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How to Be Alone: The School of Life

(2015-09-18 09:45:27) 下一个

Girlfriend of Bill Clinton at Oxford, she now lives alone, making a book out of this alone life, out of changing world in the earth village - how so? Can you? How? Regardless, you may agree: "I liked it a lot and smiled quite a bit reading the book."

"Offering experiments and strategies for overturning our fear of solitude, she helps us practice it without anxiety and encourages us to see the benefits of spending time by ourselves. By indulging in the experience of being alone, we can be inspired to find our own rewards and ultimately lead more enriched, fuller lives."

Then, you may like to read her book:

The Writer's Way: Realise Your Creative Potential and Become a Successful AuthorKindle Edition

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How to Be Alone (The School of Life)Paperback– Deckle Edge, September 2, 2014

IN THIS AGE OF CONSTANT CONNECTIVITY, LEARN HOW TO ENJOY SOLITUDE AND FIND HAPPINESS WITHOUT OTHERS.

Our fast-paced society does not approve of solitude; being alone is antisocial and some even find it sinister. Why is this so when autonomy, personal freedom, and individualism are more highly prized than ever before? In How to Be Alone, Sara Maitland answers this question by exploring changing attitudes throughout history. Offering experiments and strategies for overturning our fear of solitude, she helps us practice it without anxiety and encourages us to see the benefits of spending time by ourselves. By indulging in the experience of being alone, we can be inspired to find our own rewards and ultimately lead more enriched, fuller lives.

Editorial Reviews

Review

In an age of moral and practical confusions, the self-help book is crying out to be redesigned and rehabilitated. The School of Life announces a rebirth with a series that examines the great issues of life, including money, sanity, work, technology, and the desire to alter the world for the better. (Alain de Botton, The School of Life Series Editor)

Self-Help Books for the Rest of Us. (The New York Times)

About the Author

 

Sara Maitland is the British author of numerous works of fiction, including the Somerset Maugham Award-winning Daughter of Jerusalem, and several nonfiction books, including A Book of Silence. Born in 1950, she studied at Oxford University and lives in Galloway, Scotland.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By clahain on October 5, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
In How to Be Alone, Sara Maitland offers an interesting historical/cultural view of solitude and considers its place in modern life. She presents the meaning and value of being alone as a sort of pendulum that has swung back and forth in popularity through time. I'm not sure I agree with a conclusion based on such limited evidence. Just because ancient Romans valued public life to excess doesn't mean the same was true of other cultures in existence at the time. What about China and the Near East?

I'm also not sure Maitland makes her case that a strong preference for solitude is seen as a huge eccentricity in modern western culture. Rather, we seem to be living in an era when widely differing modes of living are acceptable. A lot, of course, may depend on profession and age. In the corporate world, being reclusive might indeed get someone pigeonholed as sensitive or introverted or a "deep thinker." School-age kids and young adults who like to be alone probably run a greater risk of peer and parental backlash than older people do. Also, Maitland doesn't really address how modern technology has blurred the lines of what constitutes "being alone." People can now carry on active social lives without ever leaving their homes. Yet, physically, they are still alone.

Maitland does admit that her previous memoir/cultural history A BOOK OF SILENCE suffered a bit from the confusion of the terms "alone" and "silence." The same confusion is present in HOW TO BE ALONE, but I don't think it's a flaw. Rather, the two concepts naturally share the same space. Kind of like conjoined twins, you can't easily tease them apart or examine one without considering the other.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful

 

By solostyle on October 6, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Pretty good. She sounds a bit bitter about her ex-husband, but maybe that's expected of failed relationships. She spends a sizable chunk of the book defending solitude, which kind of thing doesn't really persuade me. I'm already in love with solitude. I felt a slightly combative tone, too, which is probably needed given the audience she writes for, but I think it's an unfortunate necessity. All these are minor criticisms from a sensitive reader, but overall it's a good book. It's a great companion to a person who needs a little nudge in the right direction.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful

 

By tombarnes on February 11, 2015

 

Format: Paperback
My Mater always made me feel like a freak because I liked to be alone. One of the reviewers here, said this book should more aptly be titled ‘Its OK to be alone’ and I would agree but then that does make the title kind of Doctor Phil-ish. At any rate this book confirmed dozens of my feelings about being alone. Read this book if you lean toward the introvert-ish type of Myers-Briggs personality.
I worked at a large Library for most of my life and periodically they would have a new higher-level bureaucrat who would make us take the Myers Briggs to justify that new feather in their cap. With the exception of the feather wearer most of us came out as I’s (Introvert)not E’s(Extrovert), horrors! But we just went on turning those pages or nowadays…clicking that mouse. There are a lot of crypto-I's underpinning our huge modern bureaucracies.
The author has a good grasp on our Zeitgeist and its over worded chitty chatty I-just-drank-a-double espresso at Starbucks approved persona that is emblematic of our time. That person would say, “I just loved loved, loved, the book…absolutely, absolutely.”
But if you are a person who might have had the thought that you think more deeply and more rationally when you are alone, this book will confirm in writing, your thoughts. I would say, "I liked it a lot and smiled quite a bit reading the book."
My one bone to pick, is I do have a dog. I spend a lot of time with her. She notices stuff I do not when we are gamboling in the woods. She is a lot of work but all in all she keeps my mind off of the overly rational parts of my Self, and I like that. I would say that is the one problem with too much alone time, you do have a tendency to go a little too deep for the rest of the Dunbar tribe. A dog keeps your feet on the ground and your thoughts more comprehensibly shallow. So I recommend the book highly but I also recommend an accompanying female Labrador Retriever you do not overfeed.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By JCher on January 15, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have enjoyed other books in this series and was looking forward to reading this one. The title is misleading, though. A better title would be, "Why Being Alone is Okay." I agree that a desire for solitude is okay -- but then again, I already thought that before I began this book (otherwise I would not bother picking it up at all, right?). The vast majority of the book is devoted to examining and refuting the idea that to be alone is selfish and/or pathological, including an examination of the origins of that idea. This seems to be a topic the author has been ruminating about quite bitterly, having been criticized by others for her lifestyle, and she wants to write about that -- but anyone likely to pick up this book probably does not share that view anyway and is looking for the advice the title suggests will be the subject. Not until 70% of the book has already passed (according to my kindle) does she turn from these preliminary matters to "the Joys of Solitude." The author tells us early on that her previous book was widely criticized for purporting to be about one thing (silence), but then turning out to be largely about another (solitude). I'm not surprised, and I'm afraid she has done it again.

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