John Green and Thoughts on Introversion

In the last week, I have read five books. To be totally honest, it has been a mix of reading and audiobook listening. That means reading until I have something to do or somewhere to go, then picking up from the spot on a downloaded audiobook. Then back to the book, then back to the audiobook, and so on and so on.

I first read The Fault in Our Stars – the John Green novel about two teenagers, each dying from cancer. I wanted to see this movie – I probably will in the next week – but I always like to read a story before I watch the movie version. Sad moments usually don’t make me cry, but there were tears at three distinct points in the story. Very touching.

Looking on the literature website Goodreads, I saw that Looking for Alaska is John Green’s highest rated novel. So that was next.  It was about a boy’s experience at a private school- specifically, his interactions with a rebellious girl named Alaska.  A totally different story than Fault, I’m not sure which I liked better as a story and I’m not so such this one could be made into a film.

Two John Green novels down. Why not another one? I remember being drawn to his novel An Abundance of Katherines years ago when I saw it in the school library – its dust jacket decorated with mathematical symbols. I didn’t like the story as much as the other two. I felt it was sort of boring. But it was unique in that it’s about a boy who has had 19 girlfriends, all named Katherine. He tries to find a mathematical formula that fits his experiences and will predict future relationships with future Katherines.

Book four was a slower read and totally different from the first three. Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God is a classic story from the 1930s about racial life in the South and involves a female main character and a lot of racial dialect that made it slow for me to read. Not much to say…I guess I’m glad I have now read it.

Finally, some non-fiction. The first one that was a recommendation (Thanks, Elana!)

Susan Cain’s Quiet- The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking was a quick, very thought-provoking read about introverts in our society, what it’s like to be one, how they’re misunderstood, what they need, etc.  It was recommended specifically in the context that our classrooms and teaching methods nowadays are focused on extroverts, and that we often ignore or discredit the needs of introvert students in the classroom.

The issue of introversion and extroversion has been on my mind because I think about which one I am. Not that I need to be labeled, but it is handy. Meyers-Briggs says I am an INTJ, but that I am exactly at 50% on the introvert-extrovert scale. I have always felt like an introvert but in the last year or two, I have felt much more extroverted. This book, however, describes the difference between introversion, shyness, sensitivity, and other things than can be confused with introversion.

The book starts with a 20 question inventory that helps to show which way the reader leans. On eight of the questions, I felt like the extrovert option applied more than the introvert option. On the other twelve, I felt like I totally belong on the introvert side. Mostly people fall somewhere in the middle, but after carefully reading this book and reflecting on myself as she described tendencies of introverts, I’m more convinced that ever that I belong in that category. As one example, the fact that I overanalyze things (comments, responses, etc.) has been on my mind these last couple days. Apparently that is strongly connected with introversion. Like the graphic says above, I think, think, think, do, then think, think, think about what I did, whether it went how I wanted it to, and how I should have done it instead.

I think I’ll be reading this over and over in the future. For now, I need to find something new to read.

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3 thoughts on “John Green and Thoughts on Introversion

  1. Hi ..thanks I will be reading Looking for Alaska since I am needing a new book to read.. I enjoyed reading your post as I also found out I was an introvert just this year(i’m 27) 🙂 long time coming :0

    Miles ~~ agirlisnoone.wordpress.com

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