With an introduction by comedian and novelist David Baddiel A novel in seven volumes, Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time is considered a major literary work of the twentieth century. And even more crucially, one that you should have read by now. However, as one of its most distinguishing features is its staggering length, many of us feel intimidated and perhaps, even, fatigued at the thought of diving in. Alain de Botton’s hilarious and unexpected Proustian manual, is then, the perfect antidote to this problem. In How Proust Can Change Your Life, de Botton masterfully distils what Proust says about friendship, reading, being alive and taking your time, and mixes it with his own, no less nourishing commentary. As de Botton rereads Proust for our collective benefit, we see the continued relevance of his work and the rich and varied insights he can offer us, from how to reinvigorate your relationship to being a good host. This is Proust as you’ve never seen him before. He may even change your life.
Curiously practical—this no-nonsense blend of literary biography and self-help unravels how interesting life can be if only you could resist the impulse to rush through the mundane rituals of modern life. Every morning, Marcel Proust sipped his two cups of strong coffee with milk, ate a croissant from one boulangerie, dunking it in his coffee as he slowly read the day’s paper with great care—poring over each headline and section. Only Alain de Botton could have pulled so many useful insights from the oeuvre of one the world’s greatest literary masters. Fascinating and vital, How to Take Your Time will urge you to find the wisdom in defying “the self-satisfaction felt by ‘busy’ men—however idiotic their business—at ‘not having time’ to do what you are doing.” A Vintage Shorts Wellness selection. An ebook short.
Deciding what to read next when you've just finished an unputdownable novel can be a daunting task. The Bloomsbury Good Reading Guide features hundreds of authors and thousands of titles, with navigation features to lead you on a rich journey through some the best literature to grace our shelves. This greatly expanded edition includes the latest contemporary authors and landmark novels, an expanded non-fiction section, a timeline setting historical events against literary milestones, prize-winner and book club lists. An accessible and easy-to-read guide that no serious book lover should be without. "The essential guide to the wild uncharted world of contemporary and 20th century writing." Robert McCrum, The Observer
Any Baedeker will tell us where we ought to travel, but only Alain de Botton will tell us how and why. With the same intelligence and insouciant charm he brought to How Proust Can Save Your Life, de Botton considers the pleasures of anticipation; the allure of the exotic, and the value of noticing everything from a seascape in Barbados to the takeoffs at Heathrow. Even as de Botton takes the reader along on his own peregrinations, he also cites such distinguished fellow-travelers as Baudelaire, Wordsworth, Van Gogh, the biologist Alexander von Humboldt, and the 18th-century eccentric Xavier de Maistre, who catalogued the wonders of his bedroom. The Art of Travel is a wise and utterly original book. Don’t leave home without it. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Anyone who’s ever lost sleep over an unreturned phone call or the neighbor’s Lexus had better read Alain de Botton’s irresistibly clear-headed new book, immediately. For in its pages, a master explicator of our civilization and its discontents turns his attention to the insatiable quest for status, a quest that has less to do with material comfort than with love. To demonstrate his thesis, de Botton ranges through Western history and thought from St. Augustine to Andrew Carnegie and Machiavelli to Anthony Robbins. Whether it’s assessing the class-consciousness of Christianity or the convulsions of consumer capitalism, dueling or home-furnishing, Status Anxiety is infallibly entertaining. And when it examines the virtues of informed misanthropy, art appreciation, or walking a lobster on a leash, it is not only wise but helpful. From the Trade Paperback edition.
From the author of How Proust Can Change Your Life, a delightful, truly consoling work that proves that philosophy can be a supreme source of help for our most painful everyday problems. Perhaps only Alain de Botton could uncover practical wisdom in the writings of some of the greatest thinkers of all time. But uncover he does, and the result is an unexpected book of both solace and humor. Dividing his work into six sections -- each highlighting a different psychic ailment and the appropriate philosopher -- de Botton offers consolation for unpopularity from Socrates, for not having enough money from Epicurus, for frustration from Seneca, for inadequacy from Montaigne, and for a broken heart from Schopenhauer (the darkest of thinkers and yet, paradoxically, the most cheering). Consolation for envy -- and, of course, the final word on consolation -- comes from Nietzsche: "Not everything which makes us feel better is good for us." This wonderfully engaging book will, however, make us feel better in a good way, with equal measures of wit and wisdom.
On Love is globally bestselling novelist-philosopher Alain De Botton’s iconic debut—the novel that launched his decorated literary career; and a funny, profound, and searingly true-to-life exploration of love. A man and a woman meet over casual conversation on a flight from Paris to London, and so begins a love story—from fist kiss to first argument, elation to heartbreak, and everything in between. Each stage of the relationship is illuminated with starling clarity, as de Botton explores emotions often felt but rarely understood. Now, in tandem with the arrival of The Course of Love—de Botton’s first novel in twenty years and one about mature love—we celebrate the timeless debut about young love that serves as The Course of Love’s precursor and companion. Reissued with a brilliant introduction by the New York Times bestselling author of How Should a Person Be?, Shelia Heti, On Love is a contemporary classic that should be read by anyone who has ever fallen in love.
Alain de Botton explores our relationship with 'the news' in this book full of his trademark wit and wisdom. Following on from his bestselling Religion for Atheists, Alain de Botton turns now to look at the manic and peculiar positions that 'the news' occupies in our lives. We invest it with an authority and importance which used to be the preserve of religion - but what does it do for us? Mixing current affairs with philosophical reflections, de Botton offers a brilliant illustrated guide to the precautions we should take before venturing anywhere near the news and the 'noise' it generates. Witty and global in reach, The News will ensure you'll never look at reports of a celebrity story or political scandal in quite the same way again. Praise for Religion for Atheists: 'Smart and stimulating . . . a sensitive analysis of the deeply human needs that faith meets' Financial Times 'A serious and optimistic set of practical ideas that could improve and alter the way we live . . . energetic and on the side of the angels' Jeanette Winterson, The Times 'Packed with tantalising goads to thought and playful prompts to action' Independent Alain de Botton's bestselling books include Religion for Atheists, How Proust Can Change Your Life, The Art of Travel, and The Architecture of Happiness. He lives in London and founded The School of Life (www.theschooloflife.com) and Living Architecture (www.living-architecture.co.uk). For more information, consult www.alaindebotton.com.
SUNDAY TIMES TOP TEN BESTSELLER A brilliant new novel about love and marriage in the modern world - from the author the bestselling novel Essays in Love 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.
A comprehensive collection of primary source material for those studying communications at university and pre-university level. The editors discuss the significance of each piece of writing, identify key theoretical terms and positions and explain its importance for communication studies.