The Metaphysics of Reading the News, with Alain de Botton

Book Reviews, Soul + Spirit

“Whatever happens in our classrooms, the more potent and ongoing kind of education takes place on the airwaves and on our screens. Cocooned in classrooms for only our first eighteen years or so, we effectively spend the rest of our lives under the tutelage of news entities which wield infinitely greater influence over us than…

What We Really Talk About When We Talk About Love, with Alain de Botton (Part 2)

Book Reviews, Soul + Spirit

This is a two-part book review of Alain de Botton’s The Course of Love. The first part can be found here.  * * * After listening to Michael Krasny’s interview of Alain de Botton on KQED’s Forum, I headed out to see him speak in Corte Madera that evening. The bookstore north of San Francisco was…

What We Really Talk About When We Talk About Love, with Alain de Botton

Book Reviews, Fiction, Soul + Spirit

…is a lot of romanticism. It’s in the movies we watch, the books we read, the music we listen to. From Disney “Princess” films to books and movies inspired by Nicholas Sparks, the irresistible charm of romance permeates our culture. It’s the nostalgia of the fairy tale, it is its allure that keeps us affirming star-crossed…

The Wonders of Philosophy on our Lives, with Alain de Botton

Book Reviews, Soul + Spirit

Philosophy as a tool for practicality, as a means for living our lives more fruitfully. This is what Alain de Botton’s book The Consolations of Philosophy aims to achieve, by exploring the lives of Socrates, Epicurus, Seneca, Montaigne, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. In spite of the vast differences between the many thinkers described as philosophers across time, it…

How to Have a Traveling Mindset, with Alain de Botton

Book Reviews, Soul + Spirit

Alain de Botton does it again — for me at least, with his book The Art of Travel (Shop your local indie bookstore). As a Pisces through and through, the mind is always in another place, city, country or continent far from where the feet are planted. There is a restlessness everyday, and I’m one to…

A Different Way of Looking, with Marcel Proust and Alain de Botton

Book Reviews, Soul + Spirit, Writing

What I know of Marcel Proust: nada. What I know of Alain de Botton: quite a lot, although not personally, but enough for me to dive deep into one of his books, How Proust Can Change Your Life (Shop your local indie bookstore). One of the things that I’ve truly been enamored with Proust/de Botton’s compendium…

An Ode to the Books We Love

Sunday Spotlight

I’ve been immersed in Joshua Hammer’s The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu this past week, learning about manuscripts found in West Africa and across the Sahara desert as Abdel Haidara, the main character, pursues their preservation and restoration. His search for scrolls in homes — whether they are lavish family estates or mud huts in tribal areas of…

I visited the Pierre Bonnard: Painting Arcadia exhibit over the weekend, at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. I have never heard of Bonnard nor seen any of his works before, but as of late anything French has been a keen interest. The second part of the exhibit, curated by Esther Bell features the…

L’intimité de la vie quotidienne, with Adam Gopnik and Pierre Bonnard

Art + Creativity, Book Reviews