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Alain de Botton combines two unlikely genres--literary biography and self-help manual--in the hilarious and unexpectedly practical How Proust Can Change Your Life. Who would have thought that Marcel Proust, one of the most important writers of our century, could provide us with such a rich source of insight into how best to live life? Proust understood that the essence and value of life was the sum of its everyday parts. As relevant today as they were at the turn of the century, Proust's life and work are transformed here into a no-nonsense guide to, among other things, enjoying your vacation, reviving a relationship, achieving original and unclichéd articulation, being a good host, recognizing love, and understanding why you should never sleep with someone on a first date. It took de Botton to find the inspirational in Proust's essays, letters and fiction and, perhaps even more surprising, to draw out a vivid and clarifying portrait of the master from between the lines of his work. Here is Proust as we have never seen or read him before: witty, intelligent, pragmatic. He might well 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.
Quiet by Susan Cain will change how you think about introverts forever A Sunday Times and New York Times Bestseller Our lives are driven by a fact that most of us can't name and don't understand. It defines who our friends and lovers are, which careers we choose, and whether we blush when we're embarrassed. That fact is whether we're an introvert or an extrovert. The introvert/extrovert divide is the most fundamental dimension of personality. And at least a third of us are on the introverted side. Some of the world's most talented people are introverts. Without them we wouldn't have the Apple computer, the theory of relativity and Van Gogh's sunflowers. Yet extroverts have taken over. Shyness, sensitivity and seriousness are often seen as being negative. Introverts feel reproached for being the way they are. In Quiet, Susan Cain shows how the brain chemistry of introverts and extroverts differs, and how society misunderstands and undervalues introverts. She gives introverts the tools to better understand themselves and take full advantage of their strengths. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with real stories, Quiet will permanently change how we see introverts - and how you see yourself. 'I can't get Quiet out of my head. It is an important book - so persuasive and timely and heartfelt it should inevitably effect change in schools and offices' Jon Ronson, The Guardian 'Susan Cain's Quiet has sparked a quiet revolution. In our booming culture, hers is a still, small voice that punches above its weight. Perhaps rather than sitting back and asking people to speak up, managers and company leaders might lean forward and listen' Megan Walsh, The Times 'Quiet is a very timely book, and Cain's central thesis is fresh and important. Maybe the extrovert ideal is no longer as powerful as it was; perhaps it is time we all stopped to listen to the still, small voice of calm' Daisy Goodwin, The Sunday Times Susan Cain is the owner of The Negotiation Company, a firm that trains people in negotiation and communication skills. Her clients include Merrill Lynch, Standard & Poor, University of Chicago Business School and many of the US's most powerful law firms. She previously practiced corporate law for seven years with Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. She lives in New York with her husband and two sons. www.ThePowerOfIntroverts.com
Proust For Beginners is a compelling biography of French novelist Marcel Proust and a vivid portrait of his times. It also serves as a concise guide and critical review of In Search of Lost Time (À la recherche du temps perdu, 7 volumes, 1913–1927), one of the most difficult—yet widely taught—works of French literature. With extensive passages from In Search of Lost Time and other essential works, Proust For Beginners highlights the defining themes and unique literary style of a modern master whom many have heard about but few fully fathom. It portrays Proust and the milieu in which he wrote in vivid detail, bringing to life the “Proustian moments” at the heart of his greatest work—and our own everyday experience. Proust’s masterpiece “begins in a series of rooms in which he unlocks themes, styles, references, and foreshadows,” writes Harold Augenbraum in the foreword. Proust For Beginners will provide the key.
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.
The Achitecture of Happiness is a dazzling and generously illustrated journey through the philosophy and psychology of architecture and the indelible connection between our identities and our locations.One of the great but often unmentioned causes of both happiness and misery is the quality of our environment: the kinds of walls, chairs, buildings, and streets that surround us. And yet a concern for architecture is too often described as frivolous, even self-indulgent. Alain de Botton starts from the idea that where we are heavily influences who we can be, and argues that it is architecture's task to stand as an eloquent reminder of our full potential. From the Trade Paperback edition.

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