umberto's Reviews > Essays in Love

Essays in Love by Alain de Botton
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Dec 03, 2010

it was ok
Read in March, 2007

In fact, I bought this book on my birthday and read it three years ago. It's quite readable since the author wrote in numbered essays under each Chapter with various lengths, e.g. Chapter 1 Romantic Fatalism, there are 18 essays, Chapter 2 Idealization - 14, Chapter 3 The Subtext of Seduction - 16, etc. till the end, that is, Chapter 24 Love Lessons. You may try reading any chapter you like to test your love hypothesis and see come what may.

Here are some of my favorite lines:

1. Cupid's arrow easier to send than receive. (p. 44)
2. Albert Camus suggested that we fall in love with people because, from the outside, they look so whole, physically whole and emotionally 'together' - when subjectively, we feel dispersed and confused. (pp. 49-50)
3. If you like them at the beginning, you probably won't like them at the end. And if you start off hating them, there's always the chance you'll end up thinking they're all right. (p. 61)
4. As Proust once said, classically beautiful women should be left to men without imagination. (p. 76)
5. 'A man can acquire anything in solitude except a character,' wrote Stendhal, suggesting that character has its genesis in the reactions of others to our words and actions.

10 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Essays in Love.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

06/30 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-17 of 17) (17 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Leo (new)

Leo Ha! Ha! I like no. 4 ^_^

umberto Thanks, Leo, I think Proust had some good quotes for us to think but I still have less motive in reading his formidable novel, "In Search of Lost Time". I was somewhere at page 169 of "Swan's Way" (Penguin 2004) translated by Lydia Davis. And you?

umberto Thanks, Jeanie, for liking the review. However, I'd appreciate your view on the book too.

message 4: by Arlina (new)

Arlina Oh just two stars? That surprises me, I haven't read this book but I found "How Proust can change your Life" quite enjoyable. Is this much lesser?

message 5: by umberto (last edited Dec 04, 2010 01:56PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

umberto Thanks, Arlina. Yes, I'm sorry to reach my decision like that since his "How Proust Can Change Your Life" is more enjoyable. I mean it's more philosophical, practical and illustrative than "Essays In Love". In brief, it's of different caliber and depth.

umberto Thanks, Sarah, I appreciate your encouragement.

umberto Thanks, أميــــرة, I appreciate your encouragement.

umberto Thanks, Jennifer, I appreciate your encouragement.

message 9: by Tal (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tal I read your review, but didn't understand why you gave it 2 stars. I didn't read it yet so I'm just looking around looking for opinions. So, why 2 stars?

umberto Because I compared it to his "How Proust Can Change Your Life".

message 11: by Zmuda (new) - added it

Zmuda That's like rating "To Kill a Mockingbird" 2 stars because you thought "1984" was better.

umberto Thanks for your message; in fact, I rated "To Kill a Mockingbird" 4 stars (

umberto Thanks, Alaa, I appreciate your encouragement.

umberto Thanks, Zainab, I appreciate your encouragement.

umberto Thanks, * Bar *, I appreciate your encouragement.

umberto Thanks, Henry, I appreciate your encouragement.

umberto Thanks, Abubakar, I appreciate your encouragement.

back to top