I am an introvert through and through. I like solitude. I enjoy sorting through my thoughts or dreaming up stories to entertain myself. I am shy at times and find it hard to operate in intimate sit-down-and-chat parties, where small talk is the mode for socializing. Last year, when I was hooked on TED Talks, I came across Susan Cain’s TED Talk. It intrigued me that someone who claims to be shy could do such a compelling, and at times funny, talk. Upon discovering that she had written a book about introverts, I became excited and immediately wanted to purchase it. But, being one of the many postgrads with a huge student loan, I was unable to quickly attain what I desired. A few months passed before I could purchase it.
Cain’s book is just as compelling as her TED Talk albeit longer. Like most nonfiction books these days, it is written for a mainstream audience and deftly mixes narrative with facts and data to engage the common reader and sustain his interest. Cain is a bit heavy with the narrative and sometimes the reader will tire of the stories but the reader will hardly want to skip them since they help to illustrate the facts Cain states. Basically, the stories are not unnecessary. Cain ensures that they all tie into the facts that she plans to expound on, or that they highlight those facts she has already stated. The narratives range from a peek at Rosa Parks’ personality at the beginning of the book to a profile on Asian students in California to stories on notable businessmen who benefit from being an introvert. These stories help to demystify some tales associated with being classified an introvert and highlight its benefits.
I found Charlaine Harris‘ Dead until Dark at one of Second Story Books’ sidewalk sales in Dupont Circle. I was elated. A few days prior, I decided to jump on the bandwagon and check out Trueblood, the vampire show on HBO. So far I’ve watched three episodes of season one and have yet to decide if I like it or not. I found those episodes filled with too much meaningless sex and blood. I wanted to know if it was the same in the book. As soon as I purchased it, I began to read. The few episodes that I watched matched the book despite its additions—Sookie’s best friend and a larger role for her brother, Jason.
Dead until Dark is centered in a town on the outskirts of New Orleans called Bon Temps at a time when vampires have come out in the open—”out of the coffin”—and co-exist publicly alongside humans. However, not all humans are okay with this. The story begins when Sookie Stackhouse, an innocent young woman, sees a vampire at the bar where she works as a waitress. He is the first vampire she has ever seen so she finds him fascinating. Being a telepath, Sookie becomes intrigued when she discovers that she cannot hear the vampire’s thoughts. Her intrigue leads her to save the vampire’s, named Bill, life when the Rattrays, a horrid couple, trap him with some well-placed silver to drain him of his blood. Vampire blood has become a sort of aphrodisiac. It increases humans’ sexual prowess and heightens their abilities (strength, senses, etc.). The Rattrays later try to retaliate by attacking Sookie but are killed by Bill.