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About Alain de Botton
Alain de Botton is the author of Essays in Love (1993), The Romantic Movement (1994), Kiss and Tell (1995), How Proust can Change your Life (1997), The Consolations of Philosophy (2000) The Art of Travel (2002), Status Anxiety (2004) and most recently, The Architecture of Happiness (2006).
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The Consolations of Philosophy is Alain de Botton's internationally bestselling guide to life
The inspiration for the TV series Philsophy: A Guide to Happiness
Alain de Botton, bestselling author of How Proust Can Change Your Life, has set six of the finest minds in the history of philosophy to work on the problems of everyday life. Here then are Socrates, Epicurus, Seneca, Montaigne, Schopenhauer and Nietsche on some of the things that bother us all: lack of money, the pain of love, inadequacy, anxiety; the fear of failure and the pressure to conform.
Alain de Botton was born in 1969 and is the author of non-fiction essays on themes ranging from love and travel to architecture and philosophy. His bestselling books include Essays in Love; The Romantic Movement; Kiss and Tell; Status Anxiety; How Proust Can Change Your Life; The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work; The Art of Travel; The Architecture of Happiness and Religion for Atheists. He lives in London and founded The School of Life and Living Architecture .
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
Take some time to reflect and refocus this winter, with the essential guide on how to live wisely and well, no matter what challenges the world throws at you - from Alain de Botton, the bestselling author of The Consolations of Philosophy, The Art of Travel and The Course of Love
This is a book about everything you were never taught at school. It's about how to understand your emotions, find and sustain love, succeed in your career, fail well and overcome shame and guilt. It's also about letting go of the myth of a perfect life in order to achieve genuine emotional maturity. Written in a hugely accessible, warm and humane style, The School of Life is the ultimate guide to the emotionally fulfilled lives we all long for - and deserve.
This book brings together ten years of essential and transformative research on emotional intelligence, with practical topics including:
- how to understand yourself
- how to master the dilemmas of relationships
- how to become more effective at work
- how to endure failure
- how to grow more serene and resilient
Praise for Alain de Botton:
'What he has managed to do is remarkable: to help us think better so that we may live better lives' Irish Times
'A serious and optimistic set of practical ideas that could improve and alter the way we live' Jeanette Winterson, The Times
'Alain de Botton likes to take big, complex subjects and write about them with thoughtful and deceptive innocence' Observer
Perhaps it is true that we do not really exist until there is someone there to see us existing, we cannot properly speak until there is someone who can understand what we are saying in essence, we are not wholly alive until we are loved.
A man and a woman meet over casual conversation on a flight from Paris to London, and so begins a love story - from first kiss to first argument, elation to heartbreak, and everything in between. Each stage of the relationship is illuminated with startling clarity, as de Botton explores emotions often felt but rarely understood.
With the verve of a novelist and the insight of a philosopher, Alain de Botton uncovers the mysteries of the human heart. Essays In Love is an iconic book - one that should be read by anyone who has ever fallen in love.
PRAISE FOR ALAIN DE BOTTON
'The book's success has much to do with its beautifully modelled sentences, its wry humour and its unwavering deadpan respect for its reader's intelligence . . . full of keen observation and flashes of genuine lyricism, acuity and depth.' Francine Prose, New Republic
'Witty, funny, sophisticated, neatly tied up, and full of wise and illuminating insights.' P. J. Kavanagh, Spectator
'De Botton is a national treasure.' Susan Hill
'I doubt if de Botton has written a dull sentence in his life.' Jan Morris, New Statesman
'Single-handedly, de Botton has taken philosophy back to its simplest and most important purpose: helping us to live our lives.' Independent
THE SUNDAY TIMES TOP TEN BESTSELLER
From one of our great thinkers on modern life and the human condition - an unforgettable story of love and marriage from the author of bestselling novel Essays in Love as well as The Consolations of Philosophy, Religion for Atheists and The School of Life
'The Course of Love probes the very heart of marriage, its shifts and squalls, its great adventure, with such forensic tenderness. I laughed a lot, too' Deborah Moggach
Modern love is never easy. Society is obsessed with stories of romance, but what comes after happily ever after?
This is a love story with a difference. From dating to marriage, from having kids to having affairs, it follows the progress of a single ordinary relationship: tender, messy, hilarious, painful, and entirely un-Romantic. It is a love story for the modern world, chronicling the daily intimacies, the blazing rows, the endless tiny gestures that make up a life shared between two people. Moving and deeply insightful, The Course of Love offers us a window into essential truths about the nature of love.
'Engaging, sympathetic, acutely perceptive... There's a refreshing honesty in what de Botton has to say' Guardian
imaginative and more effective choices in love.
We hear about the impostor syndrome, the wisdom of imagining the great in their bathrooms, and what Nietzsche and Montaigne (among others) have to tell us about resilience and courage. We often stay stuck with the level of confidence we have because we regard being confident as a matter of good luck. In fact, the opposite is true: confidence is a skill based on ideas about our place in the world, and its secrets can be learnt.
'What a marvellous book this is... de Botton dissects what [Proust] had to say about friendship, reading, looking carefully, paying attention taking your time, being alive and adds his own delicious commentrary. The result is an intoxicating as it is wise, amusing as well as stimulating, and presented in so fresh a fashion as to be unique... I could not stop, and now much start all over again.' Brian Masters, Mail on Sunday.
'Dazzling' John Updike
'De Botton not only has a complete understanding of Proust's life... but what is particularly charming about this small, readable book is its tongue-in-cheek benignity, its lightly held erudition and its generous way of lending itself to what is not only the greatest book of the century but also the darkest and the most eccentric' Edmund White, Observer
'It contains more human interest and play of fancy than most fiction... de Botton, in emphasizing Proust's healing, advisory aspects, does us the service of rereading him on our behalf, providing of that vast sacred lake a sweet and lucid distillation.' John Updike, New Yorker
'De Botton's little book is so charming, amusing and sensible that it may even itself change your life.' Allan Massie, Daily Telegraph
'This engaging book is one of the most entertaining pieces of literary criticism I have read in a long while.' Sunday Telegraph
'A very enjoyable book' Sebastian Faulks
But why, despite all the lessons we sat through, were we never taught the really important things that dominate and trouble our lives: who to start a relationship with, how to trust people, how to understand one's psyche, how to move on from sorrow or betrayal, and how to cope with anxiety and shame?
The School of Life is an organisation dedicated to teaching a range of emotional lessons that we need in order to lead fulfilled and happy lives - and that schools routinely forget to teach us. This book is a collection of our most essential lessons, delivered with directness and humanity, covering topics from love to career, childhood trauma to loneliness. To read the book is to be invited to lead kinder, richer and more authentic lives - and to complete an education we began but still badly need to finish. This is homework to help us make the most of the rest of our lives.
This book presents a range of areas in which we might seek the meaning of life, including love, family, friendship, work, self-knowledge and nature. We learn why certain things feel meaningful while others don’t, and consider how we might introduce more meaning into our activities.