The School of Life
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About The School of Life
The School of Life is a global organisation helping people lead more fulfilled lives. It is a resource for helping us understand ourselves, for improving our relationships, our careers and our social lives – as well as for helping us find calm and get more out of our leisure hours. They do this through films, workshops, books and gifts – and through a warm and supportive community. You can find The School of Life online, in stores and in welcoming spaces around the globe.
The School of Life Press was established in 2016 to bring together over a decade of research and insights from The School of Life’s content team. Led by founder and series editor Alain de Botton, this is a library to educate, entertain, console and transform us.
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Books By The School of Life
But finding simplicity is not always easy; it isn’t just a case of emptying out our closets or trimming back commitments in our diaries. True simplicity requires that we understand the roots of our distractions – and develop a canny respect for the stubborn reasons why things can grow complex and overwhelming.
This book is a guide to the simpler lives we crave and deserve. It takes a psychological approach, considering how we might achieve simplicity across a range of areas: our relationships, social lives, work routines and our approaches to possessions and media. We have for too long been drowning in excess and clutter from a confusion about our aspirations; A Simpler Life helps us tune out the static and focus on what properly matters to us.
The modern world is richer, safer and more connected than ever before but it is – arguably – also a far less loving world than we need or want: impatience, self-righteousness, moralism and viciousness are rife, while forgiveness, tolerance and sympathetic good humour can be in short supply.
A More Loving World rallies us to remember how much we all long for, and depend on, love: how much we need people to forgive us for our errors, how much everyone deserves to be treated with consideration and imagination and how being truly civilised means extending patience and kindness to all, even, and especially, those who don’t naturally appeal to us.
With the right encouragement, all of us are capable of immense kindness. But without it, we can quickly descend into something far darker. This book reminds us of our better natures and mobilises us to fight for the kinder, more loving world we long for.
Throughout, it frames love not as a romantic, idealistic fantasy, but as a serious and dignified force that can save us from meanness and strife, defend us against chaos and usher in hope.
We spend a lot of time thinking about how to succeed, but we’d end up so much wiser and calmer if we learnt how to cope better with the more likely scenario of failure. This is a book packed with dignified, sensible, kindly suggestions about how to approach failure: how to deal with friends, how to cope with enemies, how to endure regret, how to pick ourselves up, how to accept ourselves despite our flaws – and how to endure and thrive in new, less than ideal circumstances.
It’s a perfect volume for anyone who has ever had a relationship breakdown, suffered a career reversal, made enemies, bungled a project or wasted their time – in other words, for all of us.
When we fail, it can sometimes seem as if failure is freakish and out of the ordinary. In truth, there is nothing more human than failure – and nothing wiser and more necessary than to learn to fail well.
not a matter of luck.
The Good Enough Parent is a compendium of life lessons, including how to say ‘no’ to a child you adore, how to look beneath the surface of ‘bad’ behaviour to work out what might really be going on, how to encourage a child to be genuinely kind, and how to handle the moods and gloom of adolescence.
Most importantly, this is a book that knows that perfection is not required – and could indeed be dangerous, because a key job of any parent is to induct a child gently into the imperfect nature of everything. Written in a tone that is encouraging, wry and soaked in years of experience, The Good Enough Parent is an intelligent guide to raising a child who will one day look back on their childhood with just the right mixture of gratitude, humour and love.
We accept without shame that most organs in our bodies might at some point develop problems and could need a bit of help. We should not make an exception of our minds. Our lives are so complicated and so filled with burdens, we should be completely unsurprised if, at some point, we feel a need to pull up a white flag and ask for help with our minds.
This is a guide to how to cope with a variety of forms of mental pain and unwellness, from the very mild to the more severe. It considers how and why we might become ill, how we can explain things to friends and family, how we should take care of ourselves – and how we might adjust our view of ourselves and our future so as to live wisely alongside our difficulties.
Throughout, the tone is humane, encouraging and rich with experience. A central idea is that there is no need for any of us to suffer alone with our condition and that the best way to mend is to reduce shame, accept our troubles as very normal and seek out understanding and friendship. It’s by exploring and discussing what has happened to us that we can heal and reduce our sense of isolation.
Written with kindness, knowledge and sympathy, this book is an essential tool to help us on the way to our recovery.