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Publisher's Summary

Emotional intelligence affects every aspect of the way we live, from romantic to professional relationships, from our inner resilience to our social success. It is the ultimate soft skill of the 21st century.  

It is also the core focus area of the hugely successful School of Life organisation, founded and run by reigning master of popular philosophy, Alain de Botton. For 10 years this organisation has offered practical guidance and wisdom, from a team of world class specialists, to ordinary people who want to live better. Now this extraordinary body of work is drawn together, shaped and introduced by de Botton himself, in an encyclopaedia of how we interact with each other and with ourselves, and how we can do so better.

©2019 Alain de Botton (P)2019 Penguin Random House UK

What listeners say about The School of Life

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  • lucas9309
  • 27-03-21

every one should read this book

this is one of this books everyone should read and the world would be a better place. I will recommend it to everyone I know

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-08-20

Required listening

I loved this book. The content is very enlightening and the delivery entertaining. Highly recommended

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-05-20

A wonderfully smart and understated read

This is essentially like sitting down to somebody really lovely warm charming and interesting at a dinner party and simply wanting to listen. There is no need to say or add anything, – it is all good sense, and quite warm and wonderful. There is lots of the development of thoughts and themes in Mr de Botton’s various other titles, but good to hear them revisited and explained again.

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  • M.Inés Bustamante
  • 16-01-20

Descubrimiento

Excelente obra. Me ha dado una vision renovada para comprender la vida de una manera mas humana. Quisiera seguir de cerca al autor.
Espero pronto este disponible en español

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  • milene
  • 10-10-19

amazing

best book I've ever read about life, Button is a genius at showing reality in simple, clear ways

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-10-19

More Alain needed....

I bought this as I love the works of Alain, but in particular I adore his voice, which is on the sample recording. I was therefore wholly disappointed that this was not actually narrated by him, as his voice is utterly charming and reassuring. Should have just bought the book and imagined it. :-(

24 people found this helpful

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  • david
  • 29-01-20

The most imporant book ever written

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I realise what a statement that is. Some people may even take offence, but none is intended. Alain de Botton and The School of Life have managed to produce a work that explains "How our minds work". It is titled "Emotional Intelligence". Reading this has laid my mind at peace on so many levels it is simply wondrous. Our knowledge of our emotional inner selves is so poor it beggars belief.
How come the contents of this book have not been openly, publically taught to us before? It's simple; we still don't talk about our deepest fears and issues. Our emotional wellbeing is not a topic for open discussion; the stigma is still too much for most of us, as they point out.
" it remains markedly strange to imagine that it might be possible - or even necessary - to be educated in our own emotional functioning, for example, that we might need to learn(rather than just know) how to avoid sulking or how to interpret our griefs, how to choose a partner or make oneself understood by a colleague."
The book is simply brilliant at breaking down how WE ALL work. This is not a self-help book in my view; it is The self-help book!
It is the first time I have ever come across a book that clearly explains how to think about YOUR personal life, how similar we all are and how to make sense of the myriad thoughts, fears, concerns, obsessions and failings with which we are all preoccupied.
"Our emotions, if left unexamined and unschooled, are liable to lead us into some profoundly counter-productive situations in regard to our love choices, our careers, our friendships and the management of our own moods."
Everyone should read this.
To understand your parents.
To understand why you are the way you are.
To understand everyone else
To help children have a better life
To make the world a better place.


I wish I had been taught this in school.
Why isn't this taught in school?


Being honest I didn't read the book, I listened to it on Audible, which I recommend as having it read to you makes most complex texts a lot easier to digest I find.


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#schooloflife #emotionalintelligence #importantbooks #education

8 people found this helpful

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  • Lars Hansen
  • 03-01-20

Why???

My first question when reading this book was, why on earth has no one told me this before?
This is all the more bewildering as I am a trained psychiatrist.
This book deals head-on with the most complex and universal issues of our lives, such as love, disappointment, expectations. It is truly amazing that these things do not figure on our school curriculum.
At the end there is perhaps an over-reliance on finding wisdom in the arts, especially the visual arts. I think that can feel alienating to some, but this book remains, by far and away, the best attempt I have read on guidance to living a wise life. I’m grateful for what it has added to my life, and perhaps even to my patients’ lives.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Sam Cassidy
  • 19-09-20

It's okay

A book aimed at improving the emotional intelligence and self-knowledge of the already materially comfortable (which is no bad thing, as even when our basic needs are met we still seem to be miserable). The early chapters on self gave me stuff to reflect on. The conservative politics of the Work chapter didn't do it for me. His answer to crap jobs and inequality is not to unionize and demand better. Instead, he wants moreart that lionizes the poor, so that the culture will start to afford the poor more dignity.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jonny Sykes
  • 21-01-20

Well explained and well referenced!

This book will help the listener accept, at least in part, some of the chaos we live within. We’re all a bit of a nitwit, and Alain de Botton explains how that’s a good thing.
10/10 would listen again.

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  • Chris Bledsoe
  • 26-11-19

No emotional education

This book on emotional education comes down to this: pessimism and the valuing of accepting your lot in a life of misery.

Some message.

This book does what liberal 20th/21st century thinkers all do: it knows that life is dissatisfaction, makes no attempt to really, deeply understand why, and then offers absolutely no message of hope or optimism or betterment. It simply offers a limp, stagnant, toothless acceptance of a nihilistic worldview. This isn’t emotional or philosophical or religious, this is simply banality wrapped as profundity.

A hugely disappointing and pessimistic take on what it is to be human. There is also nothing profound, original or deep here either. It is just what you’d expect from an atomised, extremely rich and rootless member of the liberal intelligentsia.

For a REAL emotional education I’d recommend the work of B Alan Wallace, Matthieu Ricard, Osho and others who combine respect for western science with Buddhism and Buddhist mindfulness meditation.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 27-03-21

Fantastic read

The narration is excellent. Very easy to listen to and helps you digest. It’s full of Aha! moments and realisations... I’ve read it twice already! I thoroughly enjoyed each chapter and didn’t want it to end. I highly recommend this book!

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  • Mameha
  • 24-03-21

Disappointing

Some of the content is very thought provoking but this doesn't lend itself well to the audiobook medium because your mind wants to linger on these thoughts and explore them, meanwhile the audio continues and you lose the thread. The paper format would therefore have been better for me, so i can control the pace. Many sections i found difficult to understand what the takeaway point was meant to be, perhaps due my mind wandering off on these tangents. I would suggest to check the chapters, if you would like to intellectually explore those concepts then give this a try, but like me you might only get a handful of new insights.

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  • I.L.OWEN
  • 24-02-21

Enjoyed

I found the second half much more interesting and thought provoking, although that might be as I've recently read a lot on relationships recently which the first half focuses on.

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  • Rafal
  • 19-02-21

Excellent take on psychology & emotional intelligence

I am a big fan of The School of Life and I find their understanding of the world fascinating, altering your own perception. I thought some chapters were not relevant to me (but still interesting) while other ones were well written and straight to the point.
I loved how the words were flowing effortlessly from the authors, which made the listening experience so pleasurable.
I highly recommend it.

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  • Hydraken
  • 21-11-19

Shockingly dreary, shallow

This is a terribly repetitious, boring, vapid book. The worst release yet from The School of Life. It has as much wisdom as a 5 minute School of Life YouTube video, but repeats itself on loop.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Bruce McNatty
  • 20-10-19

Middle Class English Advice for Life

Has some good advice for " life." But the style of presentation is so very middle class English, and seems to be directed at the Worried Well which became dull in places. There are also some quite strong pronouncements made throughout the book, but with no sources offered to substantiate them. Are they evidence - based, or written just from the author's perspective? But the book contains lots of great food for thought and is well worth the read/listen.

2 people found this helpful

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  • S H Blake
  • 09-09-20

Thought provoking and a call to action

I really enjoyed the journey that this book took me on. Regardless if you agree with everything it is an excellent thought experiment and challenges some of our preconceptions

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 18-02-21

Really enjoyed it!

It was a little heavy and slow in the beginning, but some great take-aways on human psychology once it got into the meat of it. I think the second time around would be even better!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-07-20

I feel so much better now.

What an amazing, amusing and must read book. Thank you Allain for letting me know that my silliness, craziness and strangeness is, in fact, ok and very normal. I feel whole for the first time in a long time. I highly recommend this book for its wonderful insights into normal human behaviour - the why’s and how’s - that, until now, I thought was shameful and broken.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 19-05-20

Full of life lessons

I learned a lot about myself, my baby and my life after reading this book.

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  • Charlotte
  • 04-02-20

Everyone should read this to improve who they are.

This book is full of self-reflection, epiphanies about the human condition, and encourages a wider appreciation for the world and the people in it.