Tag Archives: Psychology

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] picadorusa.com


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

Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Decline by Steven Pinker

The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined
Steven Pinker

On Sale: October 4, 2011
This title is available on Netgalley

“Classic Pinker, jammed with facts, figures, and points of speculative departure; a big, complex book, well worth the effort for the good news that it delivers.”—Kirkus Reviews

In his most important and provocative book to date, Steven Pinker broadens his ongoing inquiry into the nature of human nature to tackle a paradox of modern life: that contrary to what most people believe, violence has been in decline for millennia, and we may be living in the most peaceful era in human history. In THE BETTER ANGELS OF OUR NATURE: Why Violence Has Declined (Viking; On-Sale Date: October 4, 2011; ISBN: 978-0670022953; Pages: 848; $40.00), Pinker—psychologist, cognitive neuroscientist, linguist, intellectual polymath—pulls out all the stops in this dazzling sweep across centuries of human life.

About the Author:
Steven Pinker is an experimental psychologist and one of the world’s foremost writers on language, mind, and human nature. Currently Harvard College Professor and Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, Pinker has also taught at Stanford and MIT. His research on visual cognition and the psychology of language has won prizes from the National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Institution of Great Britain, the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, and the American Psychological Association. He has also received six honorary doctorates, several teaching awards at MIT and Harvard, and numerous prizes for his books The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, and The Blank Slate. He is Chair of the Usage Panel of the American Heritage Dictionary, and often writes for The New York Times, Time, and The New Republic. He has been named Humanist of the Year, Prospect magazine’s “The World’s Top 100 Public Intellectuals,” Foreign Policy’s “100 Global Thinkers,” and Time magazine’s “The 100 Most Influential People in the World Today.”

For More Information:
Press Release for Download
Interview Alert with Talking Points For Download
Cover Image for Download
Author Photo for Download
Author’s website
Steven Pinker at TED on the myth of violence (opens with sound)

For a review copy, please contact gabrielle.gantz [at] us.penguingroup.com

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Filed under Current Events / Politics, History, Politics, Psychology, Sociology