Susan Cain

“Quiet” by Susan Cain

I was what you might call a high-reactive baby. The slightest disturbance would leave me wailing. I was picky about sound, about food, about the way fabric touched my skin. When I was a year or so old and still cried like it was my full-time job, my mom took me to the doctor and said, “There has to be something wrong with her.” My mother herself cried when she found out she was pregnant with the brother who arrived after me, and her best friend comforted her by saying, “Don’t worry. When God made Melody, he broke the mold.”

Top Ten Books to Read Before 2013

Fall semester classes are over, and I’ve got a few days off before the New Year. I have big plans to say goodbye to 2012: curled up on the couch, racing through the books I didn’t get to read this year. It’s like a Christmas gift to myself.

And when giving gifts to oneself, it’s best to be ambitious. I know I probably won’t get through all of these–1Q84 and Deathly Hallows both approach 1,000 pages–but I’m sure I’ll make a dent and enjoy my holidays to boot.