Books

The Course of Love

Alain de Botton

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.

The News

Alain de Botton

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

The Architecture of Happiness

Alain de Botton

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

The Art of Travel

Alain de Botton

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

Religion for Atheists

Alain de Botton

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 the major religions 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, Alain de Botton presents a range of fascinating ideas and practical insights on art, community, love, friendship, work, life and death. He shows how they can be of use to us all, 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

The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work

Alain de Botton

The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work is Alain de Botton's lucid exploration of a subject key to most of our lives.

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 Pleasure and Sorrows of Work will not only explain why it is we do what we do all day, but its sympathy, humour and insight seeks to help us make the most of it.

'De Botton's wit and powers of ironic observation are on display throughout what is a stylish and original book. The workplace brings out the best in his writing' Sunday Times

'Timely, wonderfully readable. De Botton has pretty much got to the bottom of the subject' Spectator

'Terribly funny, touches us all' Daily Mail

'Brilliant, enormously engaging' Guardian

The Architecture of Happiness

Alain de Botton (and others)

The abridged, downloadable audiobook edition of Alain de Botton's extraordinary The Architecture of Happiness, read by the author himself.

Alain de Botton considers the hopes and fears we have for our homes at a new level of depth and insight, considering such questions as: Why do people disagree about taste? Can beautiful surroundings make us good? Not to mention: What makes a window frame attractive? Rooted in the idea that architecture has the power to influence how we feel, and that we are different people in different buildings, he suggests how we might learn to build better, more attractive dwellings, in which we would stand a higher chance of happiness.

'Because it is De Botton reading, in an engagingly low-key way, the experience is amusingly close to listening to a very clever friend...' Christina Hardyment The Times

Status Anxiety

Alain de Botton

In Status Anxiety, bestselling author Alain de Botton sets out to understand our universal fear of failure - and how we might change.

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.

'Clever, wise. 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

'Measured, amused, compassionate . . . de Botton is a surefooted discoverer of the pungent but less well known quote' Daily Telegraph

'A purveyor of serious buy playful manuals for living' GQ

'Turned me into a fan, for its range, insight, wit and sheer usefulness' Daily Express

The Consolations of Philosophy

Alain de Botton

The Consolations of Philosophy is Alain de Botton's internationally bestselling guide to life.

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 Nietzsche 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.

'Singlehandedly, de Botton has taken philosophy back to its simplest and most important purpose: helping us live our lives' Independent

'No doubt about it, philosophy is the new rock and roll and Alain de Botton is its Colonel Tom Parker . . . A pleasure to read. And good writing, like good philosophy, is always a consolation' John Banville, Irish Times

'Few discussions on the great philosophers can have been so entertaining . . . an ingenious, imaginative book' Humphrey Carpenter, Sunday Times

'Witty, thoughtful, entertaining . . . a stylish book, which manages to make philosophy both enjoyable and relevant' Anthony Clare, Literary Review

'Gentle, helpful and humane . . . De Botton's instinct is surely right: if we are to bring philosophy to life we should look again at those thinkers who have sought to be not clever or paradoxical, but simply wise' Roger Scruton, Mail on Sunday

Alain de Botton

Biography

Alain de Botton is the author of Essays in Love, The Romantic Movement, Kiss and Tell, How Proust Can Change Your Life, The Consolations of Philosophy, The Art of Travel, Status Anxiety, The Architecture of Happiness, The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work, A Week at the Airport, Religion for Atheists, The News: A User's Manual, and latest novel The Course of Love, among many others. Alain is a bestselling author in 30 countries. He lives in London, where he runs The School of Life and Living Architecture.