“The Architecture of Happiness” by Alain de Botton

I first encountered de Botton when I bought a copy of Status Anxiety from my future employer. The straightforward language and simple layout, and the personality of the prose appealed to me in a way that other philosophical books have not. I have always intended, given my Classical tendencies, to learn more about the evolution of philosophical thought. I want to become more mindful, more aware of myself, as well as enriching my ability to rant on tangents to my research.

I was, of course, really quite eager to pick up a copy of The Architecture of Happiness, and to expand my acquaintance with de Botton’s arguments. I perhaps found more personal resonance in the text than others might; the British, the Japanese, and Classical Europe seem engineered towards my education and experiences. However the interaction between identity, culture, art, pragmatism, and the justifications we use for the expenditure of energy and resources on our buildings is accessible to any reader.

Get it. Read it. If you must, look for the television series instead, but I guarantee that reading this will not take long – only two hours myself, far less time than the final Harry Potter novel – and the enhanced experience of any human-built structures is well worth the effort.

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