The School of Life is a series of books launched by Alain de Botton or I think commissioned by him. Each book is unique and different in the sense that each book speaks of a different aspect of life – which either people do not talk of or just plainly ignore. These are lessons on how to live life better, not to be mistaken for a self-help series (though they do that at some level), but more like a lesson, a guide, something which can be tweaked to your choice or preference.
The various books in this series are about how to think more about sex, how to find fulfilling work, how to worry less about money (this should be everyone’s read), how to change the world, and lastly the one which I will be reviewing right now – How to Stay Sane by Philippa Perry. The book works on a simple premise: In today’s world, we need more mental health than ever. We need to take care of it and not let go of it. The book just tells us how.
“How to Stay Sane” just lets the readers know how to actually remain sane – connecting with the situation and at the same time giving a very objective view to the entire concept. The book is divided into small chapters – dealing with Self-Observation, to relating to others, to dealing with stress and finally rounding it with what is the story and a couple of exercises to actually work on being sane.
While it appear to be a self-help book in most ways, How to Stay Sane is not in so many other. The writing is crisp, to the point and very subtly laced with humour and simplicity. The mind is studied most often and to figure why we get the way we do. The way our relationships function, the stress most jobs cause and how we can actually deal with all of it. A great book to be read without any prejudice or pre-conceived notions.