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Angury

Alain de Botton

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I have fallen in love with this man. Alain de Botton is a British/Swiss author who aims to make art and philosophy more accessible to the public.

 

In 2008 he founded the School of Life, which offers 'emotional education' through a series of talks and videos. I personally have been using his Youtube Channel to learn more about different philosophers - the videos are short and succinct, and really encourage you to try and apply philosophy to your own every day life. He has also created videos on Psychology, Sociology, Literature and Art - they are generally short videos that give you an overview yet encourage you to read deeper into an authors work.

 

However, I am ashamed to say that I have not yet read one of Botton's works. The book I am planning to start with is A Week at the Airport, described below:

 

'In the summer of 2009, Alain de Botton was installed in the middle of Heathrow's Terminal Five on a raised platform with a laptop connected to screens, enabling passengers to see what he was writing and to come and share their stories. He provides an extraordinary mediation upon the nature of place, time and our daily lives.'

 

I also want to read his book, How Proust can change your life, which is described as:

 

'A vivid portrait of the eccentric yet deeply sympathetic author is built up out of extracts from his letters, essays and fiction and is combined with a commentary on the power of literature to change our lives.'

 

So, I wanted to start this thread to find other fellow Botton fans. Has anyone read any of his works? Is he a good writer? From his talks he comes across as very eloquent and humorous, and his ideas really go deep and make you think.

 

Just to illustrate how wonderful Botton truly is, below is a link to his talk about how we can use Art as Therapy in our day to day lives. I would highly recommend watching it if you have the time - Botton is a fantastic speaker and he has certainly changed the way I think about Art:

 

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Oh yes, I am a fan of Alain too! :smile: . I find that his writing style is beautiful! 

 

If you haven’t read of his philosophical books, I recommend The Consolations of Philosophy, as that was the first book I read about philosophy, when I had no idea to start on the subject, and this one was ideal. 

 

This little blurb was just great, just what I was looking for.  

 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.

 

Philsophy: A Guide to Happiness is basically his TV series on Channel 4 of this book, and all episodes are free to watch online through their All 4.  

 

His book Essays In Love is another good read too. 

 

Hope you enjoy reading Alain's works.

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Oh yes, I am a fan of Alain too! :smile: . I find that his writing style is beautiful! 

 

If you haven’t read of his philosophical books, I recommend The Consolations of Philosophy, as that was the first book I read about philosophy, when I had no idea to start on the subject, and this one was ideal. 

 

This little blurb was just great, just what I was looking for.  

 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.

 

Philsophy: A Guide to Happiness is basically his TV series on Channel 4 of this book, and all episodes are free to watch online through their All 4.  

 

His book Essays In Love is another good read too. 

 

Hope you enjoy reading Alain's works.

Thank you for the suggestions. I didn't even know Botton used to have a TV series - I checked out some episodes online and goodness does he look young.

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Thank you for the suggestions. I didn't even know Botton used to have a TV series - I checked out some episodes online and goodness does he look young.

:D  Alain seems to have aged in the past 16 years.... :o  

 

 I didn't know he had any TV series, until recently; just a few articles on the BBC.  

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Since starting this thread I have read two of Alain's books:

 

- How Proust can change your Life

- A Week at the Airport

 

My god is Alain a good writer. I love reading his prose. His sentences are so well crafted without coming across as pretentious. His humour from his speeches comes across really well in his writing. Add to this the fact that he writes about such interesting and yet such common, day-to-day themes, and I think he may well become one of my favourite writers.

 

I read How Proust can change your Life after finishing In Search of Lost Time by Proust last year and gaining admiration of Proust as a writer. Alain's book on Proust gives a fascinating insight not only into Prousts life as a philosopher as well as a writer, but on the lessons that we can all learn through his epic on love, meaning and life. I'm glad that Alain has brought Proust into the limelight - despite the volume of Prousts work, I think it is something that everyone should read at some point in their lives, and I feel like Alain captures the magic of Proust perfectly while sprinkling his own magic of philosophy in the modern world.

 

Second, I read A Week at the Airport while waiting around at an airport after a flight got delayed, and not only did it make the time pass, it also made me appreciate my surroundings. I fly quite a lot to the point that I just find it a chore more than anything else, but every so often I pause and look around and wonder about the lives of the people around me. Airports are such unique places - they are a melting point of cultures, as if the entire world has been condensed inside this tiny building. Alain takes this space of hustle and bustle which is often associated with frustration, long queues and boredom and squeezes out the underlying infrastructure that makes airports so incredible - not just the physical foundations, but also the emotional strands that make up the lives of people who pass through these buildings every day.

 

Anyway, I could drone on about Alain for pages. My eye has recently fallen on one of his books called Status Anxiety - has anyone given it a go? We need to keep sharing the love of Alain de Botton. :D

Edited by Angury

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I'm a fan of de Botton's writing. So far I've only read Essays on Love, but I have quite a few of his books on my TBR pile. Religion for Atheists and The News: A User's Manual are the two that I most want to read.

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I wanted to revive this thread out of my love for Botton.

 

Has anyone read Status Anxiety by him? It's next on my to-read list and would love to hear people's thoughts.

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Oddly enough, I finished reading this only a month ago! I loved it. Very informative and thought-provoking. I especially love that I learnt loads about history and literature, along with philosophy! Status anxiety a fascinating topic for me. I'm fairly unambitious and have never really felt the need to keep up with the Joneses or look/act like everyone else, so a lot of what he said didn't really relate to me, but I see it all around me, so I found it fascinating nonetheless! I rated it 5/5 on Goodreads. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. :D

 

Looking back to my comment from February 2017, nothing has changed...Religion for Atheists and The News: A User's Manual are still the two that I most want to read next! They were just pushed aside in favour of Status Anxiety.

 

 

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20 hours ago, Angury said:

I wanted to revive this thread out of my love for Botton.

 

Has anyone read Status Anxiety by him? It's next on my to-read list and would love to hear people's thoughts.

I remember enjoying Status Anxiety about 5ish years ago, though I have just looked on m,y Goodreads, but I only gave it a 4 out of 5. I think that I had been slightly disappointed in ST, because I had so loved Consolation of Philosophy earlier.

.

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