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Cheryl's books

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The Collected Stories
John McGahern
George Eliot
Omensetter's Luck
William H. Gass
Swann's Way
Marcel Proust, Lydia Davis
A Naked Singularity (Paper)
Sergio De La Pava
The Master and Margarita
Mikhail Bulgakov, Richard Pevear, Larissa Volokhonsky
Otherwise Known as the Human Condition: Selected Essays and Reviews
Geoff Dyer
Infinite Jest
David Foster Wallace
Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self
Claire Tomalin
Maps and Legends
Michael Chabon
The Architecture of Happiness - Alain de Botton At first I thought the nouns should be reversed, ie, the Happiness of Architecture. But I began to realise that the book isn't so much about architecture as it is about people and how they express themselves with architecture, as they do with other art forms. He is using architecture to explain humans. He anthropomorphises archictecture. Architecture becomes a frozen emotion. He says that “In essence, what works of design and architecture talk to us about is the kind of life that would most appropriately unfold within and around them” Design is used to show what we want to be, or what we want our values to be. It springs from “…the need for idealised forms to stand as a defence against all that remains corrupt and unimaginative within us.” The human psyche naturally seeks balance and ‘beautiful’ architecture provides that, a psychological balance and therefore mental well being and happiness. “In literature, too,” he says, “we admire prose in which a small and astutely arranged set of words has been constructed to carry a large consignment of ideas.” De Botton’s book is just that: a small and astutely arranged set of words that carries a large consignment of ideas. Which brought me to happiness.