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Alain de Botton

Alain de Botton is a Swiss-born British author who was born on 20 December, 1969. His books cover a variety of weighty themes and contemporary subjects and issues. In 1993, he published Essays in Love, a book that has sold over 2 million copies. Other bestsellers include 2008's The Architecture of Happiness.

Alain was awarded the Fellowship of Schopenhauer in 2015 and his writing has been described as 'a philosophy of everyday he life'. Educated at Cambridge University, his work has covered the likes of love, travel architecture and literature.



Alain de Botton Books

  • AWQNZ
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    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.
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    The Architecture of Happiness is Alain de Botton's exploration of the hidden links between buildings and our well being. In The Architecture of Happiness, bestselling author Alain de Botton explores one of our most intense but often hidden love affairs: with our houses and their furnishings. He asks: What makes a house truly beautiful? Why are many new houses so ugly? Why do we argue so bitterly about sofas and pictures - and can differences of taste ever be satisfactorily resolved? To answer these questions and many more, de Botton looks at buildings across the world, from medieval wooden huts to modern skyscrapers; he examines sofas and cathedrals, tea sets and office complexes, and teases out a host of often surprising philosophical insights. The Architecture of Happiness will take you on a beguiling tour through the history and psychology of architecture and interior design, and will change the way you look at your home. "Engaging and intelligent ...full of splendid ideas, happily and beautifully expressed". (Independent). 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.
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    The Art of Travel is Alain de Botton's travel guide with a difference. Few activities seem to promise us as much happiness as going travelling: taking off for somewhere else, somewhere far from home, a place with more interesting weather, customs and landscapes. But although we are inundated with advice on where to travel to, we seldom ask why we go and how we might become more fulfilled by doing so. With the help of a selection of writers, artists and thinkers - including Flaubert, Edward Hopper, Wordsworth and Van Gogh - Alain de Botton's bestselling The Art of Travel provides invaluable insights into everything from holiday romance to hotel mini-bars, airports to sight-seeing. The perfect antidote to those guides that tell us what to do when we get there, The Art of Travel tries to explain why we really went in the first place - and helpfully suggests how we might be happier on our journeys. "Richly evocative, sharp and funny. De Botton proves himself to be a very fine travel writer indeed". (Sunday Telegraph). "Delightful, profound, entertaining, I doubt if de Botton has written a dull sentence in his life' Jan Morris 'An elegant and subtle work, unlike any other. Beguiling". (Colin Thubron, The Times). Alain de Botton's 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.
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    'Witty, thoughtful, entertaining ...a stylish book, which manages to make philosophy both enjoyable and relevant, at the same time providing a very sensible digest of consolations for many of our current psychological ills' - Anthony Clare, "LiteraryReview".
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    '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 commentary. 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".'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".
  • ALZRM
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    With an introduction by Sheila Heti A unique love story and a classic work of philosophy, rooted in the mysterious workings of the human heart and mind. 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.
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    Alain de Botton's "Religion for Atheists" looks at the God debate with fresh eyes "All of us", whether religious, agnostic or atheist, are searching for meaning. And in this wise and life-affirming book, non-believer Alain de Botton both rejects the supernatural claims of religion and points out just how many good ideas they sometimes have about how we should live. And he suggests that non-believers can learn and steal from them. Picking and choosing from the thousands of years of advice assembled by the world's great religions to get practical insights on art, community, love, friendship, work, life and death, Alain de Botton shows us a range of fascinating ideas on a range of topics, including relationships, work, culture, love and death - and that could be of use to all of us, irrespective of whether we do or don't believe. In the "Sunday Times" top-ten bestseller "Religion for Atheists", Alain de Botton takes us one step further than Dawkins and Hitchens have ventured and into a world of ideas beyond the God debate..."A serious and optimistic set of practical ideas that could improve and alter the way we live". (Jeanette Winterson, "The Times"). "A beautiful, inspiring book ...offering a glimpse of a more enlightened path". ("Sunday Telegraph"). "Packed with tantalizing goads to thought and playful prompts to action". ("Independent"). "Smart, stimulating, sensitive. A timely and perceptive appreciation of how much wisdom is embodied in religious traditions and how we godless moderns might learn from it". ("Financial Times"). "There isn't a page in this book that doesn't contain a striking idea or a stimulating parallel". ("Mail on Sunday"). "Packed with tantalizing goads to thought and playful prompts to action". ("Independent"). 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 "How Proust Can Change Your Life", "The Art of Travel", "The Consolations of Philosophy", "The Architecture of Happiness", "Status Anxiety", "Essays in Love", "A Week at the Airport" and "The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work". He lives in London and founded The School of Life and Living Architecture.
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    We all worry about what others think of us. We all long to succeed and fear failure. We all suffer to a greater or lesser degree, usually privately and with embarrassment from status anxiety. For the first time, Alain de Botton gives a name to this universal condition and sets out to investigate both its origins and possible solutions. He looks at history, philosophy, economics, art and politics and reveals the many ingenious ways that great minds have overcome their worries. The result is a book that is not only entertaining and thought-provoking but genuinely wise and helpful as well.
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    Why do so many of us love or hate our work? How has it come to dominate our lives? And what should we do about it? Work makes us. Without it we are at a loss; in work we hope to have a measure of control over our lives. Yet for many of us, work is a straitjacket from which we cannot free ourselves. Criss-crossing the world to visit workplaces and workers both ordinary and extraordinary, and drawing on the wit and wisdom of great artists, writers and thinkers, Alain de Botton here explores our love-hate relationship with our jobs. He poses and answers little and big questions, from what should I do with my life? to what will I have achieved when I retire? "The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work" will not only explain why it is we do what we do all day, but through its sympathy, humour and insight will seek to help us make the most of it.
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    In this rigorous and supremely honest book Alain de Botton helps us navigate the intimate and exciting - yet often confusing and difficult - experience that is sex. Few of us tend to feel we're entirely normal when it comes to sex, and what we're supposed to be feeling rarely matches up with the reality. This book argues that 21st-century sex is ultimately fated to be a balancing act between love and desire, and adventure and commitment. Covering topics that include lust, fetishism, adultery and pornography, Alain de Botton frankly articulates the dilemmas of modern sexuality, offering insights and consolation to help us think more deeply and wisely about the sex we are, or aren't, having. One in the new series of books from The School of Life, launched May 2012: How to Stay Sane by Philippa Perry How to Find Fulfilling Work by Roman Krznaric How to Worry Less About Money by John Armstrong How to Change the World by John-Paul Flintoff How to Thrive in the Digital Age by Tom Chatfield How to Think More About Sex by Alain de Botton
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    The News is Alain de Botton's witty and insightful exploration of our twenty-first century obsession with media. Why do we keep checking the news? Today, the news occupies the same dominant position in our lives as religion once did. But rarely do we consider how it touches us. Here, Alain de Botton examines a number of archetypal news stories - a plane crash, a murder, a political scandal, a celebrity interview - from a fresh perspective to ask intriguing questions: why do disaster stories titillate? why obsess over love lives of the famous? why smile when a politician falls from grace? In so doing, he brings clear sight and understanding to a force which, above all others, informs our view of reality. "Like all classic de Botton, there are plenty of insightful observations here, peppered with some psychology, a dash of philosophy, a big dollop of commonsense." (Scotsman). "De Botton's gift is to prompt us to think about how we live and how we might change things." (The Times). "De Botton analyses modern society with great charm, learning and humour. His remedies come as a welcome relief when most books offering solutions to the stresses of life recommend the lotus position." (Daily Mail). Alain de Botton's bestselling books include Religion for Atheists, How Proust Can Change Your Life, The Art of Travel, The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work and The Architecture of Happiness. He lives in London and founded The School of Life, and Living Architecture.
  • AHZFD
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    There is widespread agreement that art is 'very important' - but it can be remarkably hard to say quite why. Yet if art is to enjoy its privileges, it has to be able to demonstrate its relevance in understandable ways to the widest possible audience. Alain de Botton and John Armstrong have a firm belief that art can help us with our most intimate and ordinary dilemmas, asking: What can I do about the difficulties in my relationships? Why is my work not more satisfying? Why do other people seem to have a more glamorous life? Why is politics so depressing? The purpose of this book is to introduce a new method of interpreting art: art as a form of therapy. It's the authors' contention that certain art works provide powerful solutions to our problems, but that in order for this potential to be released, the audience's attention has to be directed towards it in a new way (which they demonstrate), rather than towards the more normal historical or stylistic concerns with which art books and museum captions are traditionally associated. The authors propose that the squeamish belief that art should be 'for art's sake' has unnecessarily held back art from revealing its latent therapeutic potential. This book involves reframing and recontextualising a series of art works from across the ages and genres, so that they can be approached as tools for the resolution of difficult issues in individual life.
  • AALMD
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    In the summer of 2009, Alain de Botton will be invited by the owners of Heathrow airport to become their first ever Writer in Residence. He will be installed in the middle of Terminal 5 on a raised platform with a laptop connected to screens, enabling passengers to see what he is writing and to come and share their stories. He will meet travellers from around the world, and will be given unprecedented access to wander the airport and speak with everyone from window cleaners and baggage handlers to air traffic controllers and cabin crew. Working with the renowned documentary photographer Richard Baker, de Botton will produce an extraordinary meditation upon the nature of place, time, and our daily lives. He will explore the magical and the mundane, personal and collective experiences and the interactions of travellers and workers all over this familiar but mysterious site. Like all airports, Heathrow (the 15th century village of Heath Row lies beneath the short stay car park) is a 'non-place' that we by definition want to leave, but it also provides a window into many worlds - through the thousands of people it dispatches every day. "A Week at the Airport" is sure to delight de Botton's large following, and anyone interested in the stories behind the way we live.