Mini Reviews: Quiet, Wonders of the Invisible World, and Graceling

Mini Reviews: Quiet, Wonders of the Invisible World, and GracelingQuiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
Published: January 24th 2012 by Crown
Genres: Nonfiction
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
View on Goodreads

Right now, I’ve got a pile of books on my Goodreads “Currently Reading” shelf that I’ve read but haven’t gotten around to reviewing.  Some were from my blogging hiatus at the tail end of grad school, and others were from times when life got hectic.  I’d like to take a more organized and scheduled approach to blogging in the new year, so it’s time to begin cleaning house with some mini reviews.

I started reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking on the recommendation of an extroverted friend who claimed that the book helped her to understand me better.  The book explores how introverts think and why they behave the ways that they do, with a special focus on corporate/office behavior.  Many of the ideas that Cain describes in the book are obvious to introverts, however, the book’s real power is its ability to explain those traits to people with different mindsets.  I got a little over halfway through the book before the library wanted it back, and so didn’t feel comfortable writing a full review, but I can safely recommend it, especially to extroverts wanting to understand why their introverted friends don’t want to go out multiple nights in a row.

Mini Reviews: Quiet, Wonders of the Invisible World, and GracelingWonders of the Invisible World by Patricia A. McKillip, Charles de Lint
Published: September 26th 2012 by Tachyon Publications
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 288
Format: ARC
Source: the publisher
View on Goodreads

Wonders of the Invisible World is a collection of short stories by one of my favorite authors.  As in her full-length novels, Patricia McKillip’s language is exquisite.  She uses a poetic and ethereal tone that left me more and more enchanted with every page I turned.  Wonders of the Invisible World is a bit different from Patricia McKillip’s usual style.  Many of the tales in this collection explore darker themes than her novels, which is one of the reasons that I enjoyed it so much.  McKillip branches out from fairy tale fantasy and added some science fiction to the mix.  Wonders of the Invisible World was one of the best books that I read in 2012, and I still hope to reread it and write about each of the stories in depth.

Mini Reviews: Quiet, Wonders of the Invisible World, and GracelingGraceling by Kristin Cashore
Series: Graceling Realm #1
Published: October 1st 2008 by Harcourt
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 471
Format: Paperback
Source: Gift
View on Goodreads

In Kristin Cashore’s Graceling realm, individuals can be born with a magical power called a grace.  A grace can be something useful, like the ability to run very fast, or it can be something silly (think underwater basket weaving in terms of pragmatism).  Katsa has a grace for killing, and is being used as a weapon to further her uncle’s political power.  She doesn’t like being used that way, and begins to create her own underground network dedicated to helping people.  Katsa rebels against her uncle’s control and stands up for what is right, while kicking serious butt in the process.   I enjoyed Cashore’s depiction of the romance, which was handled unconventionally and showed that relationships have to work for the people involved rather than conform to societal expectations.  I’m a big fan of this series, and I like that it can be read out of order.

18 thoughts on “Mini Reviews: Quiet, Wonders of the Invisible World, and Graceling

  1. Three things.

    I think I need that Quiet book for some of my friends to understand me!
    Graceling was excellent and I really want to read Cashore’s other work.
    I love the mini reviews! I often have books I don’t to or don’t have time to write full reviews for, so I might borrow that for my blog. 🙂

    1. You should recommend Quiet to them then! It made a big difference for me once my friends realized that introverts do need time to themselves sometimes, and that it doesn’t mean they don’t like you or don’t value your friendship if they need some space.

      I’ve been reading the Graceling series completely out of order. I started with book three, then I jumped to book one. I have book two on my shelf and have been meaning to start it.

      Deciding to write mini-reviews has been a big part of the reason why I’m blogging more regularly again. After my hiatus, I let the backlog of books that I had read but not reviewed stress me out. Blogging is supposed to be fun, and this seemed like a realistic way of sharing books I enjoyed but never got around to writing about. 🙂

  2. I read my first Patricia McKillip this year. I loved her and really want to read everything by her! I have a couple more on my TBR by her and then she is on my ‘auto-buy’ list.

    1. Yes! I’ve read several of her books now, and each time I’m increasingly impressed. Her writing is gorgeous. 🙂

  3. You know, I really enjoy your short reviews. They are to the point, and tell me just enough about the books for me to decide if I want to read them or not ^^

    1. Thank you! I’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback about them, and I think they’re something I’ll continue when I get bogged down. 🙂

    1. I don’t read a lot of nonfiction these days, but Quiet was pretty good. I think it also helped me understand how my extroverted friends interpreted how I behave, and being aware of it helps me to communicate better.

  4. I absoluetely loved Graceling. I’d like to read Quiet as well. I don’t think it will be all that new but I’ve read a few positive reviews.
    I should do a mini-review post, only when I checked the other day how many books I haven’t reviewed I was quite astonished. More than a dozen.

    1. I loved Graceling, but I think I liked Bitterblue more, just because Bitterblue wasn’t your stereotypical fantasy heroine, sucked at fighting, and had to user her diplomatic skills and her brain to solve her problems.

      If you are an introvert, Quiet probably won’t tell you much that’s new, but its focus on the business world was kind of interesting too. It showed the kind of strengths and innovation that introverts can bring to the table.

    1. I’d like to finish it eventually, I’m just waiting till the hype dies down enough that I can get it for a bit longer. My local public library has really short loan periods, so I’d rather make sure I can get an extension if I need one.

    1. Definitely! She’s so good at capturing a fairy tale mood, and yet her writing feels so fresh and original and not at all overdone. She’s one of my favorite authors. 🙂

    1. I’ve loved everything I’ve read by her thus far, and I’m hoping to read more of her work in the upcoming year. 🙂

Comments make me happy! Please feel free to leave a reply.