before she puts a stop to it.
Walden by Henry David Thoreau
I like to think Thoreau would have a lot to say about introverts and the power of being quiet and enjoying time alone. I mean, he did go to live in the woods, alone, to enjoy and be one with nature. Walden is the perfect companion for when you just want to be alone yourself, by someone who was a complete pro at it.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
Francie Nolan turns to books for comfort, escapes out to her fire escape for alone time, and in general, is one of the best fictional introverts around. Best of all? Francie knows that sometimes, you just need to appreciate the quiet, small things around you.
Glaciers by Alexis M. Smith
This tiny book packs a much bigger punch than meets the eye. Told over the course of a single day, Glaciers is the story of one woman, a quiet library employee, making her way through life. She thinks more than she speaks, but the novel moves along almost dreamily. It's perfect for quiet people, and can be devoured in a day, but should really be spread out as much as you can.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
The Goldfinch features the ultimate dynamic: the introverted, shy friend joined by the incredibly spunky, outgoing best friend. Tartt's writing has so much to it, but one of the best parts by far is the friendship between Theo and Boris. An introvert brought out of his shell and pushed by an extroverted friend is something all introverts have experience at least once!
Subliminal: How Your Conscious Mind Rules Your Behavior by Leonard Mlodinow
Mlodinow explains why we do the things we do. How, as the title says, our subconscious minds rule even our unconscious behaviors and actions. An amazing read for anyone who wants to find out exactly why people are the way they are. Like, for example, why introverts can be so quiet one minute, but feel social the next.
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Sherlock definitely has the qualities of an introvert, even if he is a little more vocal than some of us when it comes to voicing certain things. Kind of like Lisbeth Salander, he's ridiculously smart, and he knows it: but he probably won't vocalize his process as he does it.