The School of Life

In 2008 Alain de Botton set up The School of Life, with a unique approach to what some may think doesn’t need to be taught – everyday life.

This year they have released a short series of books on with a philosophical / pop-psychology look on on some of the everyday topics ‘taught’ at The School of Life.

How to Change the World

How to Change the World

John-Paul Flintoff

We all want to live in a better world, but sometimes it feels that we lack the ability or influence to make a difference. John-Paul Flintoff offers a powerful reminder that through the generations, society has been transformed by the actions of individuals who understood that if they didn’t like something, they could change it. Combining fresh new insights from history, politics and modern culture, this book will give you a sense of what might just be possible, as well as the inspiration and the courage you need to go about improving and changing the world we live in

 

How to Find WorkHow to Find Fulfilling Work

Roman Krznaric

This is a book about how to take working life in new directions how to negotiate the labyrinth of choices, how to think about personal ambitions and motivations, and ultimately how to take concrete steps to finding a fulfilling career. It is a self-help book with a difference. Standard career guides are filled with pop psychology and bullet-point advice for writing CVs and making action plans, but How to Find Fulfilling Work casts its net wider. While not ignoring the insights of psychology or the need for practical planning, it reveals wisdom about work found in sociology, history, literature, film and philosophy. It may be a false illusion that there is some perfect dream job out there for us, an ideal calling or vocation. But this book is premised on the idea that it is possible to find work that is life-enhancing. This is a book that inspires as much as it instructs and will aid self-reflection about the wider quest of how to live a good life.

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How to Stay SaneHow to Stay Sane

Philippa Perry

There is no simple set of instructions that can guarantee sanity, but if you want to overcome emotional difficulties and become happier, psychotherapist Philippa Perry argues that there are four cornerstones to sanity you can influence to bring about change. By developing your self-observation skills, examining how you relate to others, breaking out of your comfort zone and exploring new ways of defining yourself, she suggests ways of getting over your problems and feeling more ‘normal’. This book explores techniques to help you find emotional equilibrium, such as practising mindfulness, being emotionally honest in your relationships with others, challenging your brain in new and exciting ways, and finding cause for optimism. Through case studies, practical exercises and stories of individual experience, this insightful and inspirational book reaches out to anyone in need of a little emotional support from time to time.

 

How to Think More About SexHow to Think More about Sex

Alain de Botton

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.

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How to Thrive in the Digital AgeHow to Thrive in the Digital Age

Tom Chatfield

Our world is, increasingly, a digital one. Over half of the planet’s adult population now spend more of their waking hours ‘plugged in’ than not, whether to the internet, mobile telephony, or other digital media. To email, text, tweet and blog our way through our careers, relationships and even our family lives is now the status quo. But what effect is this need for constant connection really having? For the first time, Tom Chatfield examines what our wired life is really doing to our minds and our culture – and offers practical advice on how we can hope to prosper in a digital century.

 

How to Worry Less About MoneyHow to Worry Less about Money

John Armstrong

Our relationship with money is one that lasts a lifetime. It can be as important as family life, as competitive as work, and as exciting and secretive as love. Yet books about money tend to take one of two routes: a) how to get more, or b) how to deal with less. This book turns these questions upside down, and looks not at money itself, but at the way we view it. How does money drive us? How does it frighten us? And how can it help us make sense of who we are? Money is too important a part of life for us not to worry about, but by approaching it differently, we can change the way we perceive its worth. With surprising and enlightening new insights, How to Worry Less about Money will help you realise what material wealth really means.

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