Wednesday, May 9

How to save the Selp Help Book

It's the view of some that there's nothing more destructive than a self help book. They certainly get bad press. And are often shunned among those that regard themselves as upwardly literate. Alain de Botton begs to differ. He's made self improvement or perhaps, more pointedly, self examination something of a crusade. A stylishly written, beautifully crafted and highly engaging crusade at that. Lifestyle philosophy it's been called - but probably not by AdB - as he's unpicked and parsed modern life. Travel. Love. Proust. Architecture. Religion (or Athesim) have all come under the pen. He took his thinking onto the street with The School of Life where sermons and workshops on making more of life comprise at least some of the curriculum. And a shop of interesting gifts too. Retail therapy cures many a short term ill.

Now comes TSOL's How To series by some fellow teachers at TSOL. De Botton asks us to think more about sex. My piece in the Irish Times on Saturday May 5 was about a bit more, not that you'd know it from the headline here.