The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work

Author: Alain De Botton

Publisher: Emblem Editions

ISBN: 0771026323

Category: Philosophy

Page: 336

View: 7629

From the international bestselling author of The Architecture of Happiness and How Proust Can Change Your Life comes this lyrical, erudite look at our world of work. We spend most of our time at work, but what we do there rarely gets discussed in the sort of lyrical and descriptive prose our efforts surely deserve. Determined to correct this lapse, armed with a poetic perspective and his trademark philosophical sharpness, Alain de Botton heads out into the world of offices and factories, ready to take in the beauty, interest, and sheer strangeness of the modern workplace. De Botton spends time in and around some less familiar work environments, including warehouses, container ports, rocket launch pads, and power stations, and follows scientists, landscape painters, accountants, cookie manufacturers, therapists, entrepreneurs, and aircraft salesmen as they do their jobs. Along the way, de Botton tries to answer some of the most urgent questions we can pose about work: Why do we do it? What makes it pleasurable? What is its meaning? To what end do we daily exhaust not only ourselves but also our planet? Equally intrigued by work’s pleasures and its pains, Alain de Botton offers a characteristically lucid and witty tour of the working day and night, in a book sure to inspire a range of life-changing and wise thoughts. From the Hardcover edition.
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The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work

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Author: Alain De Botton

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307378306

Category: Philosophy

Page: 336

View: 6096

We spend most of our waking lives at work—in occupations most often chosen by our inexperienced younger selves. And yet we rarely ask ourselves how we got there or what our jobs mean to us. The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work is an exploration of the joys and perils of the modern workplace, beautifully exploring what other people wake up to do each day—and night—to make our frenzied world function. With a philosophical eye and his signature combination of wit and wisdom, Alain de Botton leads us on a journey around an eclectic range of occupations, from rocket scientist to biscuit manufacturer, from accountant to artist—in search of what makes jobs either soul-destroying or fulfilling. From the Trade Paperback edition.
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The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work

Author: Alain de Botton

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141932759

Category: Philosophy

Page: 336

View: 6482

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 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 (www.theschooloflife.com) and Living Architecture (www.living-architecture.co.uk). For more information, consult www.alaindebotton.com.
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The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work

Author: Alain De Botton

Publisher: Emblem Editions

ISBN: 0771026323

Category: Philosophy

Page: 336

View: 1480

From the international bestselling author of The Architecture of Happiness and How Proust Can Change Your Life comes this lyrical, erudite look at our world of work. We spend most of our time at work, but what we do there rarely gets discussed in the sort of lyrical and descriptive prose our efforts surely deserve. Determined to correct this lapse, armed with a poetic perspective and his trademark philosophical sharpness, Alain de Botton heads out into the world of offices and factories, ready to take in the beauty, interest, and sheer strangeness of the modern workplace. De Botton spends time in and around some less familiar work environments, including warehouses, container ports, rocket launch pads, and power stations, and follows scientists, landscape painters, accountants, cookie manufacturers, therapists, entrepreneurs, and aircraft salesmen as they do their jobs. Along the way, de Botton tries to answer some of the most urgent questions we can pose about work: Why do we do it? What makes it pleasurable? What is its meaning? To what end do we daily exhaust not only ourselves but also our planet? Equally intrigued by work’s pleasures and its pains, Alain de Botton offers a characteristically lucid and witty tour of the working day and night, in a book sure to inspire a range of life-changing and wise thoughts. From the Hardcover edition.
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The News: A User's Manual

Author: Alain De Botton

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307911721

Category: Social Science

Page: 272

View: 4621

The news is everywhere. We can’t stop constantly checking it on our computer screens, but what is this doing to our minds? We are never really taught how to make sense of the torrent of news we face every day, writes Alain de Botton (author of the best-selling The Architecture of Happiness), but this has a huge impact on our sense of what matters and of how we should lead our lives. In his dazzling new book, de Botton takes twenty-five archetypal news stories—including an airplane crash, a murder, a celebrity interview and a political scandal—and submits them to unusually intense analysis with a view to helping us navigate our news-soaked age. He raises such questions as Why are disaster stories often so uplifting? What makes the love lives of celebrities so interesting? Why do we enjoy watching politicians being brought down? Why are upheavals in far-off lands often so boring? In The News: A User’s Manual, de Botton has written the ultimate guide for our frenzied era, certain to bring calm, understanding and a measure of sanity to our daily (perhaps even hourly) interactions with the news machine. (With black-and-white illustrations throughout.) From the Hardcover edition.
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The Architecture of Happiness

Author: Alain De Botton

Publisher: McClelland & Stewart

ISBN: 1551993872

Category: Philosophy

Page: 288

View: 4639

Bestselling author Alain de Botton considers how our private homes and public edifices influence how we feel, and how we could build dwellings in which we would stand a better chance of happiness. In this witty, erudite look at how we shape, and are shaped by, our surroundings, Alain de Botton applies Stendhal’s motto that “Beauty is the promise of happiness” to the spaces we inhabit daily. Why should we pay attention to what architecture has to say to us? de Botton asks provocatively. With his trademark lucidity and humour, de Botton traces how human needs and desires have been served by styles of architecture, from stately Classical to minimalist Modern, arguing that the stylistic choices of a society can represent both its cherished ideals and the qualities it desperately lacks. On an individual level, de Botton has deep sympathy for our need to see our selves reflected in our surroundings; he demonstrates with great wisdom how buildings — just like friends — can serve as guardians of our identity. Worrying about the shape of our sofa or the colour of our walls might seem self-indulgent, but de Botton considers the hopes and fears we have for our homes at a new level of depth and insight. When shopping for furniture or remodelling the kitchen, we don’t just consider functionality but also the major questions of aesthetics and the philosophy of art: What is beauty? Can beautiful surroundings make us good? Can beauty bring happiness? The buildings we find beautiful, de Botton concludes, are those that represent our ideas of a meaningful life. The Architecture of Happiness marks a return to what Alain does best — taking on a subject whose allure is at once tantalizing and a little forbidding and offering to readers a completely beguiling and original exploration of the subject. As he did with Proust, philosophy, and travel, now he does with architecture. From the Hardcover edition.
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Status Anxiety

Author: Alain De Botton

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307491331

Category: Philosophy

Page: 320

View: 9922

Anyone who’s ever lost sleep over an unreturned phone call or the neighbor’s Lexus had better read Alain de Botton’s irresistibly clear-headed new book, immediately. For in its pages, a master explicator of our civilization and its discontents turns his attention to the insatiable quest for status, a quest that has less to do with material comfort than with love. To demonstrate his thesis, de Botton ranges through Western history and thought from St. Augustine to Andrew Carnegie and Machiavelli to Anthony Robbins. Whether it’s assessing the class-consciousness of Christianity or the convulsions of consumer capitalism, dueling or home-furnishing, Status Anxiety is infallibly entertaining. And when it examines the virtues of informed misanthropy, art appreciation, or walking a lobster on a leash, it is not only wise but helpful. From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Religion for Atheists

A Non-Believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion

Author: Alain De Botton

Publisher: Signal

ISBN: 0771025998

Category: Philosophy

Page: 336

View: 4804

From the author of The Architecture of Happiness, a deeply moving meditation on how we can still benefit, without believing, from the wisdom, the beauty, and the consolatory power that religion has to offer. Alain de Botton was brought up in a committedly atheistic household, and though he was powerfully swayed by his parents' views, he underwent, in his mid-twenties, a crisis of faithlessness. His feelings of doubt about atheism had their origins in listening to Bach's cantatas, were further developed in the presence of certain Bellini Madonnas, and became overwhelming with an introduction to Zen architecture. However, it was not until his father's death -- buried under a Hebrew headstone in a Jewish cemetery because he had intriguingly omitted to make more secular arrangements -- that Alain began to face the full degree of his ambivalence regarding the views of religion that he had dutifully accepted. Why are we presented with the curious choice between either committing to peculiar concepts about immaterial deities or letting go entirely of a host of consoling, subtle and effective rituals and practices for which there is no equivalent in secular society? Why do we bristle at the mention of the word "morality"? Flee from the idea that art should be uplifting, or have an ethical purpose? Why don't we build temples? What mechanisms do we have for expressing gratitude? The challenge that de Botton addresses in his book: how to separate ideas and practices from the religious institutions that have laid claim to them. In Religion for Atheists is an argument to free our soul-related needs from the particular influence of religions, even if it is, paradoxically, the study of religion that will allow us to rediscover and rearticulate those needs. From the Hardcover edition.
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The Sorrows of an American

A Novel

Author: Siri Hustvedt

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

ISBN: 9781429976671

Category: Fiction

Page: 320

View: 9424

The Sorrows of an American is a soaring feat of storytelling about the immigrant experience and the ghosts that haunt families from one generation to another When Erik Davidsen and his sister, Inga, find a disturbing note from an unknown woman among their dead father's papers, they believe he may be implicated in a mysterious death. Siri Hustvedt's The Sorrows of an American tells the story of the Davidsen family as brother and sister uncover its secrets and unbandage its wounds in the year following their father's funeral. Returning to New York from Minnesota, the grieving siblings continue to pursue the mystery behind the note. While Erik's fascination with his new tenants and emotional vulnerability to his psychiatric patients threaten to overwhelm him, Inga is confronted by a hostile journalist who seems to know a secret connected to her dead husband, a famous novelist. As each new mystery unfolds, Erik begins to inhabit his emotionally hidden father's history and to glimpse how his impoverished childhood, the Depression, and the war shaped his relationship with his children, while Inga must confront the reality of her husband's double life. A novel about fathers and children, listening and deafness, recognition and blindness; the pain of speaking and the pain of keeping silent, the ambiguities of memory, loneliness, illness, and recovery. Siri Hustvedt's exquisitely moving prose reveals one family's hidden sorrows through an extraordinary mosaic of secrets and stories that reflect the fragmented nature of identity itself.
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How Proust Can Change Your Life

Author: Alain De Botton

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307833496

Category: Humor

Page: 208

View: 8489

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.
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The Art of Travel

Author: Alain De Botton

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307481662

Category: Philosophy

Page: 272

View: 966

Any Baedeker will tell us where we ought to travel, but only Alain de Botton will tell us how and why. With the same intelligence and insouciant charm he brought to How Proust Can Save Your Life, de Botton considers the pleasures of anticipation; the allure of the exotic, and the value of noticing everything from a seascape in Barbados to the takeoffs at Heathrow. Even as de Botton takes the reader along on his own peregrinations, he also cites such distinguished fellow-travelers as Baudelaire, Wordsworth, Van Gogh, the biologist Alexander von Humboldt, and the 18th-century eccentric Xavier de Maistre, who catalogued the wonders of his bedroom. The Art of Travel is a wise and utterly original book. Don’t leave home without it. From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Barney's Version

Author: Mordecai Richler

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307813479

Category: Fiction

Page: 432

View: 2166

Charged with comic energy and a steely disregard for any pieties whatsoever, Barney's Version is a major Richler novel, the most personal and feeling book of a long and distinguished career. Told in the first person, it gives us the life (and what a life!) of Barney Panofsky--whose trashy TV company, Totally Useless Productions, has made him a small fortune; whose three wives include a martyred feminist icon, a quintessential JCP (Jewish-Canadian Princess), and the incomparable Miriam, the perfect wife, lover, and mother--alas, now married to another man; who recalls with nostalgia and pain his young manhood in the Paris of the early fifties, and his lifelong passion for wine, women, and the Montreal Canadiens; who either did or didn't murder his best friend, Boogie, after discovering him in bed with The Second Mrs. Panofsky; whose satirical eye for the idiocies of today's Quebec separatists (as well as for every other kind of political correctness) manages to offend his entire acquaintanceship (and will soon be offending readers everywhere); and whose memory--though not his bile--is, in his sixty-seventh year, definitely slipping . . . From the Hardcover edition.
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The Song of Everlasting Sorrow

A Novel of Shanghai

Author: Anyi Wang,Michael Berry,Susan Chan Egan

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231143427

Category: Fiction

Page: 440

View: 7133

Becoming a minor celebrity when her photograph appears on the cover of Shanghai Life magazine and winning second-runner up in a beauty pageant, Wang Qiyao becomes a mistress to a wealthy benefactor, but after his death, she begins a lonely fall into anonymity.
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Out Of Africa

Author: Isak Dinesen

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 1443432954

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 416

View: 3107

In Out of Africa, author Isak Dinesen takes a wistful and nostalgic look back on her years living in Africa on a Kenyan coffee plantation. Recalling the lives of friends and neighbours—both African and European—Dinesen provides a first-hand perspective of colonial Africa. Through her obvious love of both the landscape and her time in Africa, Dinesen’s meditative writing style deeply reflects the themes of loss as her plantation fails and she returns to Europe. HarperTorch brings great works of non-fiction and the dramatic arts to life in digital format, upholding the highest standards in ebook production and celebrating reading in all its forms. Look for more titles in the HarperTorch collection to build your digital library.
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How To Think More About Sex

Author: Alain de Botton,The School of Life

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

ISBN: 0230766129

Category: Philosophy

Page: 160

View: 7787

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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God Help the Child

A novel

Author: Toni Morrison

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0385353170

Category: Fiction

Page: 192

View: 9141

Spare and unsparing, God Help the Child—the first novel by Toni Morrison to be set in our current moment—weaves a tale about the way the sufferings of childhood can shape, and misshape, the life of the adult. At the center: a young woman who calls herself Bride, whose stunning blue-black skin is only one element of her beauty, her boldness and confidence, her success in life, but which caused her light-skinned mother to deny her even the simplest forms of love. There is Booker, the man Bride loves, and loses to anger. Rain, the mysterious white child with whom she crosses paths. And finally, Bride’s mother herself, Sweetness, who takes a lifetime to come to understand that “what you do to children matters. And they might never forget.” A fierce and provocative novel that adds a new dimension to the matchless oeuvre of Toni Morrison.
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Out of Time

The Pleasures and the Perils of Ageing

Author: Lynne Segal

Publisher: Verso Books

ISBN: 1781681953

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 320

View: 2012

A brave book with a polemical argument on the paradoxes, struggles and advantages of aging. How old am I? Don’t ask, don’t tell. As the baby boomers approach their sixth or seventh decade, they are faced with new challenges and questions of politics and identity. In the footsteps of Simone de Beauvoir, Out of Time looks at many of the issues facing the aged—the war of the generations and baby-boomer bashing, the politics of desire, the diminished situation of the older woman, the space on the left for the presence and resistance of the old, the problems of dealing with loss and mortality, and how to find victory in survival.
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The Blind Man's Garden

Author: Nadeem Aslam

Publisher: Random House India

ISBN: 8184003919

Category: Fiction

Page: 424

View: 332

‘Love is not consolation, it is light’ From the author of Maps for Lost Lovers and The Wasted Vigil comes a novel set in the months after 9/11, when Western armies invaded Afghanistan—a story of love, hope and grief, of uncorrupted faith and of what it means to be alive. Jeo and his foster-brother Mikal leave their home in Pakistan to help care for wounded Afghans. Within hours of entering the wide-horizoned Afghan landscape, Mikal and Jeo are separated and, emerging from the carnage, Mikal begins his search for Jeo. But his deepest wish is to return home—to the young woman he loves and who loves him, Jeo’s wife. The Blind Man’s Garden maps a place both phantasmally beautiful and chilling. Taking us on a journey from Al Qaeda’s hideouts in Waziristan and American-built military prisons to a family left behind—Mikal’s and Jeo’s blind, regretful father, Jeo’s resolute wife and her superstitious mother—it unflinchingly examines war and brotherhood, devastation, separation and remorse, while celebrating the redemptive power of nature, art and literature.
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The Summer Without Men

A Novel

Author: Siri Hustvedt

Publisher: Picador

ISBN: 9781429996259

Category: Fiction

Page: 192

View: 4724

"And who among us would deny Jane Austen her happy endings or insist that Cary Grant and Irene Dunne should get back together at the end of The Awful Truth? There are tragedies and there are comedies, aren't there? And they are often more the same than different, rather like men and women, if you ask me. A comedy depends on stopping the story at exactly the right moment." Mia Fredrickson, the wry, vituperative, tragic comic, poet narrator of The Summer Without Men, has been forced to reexamine her own life. One day, out of the blue, after thirty years of marriage, Mia's husband, a renowned neuroscientist, asks her for a "pause." This abrupt request sends her reeling and lands her in a psychiatric ward. The June following Mia's release from the hospital, she returns to the prairie town of her childhood, where her mother lives in an old people's home. Alone in a rented house, she rages and fumes and bemoans her sorry fate. Slowly, however, she is drawn into the lives of those around her—her mother and her close friends,"the Five Swans," and her young neighbor with two small children and a loud angry husband—and the adolescent girls in her poetry workshop whose scheming and petty cruelty carry a threat all their own. From the internationally bestselling author of What I Loved comes Siri Hustvedt's provocative, witty, and revelatory novel about women and girls, love and marriage, and the age-old question of sameness and difference between the sexes.
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Great Thinkers

Author: The School of Life

Publisher: School of Life

ISBN: 9780993538704

Category: Idea (Philosophy)

Page: 480

View: 8527

Simple tools from 60 great thinkers throughout history to improve your life today.
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