The Consolations of Philosophy

A gentle introduction to philosophy for those of us without a background in the subject, The Consolations of Philosophy by Alain de Botton muses on some of life’s seemingly intractable problems and garners advice from some of history’s most eminent and interesting philosophers. From Socrates to Nietzche via Epicurus and Montaigne Alain de Botton shows us that our lot isn’t as bad as we thought it was, and even if it is some very smart people can show you that you aren’t suffering alone.

Part history, part gentle introduction to philosophy and part discussion of life’s foibles, the book is as relevant today as when the various sources were written. It’s also incredibly well planned and written. and as such is a thoroughly good read. Even if the mere thought of philosophy turns you off there’s still some great advice here on being unpopular, unloved or just plain curmudgeonly. Guess which part I liked the best?