Category Archives: Self Help

This is How: Surviving What You Think You Can’t by Augusten Burroughs

This Is HowThis is How: Surviving What You Think You Can’t
Augusten Burroughs
Picador Paperback
Publication Date: April 23, 2013

For review copies (US and Canada only) or to schedule an interview with Augusten Burroughs, please email gabrielle.gantz [at]


“The last self-help book you’ll ever read.”—The Huffington Post

“This darkly funny self-help tract is like a mental tickle attack.”—Self

“All of the wisdom [Burroughs] dispenses in his new book — delivered with the dark, acidic humor we’ve come to expect — is certainly well-earned….Though the book offers no quick fixes — and refreshingly so — Burroughs provides a hefty cache of raw material for self-betterment….the author is a memorable guide on the road from darkness to light.”—The Boston Globe

“Most sections straddle the line between supportive empowerment and tough love and are written with the author’s characteristic dark humor, which consistently entertains and, as the pages turn, earnestly educates.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Hilarious and searingly straight forward…Burroughs turns the self-help genre upside-down.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

If you’re fat and fail every diet, if you’re thin but can’t get thin enough, if you lose your job, if your child dies, if you are diagnosed with cancer, if you always end up with exactly the wrong kind of person, if you always end up alone, if you can’t get over the past, if your parents are insane and ruining your life, if you really and truly wish you were dead, if you feel like it’s your destiny to be a star, if you believe life has a grudge against you, if you don’t want to have sex with your spouse and don’t know why, if you feel so ashamed, if you’re lost in life. If you have ever wondered, how am I supposed to survive this? THIS IS HOW: Surviving What You Think You Can’t (Picador / On Sale: April 23, 2013 / ISBN: 978-1-250-03210-2 / $15.00) is a groundbreaking book by Augusten Burroughs that explores how to survive what you think you can’t.

In an interview Augusten can discuss:
• Why aphorisms are unhelpful
• Why putting your best foot forward hinders your chances of finding a suitable partner
• How to break obsessions
• Why he is qualified to write a self-help book
• Why you can learn more from failure than success
• Why suicide is a sign of hope
• Why true understanding of the past is never attainable
• The dangers of long-term therapy
• The problem with Alcoholics Anonymous
• Why preparing for someone’s death is impossible and what can be done instead

AUGUSTEN BURROUGHS is the number one New York Times bestselling author of A Wolf at the Table, Possible Side Effects, Magical Thinking, Dry, Running with Scissors, and Sellevision.

Augusten Burroughs on Facebook
Augusten Burroughs on Twitter
Cover image for download
Augusten on MSNBC’s Morning Joe (opens with sound)

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Filed under Self Help

The School of Life Presents: How to Change the World and How to Find Fulfilling Work

School of Life









How to Change the World by John-Paul Flintoff
How to Find Fulfilling Work by Roman Krznaric
A Picador Original Series
Publication Date: April 23, 2013
Business / Careers / Self-Help / Education

For review copies (US and Canada only) or to schedule an interview with John-Paul Flintoff or Roman Krznaric, please email gabrielle.gantz [at]

“Alain de Botton … has begun issuing a new series of books, written by himself and others, titled The School of Life. A better and more aspirational name for this series might be Self-Help Books for the Rest of Us.”
—Dwight Garner, The New York Times

“[How to Change the World] will provide plenty of fodder for conversation between burgeoning activists. … as a first push toward directing one’s energies outward, this is an encouraging primer.”—Publishers Weekly

“A credible book to inspire even the most cynical among us.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Flintoff has not written a history, though he has woven the essential historical facts into his narrative. He has done something far more rewarding and entertaining.”—The Times Literary Supplement

“Entertaining and thoughtful…Flintoff is the gentlest of moralists.”
—Financial Times

“Manages to be both supremely entertaining and an invaluable social document.”—Telegraph

We all want to live in a better world, but sometimes it feels that we lack the ability to make a difference. Author, broadcaster, and journalist John-Paul Flintoff offers a powerful reminder that through the generations, society has been transformed by the actions of individuals who understood that if they didn’t like something they could change it. Combining fresh new insights from history, and other disciplines, this book will give you a sense of what might just be possible, as well as the inspiration and the courage you need to improve and change the world.

In an interview, John-Paul Flintoff can discuss:

  • Why making a difference in the world is not just for bleeding-heart liberals
  • Why working for an NGO is not inherently good
  • How acting locally is more effective and fulfilling than helping on a large scale
  • Why enjoying the solution is just as important as obtaining the goal
  • The importance of small steps over having a grand plan

JOHN-PAUL FLINTOFF is an author, broadcaster and journalist. He has written several highly praised books. In one, Sew Your Own, he investigated sweat shops and global resource shortages. As a writer with the Financial Times and The Sunday Times, Flintoff has changed government policy, and raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for good causes. He lives in London. You can find him online at

“An inspirational self-help book with an intellectual pedigree.”—Kirkus

“[Roman Krznaric’s] thought exercises pose important questions…and invite readers to imagine what they might be doing in parallel universes.”—Publishers Weekly

“Krznaric is a congenial writer, and the interweaving of historical fact, psychology, and interviews is nicely done.”—Steven Poole, The Guardian

The desire for fulfilling work is one of the great aspirations of our age. This book reveals explores the competing claims we face for money, status, and meaning in our lives. Drawing on wisdom from a variety of disciplines, cultural thinker Roman Krznaric sets out a practical guide to negotiating the labyrinth of choices, overcoming fear of change, and finding a career in which you thrive. Overturning a century of traditional thought about career change, Krznaric reveals just what it takes to find life-enhancing work.

In an interview, Roman Krznaric can discuss:

  • How we’ve become obsessed with specialization, and should consider becoming a generalist rather than a specialist
  • Why we need to reject the standard ‘plan then implement’ model sold to us by careers advisers
  • Why businesses need to offer their employees community and an opportunity to put their values into practice
  • How to take an experimental approach to career change, such as going on a ‘radical sabbatical’
  • What philosophy can teach us about career change – from Aristotle to Bertrand Russell
  • What history can teach us about career change – the Renaissance, the industrial revolution
  • How we need to rethink the ideal of ‘having it all’, and how men and women can support each other in the search for fulfilling work

ROMAN KRZNARIC is a cultural thinker and founding faculty member of The School of Life. He advises organizations including Oxfam and the United Nations on using empathy and conversation to create social change, and has been named by The Observer as one of Britain’s leading lifestyle philosophers. His works, including The Wonderbox: Curious Histories of How to Live and The First Beautiful Game: Stories of Obsession in Real Tennis, have been translated into over a dozen languages. You can find him online at

The School of Life website
John-Paul Flintoff on How to Change the World (video)
Roman Krznaric on How to Find Fulfilling Work (video)
Roman’s blog at Psychology Today
How to Change the World (cover image)
How to Find Fulfilling Work (cover image)

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Filed under Business, Education, Paperback Original, Self Help, Young Adult

The School of Life Presents: How to Think More About Sex and How to Stay Sane









How to Think More About Sex by Alain de Botton
How to Stay Sane by Philippa Perry
A Picador Original / $16.00 / 208pp
Publication Date: December 24, 2012 (January 2013)
Self Help / Psychology / Sexuality

For review copies (US and Canada only) or to schedule an interview with Alain de Botton or Philippa Perry, please email gabrielle.gantz [at]


How to Think More About Sex

“De Botton is never prescriptive, and the intellectual rigor of his investigation prevents this book from settling into a self-help reference guide.”
—Publishers Weekly

“By encouraging readers to understand their desires and manifestations of sexuality in new and more reflective ways, de Botton’s addition to the School of Life series offers a tantalizing discourse on this endlessly fascinating, and eternally misunderstood, subject.”—Booklist

“De Botton addresses and reframes the origins of attraction and desire, the definition of ‘sexy,’ sexual pleasure and problems, pornography, adultery, and myriad other down-and-dirty topics. This is a thoughtful and profoundly useful examination of contemporary sexuality, and I can’t recommend it enough.”Rebecca Joines Schinsky, BookRiot

How to Stay Sane

“Right off the bat, it’s clear her [Perry’s] intention is not to transform the clinically crazy into functioning members of society; rather this brief book is aimed at everyday folks struggling to ‘remain stable and yet flexible, coherent and yet able to embrace complexity.’ … her inviting tone (complimented by lighthearted illustrations throughout) and friendly prose make this an accessible addition to the School of Life publications.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Using stories from her therapy practice to illustrate her points as well as numerous exercises to conduct alone, with a loved one or within a group, Perry brings new light to a well-visited subject.”—Kirkus

“In her pithy contribution to the School of Life series, Perry explores the components of a rational lifestyle on many levels. … Concluding that there is no single “right” approach for every person or lifestyle, Perry helpfully supports her recommendations with practical exercises that, she posits, may preclude the need for external psychotherapeutic intervention. Throughout, Perry offers guidance that is both revelatory and achievable.”—Booklist


HOW TO THINK MORE ABOUT SEX (Picador Original / On Sale: January 2013 / ISBN 978-1-250-03065-8 / $16.00 / 208 pages) by Alain de Botton is a frank appraisal of how sex is had—or not had—among people in the 21st century.

In HOW TO THINK MORE ABOUT SEX,de Botton argues that there is a dissonance between what we think is normal and what we experience in real life concerning sex and our sexual lives. Sometimes we don’t feel what we think we’re supposed to feel.  This book examines the implications of desire, lust, commitment and love, claiming that these things are all a precarious balancing act. De Botton honestly assesses the confusion of having sex in the modern age, including such subjects as fetishes, pornography, and threesomes. This smart, thought-provoking investigation offers readers both insight and comfort into the sex that they are—or are not—having.

Topics Alain de Botton discusses in the book and/or can be discussed in an interview:

  • The difficulties of monogamy
  • The dangers of pornography
  • Why we are attracted to certain people
  • What we look for in love and sex
  • Why sex dies – and has to die – within couples
  • Why sex is best with strangers
  • Why marriage needs to be rethought.
  • The importance of self-help books: of the right kind
  • Why academics have largely abandoned their responsibilities to ‘daily life’.

ALAIN DE BOTTON is the best-selling author of How Proust Can Change Your Life, The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work and, most recently, Religion for Atheists, among other works of fiction and essays. He is well-known for making complex philosophical and artistic subjects accessible for a wider audience. De Botton founded The School of Life, a series of lectures in London that aim to make academic learning applicable to real life. With the success of the school, this concept has been adapted into the School of Life book series. De Botton lives and works in London. You can follow Alain on Twitter at @alaindebotton.


HOW TO STAY SANE (Picador Original / On Sale: January 2013 / ISBN 978-1-250-03064-1 / $16.00 / 208 pages) by Philippa Perryis a practical and engaging guide to the often difficult task of not losing your mind in the modern age.
Both practical and engagingly written, HOW TO STAY SANE offers a brilliant explanation of our minds as well as profound advice for living a life less tortured. While decidedly not an easy task, Perry has developed a digestible four-pronged strategy for staying sane, applicable to anyone: learn to observe yourself more carefully, analyze how you relate to others, fill your life with unusual experiences and think of new ways to reinvent yourself. This refreshing, exuberant guide, drawing on the latest discoveries in psychology and neuroscience, gives readers new ways to examine themselves and how to relate to the world.

Topics Philippa Perry discusses in the book and/or can be discussed in an interview:

  • Her work as a psychotherapist
  • Mental health issues and psychotherapy
  • Any cultural issue and how it relates to her research as a psychotherapist
  • Age, sex, race, disability, and gender
  • The importance of childhood, specifically the first few months and years of life
  • The importance of being comfortable with vulnerability

PHILIPPA PERRY is a psychotherapist and writer who has written pieces for The Guardian, The Observer, Time Out, and Healthy Living magazine. In 2010, she wrote the wry graphic novel Couch Fiction, in which she demystifies the practice of therapy using the form of a case study. She is married to Turner Prize–winning artist Grayson Perry. You can follow Philippa on Twitter at @philippa_perry.

The School of Life website
Alain de Botton discusses The School of Life on On Being with Krista Tippett
Alain’s author photo (credit included in file name)
Philippa’s author photo (credit included in file name)
How to Think More About Sex (cover image)
How to Stay Sane (cover image)

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Filed under Health, Psychology, Self Help