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The School of Life: An Emotional Education

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  162 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Discover everything you were never taught at school about how to lead a better life...

Introduced and edited by the bestselling author of The Consolations of Philosophy, The Art of Travel and The Course of Love

We spend years in school learning facts and figures but the one thing we're never taught is how to live a fulfilled life. That's why we need The School of Life - a
Published September 5th 2019 by Hamish Hamilton
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Anastasiya Mozgovaya
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
i think everyone should get this book on the day they are born. and then go through living keeping it by their side. i feel like this should become my go-to gift.

smart, soothing, wise, philosophical, direct, daring, kind. truly a must-read for everyone!
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you’re a long-time fan of the School of Life then there won’t actually be much in this collection of essays that you haven’t already seen. But if you’re new to De Botton’s philosophical capitalist venture, then you’ll find herein a smorgasbord of intellectual medication, concentrated in pill form, equally effective when either taken in small doses, or downed in one.
Stijn Zanders
Nov 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great ideas, though it feels too much of a compilation of them. Would have liked it if the ideas were more connected.
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
“We aren’t ever done with the odd business of becoming that most extraordinary and prized of things, an emotionally mature person—or, to put in a simpler way, an almost grown-up adult.”- Alain De Botton

The School of Life: An Emotional Education comprises essays on how to survive in the modern world by mastering our emotions. Alain De Botton founded The School of Life 10 years ago to help people nurture and hone their emotional intelligence, an aspect that remains conveniently overlooked in our
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a profound book that provides some incisive advice on life and relationships from the perspective of one's emotional life. The prose is often close to poetic and no punches are pulled when it comes to facing reality and living well. Almost every paragraph has something useful and memorable to say. This is no platitudinous self-help book. It is challenging and sometimes confronting, but deeply resonant with those who know they are flawed human beings struggling to live a better life. If ...more
Maddie Nastase
This is a wonderful introduction to the concepts and philosophy of The School.

However, if you're already familiar with them and have been following them for a while and have read some of their other books, you'll find very little new material here. The 'Relationship' section of the book is identical with their 'Relationships' book published a few years ago, which was disappointing to find out.
Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
As others have stated, many of the concepts in "The School of Life: An Emotional Education" is, to the point of verbatim in some cases, from other texts, their own Youtube channel, or blog. This shouldn't deter anyone from reading this book, however, as much of the book weaves a more complete and complex relationship between self, others, and how we view ourselves as connected and inter-connected. That, I believe, is the true merit of this book.

That said, this book really shines in the first
Ali Hussein
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
WOW. What a Boring and Tedious book. Truly a let down and overhyped. The book seemed to go on a constant tangent throughout. Constantly going excessively into detail about anything and everything. 17 price point for this book is ridiculous. The only reason I haven’t given it 1 star is because I learnt a couple of things from it aha. ...more
Jeffrey Howard
Nov 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help-how-to
Our families, schools, churches, and universities do not sufficiently educate, counsel, or nurture us. Neither do our museums, community organizations, sports clubs, or restaurants (yes, even the places we dine can play a role). Many of us mire in the existential tasks we face daily, scrambling for a wise mentor to relieve us of our emotional ineptitudes—worse off are those not seeking a corrective, unaware of their psychological and social shortcomings.

The School of Life: An Emotional
Dec 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

3.5 Stars!

De Botton may only take credit for the introduction to this book, but you can hear his voice all the way through it. This is a compilation of philosophy, advice and other insights, most of which will be familiar to those who have watched those many videos online or have read any of the books.

I can see both sides of the coin with this book, in one sense I see why the growing franchise can be accused of stating the obvious and repeating old ideas, but on the other hand it gets into some
Nov 17, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really really wanted to love this because I love other products from the School of Life like their ‚Emotional First Aid Kit‘.

First, what I did love was the book itself as in the binding, the cover and the thickness and softness of the paper used.

Content-wise the intro didn’t speak to me. The next
third I thought was interesting and then I started losing focus and by the 2nd half I was quickly browsing through. It might be better suited as a reference book to look chapters up in particular
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am giving this book to important people in my life. If I could pass down wisdom from all my years of searching, hurting, experiencing and trying to run from myself, it would be in the form of the valuable and conscientious wisdom The School of Life imparts. Why did it take me 64 years to find such a concise volume of what really matters.
Michelle Gomes
Nov 17, 2019 rated it liked it
"Whatever happens to us, whatever we do, is of no consequence from the point of view of the universe". Great views over understanding oneself, relationships and the world around us. Particularly liked the ironic critique of 'supermarkets' by Xu Zhen and the japanese concept of kintsugi
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A book I wish I‘d have had in my late 20ies and early 30ies. Why don‘t we teach this in schools?
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I would give it 6 stars. So helpful!
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Alain de Botton is a writer and television producer who lives in London and aims to make philosophy relevant to everyday life. He can be contacted by email directly via

He is a writer of essayistic books, which refer both to his own experiences and ideas- and those of artists, philosophers and thinkers. It's a style of writing that has been termed a 'philosophy of everyday
“So we must learn to disappoint ourselves at leisure before events take us by surprise.” 0 likes
“because we rely for our self-esteem and sense of comfort on the love of people we cannot control and whose needs and hopes will never align seamlessly with our own.” 0 likes
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