Alain de Botton is a favourite author of mine, and in August 2008 he set up, along with other artists and thinkers, The School of Life: ‘a new cultural enterprise based in central London offering intelligent instruction on how to lead a fulfilled life.’

It’s still a new project, and therefore exciting to see how this brave and fun concept will take off. But anyone who has read Alain’s books or watched his films will be hooked.

For those who don’t know him, his writing covers a variety of genres (travel, architecture, fiction), but there is a common thread of living the examined life, and applying philosophy to important everyday concerns. ‘Essays in Love’ and ‘The Consolations of Philosophy’ are great starting points. View his work here, and look out for the very charming and lesser-known DVDs.

D x