Tag Archives: Alain de Botton

03102013: The weekend, in book acquisitions

First thing upon waking up, P. and I headed straight to one of our favorite Booksales, and after that we went to another Booksale; in the hours in between, he hoarded more knick-knacks and I drank my tea and smoked my cigarettes. (Do a riff on this, Sasha: How it’s the best thing to wake up one Sunday to the-man-you’re-mad-for-saying, “Let’s go buy books.” And later, a city or so away, the two of you mostly quiet in starkly lit stores—occasionally raising your head to find the other, to hold up a good find, to grin like the book-mad jackals that you two are.) [Continue reading.]

How to Think More

Two weeks ago, as I was reading How to Think About Sex, I posted: Mayhap Alain de Botton is on to something here—to replace the usual vows and platitudes with something more cautionary, downbeat, pragmatic: “I promise to be disappointed by you and you alone. I promise to make you the sole repository of my regrets, rather than to distribute them widely through multiple affairs and a life of sexual Don Juanism. I have surveyed the different options for unhappiness, and it is you I have chosen to commit to.” And so, for example, upon the discovery of infidelity, the betrayed could more poignantly and justly cry: “I was relying on you to be loyal to the specific variety of disappointment that I represent.” [Continue reading.]

A little bit of this and that

Why, yes, I forgot I had a book blog. Nothing new, really. Although, after the bibliographic flurry of the last weekend, I came to the startling realization that I had other interests—like, um, a computer game that involves building a Roman city from scratch, and zombies, and Downton Abbey. And, well, I’m not missing reading […]

“The longing for a destiny is nowhere stronger than in our romantic life. . .” – On Love, by Alain de Botton

22 of 2011 ▪ On Love by Alain de Botton. 1. I first learned about this novel [philosophy tract cum novel?] after I finished my first reading of Roland Barthes’ A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments. I wanted more of the wonder and beauty of Barthes, and my internet digs led me to de Botton’s first book. […]

From Status Anxiety by Alain de Botton

My friend Nash lent me Alain de Botton’s Status Anxiety, as some kind of philosophical self-help book, get-over-yourself therapy. My notes are rather whiny and could very well remind one of emotional-diarrhea, and so I am sharing with you an excerpt that’s not exactly the reason why Nash lent me this book in the first […]

Some choice certainties about good books, ineloquence in the face of said good books, and me having read — and still reading — some good books lately

Have reunited with Siri Hustvedt, and it feels so good. I’m running out of her novels to read [I have one left on my shelves], and I’m branching out to her nonfiction. Here’s a passage, from “Being A Man,” from her book of essays A Plea of Eros: As a reader of books, I’m convinced that […]

When We Read for Other People: Me and The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton, and Then Some:

The house gives signs of enjoying the emptiness. It is rearranging itself after the night, clearing its pipes and cracking its joints. This dignified and seasoned creature, with its coppery veins and wooden feet nestled in a bed of clay, has endured much: balls bounced against its garden flanks, doors slammed in rage, headstands attempted […]