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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Joys of Solitude
Written in an easy style, it was a joy to read. Also at less than 200 pages, it took only a few hours to go through it. The first few chapters delved into why solitude is frowned upon these days. This was followed by chapters on how to be alone. The final part of the book focused on the joys of solitude. Indeed there is a lot to be gained from being alone and this book...
Published 5 months ago by Amina Ado

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Outlines first steps to enjoying solitude
‘Loner' has become a dirty word, serving as polite code for loser, weirdo and even potential serial killer (‘I'm not surprised they found all those bones in his back garden, he was always a loner … ’). But at the same time, we revere the solitary genius, the hermit, the artist musing in a garret. This is why the first step to enjoying solitude,...
Published 4 months ago by K. Logan


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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Outlines first steps to enjoying solitude, 3 Mar 2014
By 
K. Logan "urban fairytaler" (Glasgow) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How to Be Alone (School of Life) (Kindle Edition)
‘Loner' has become a dirty word, serving as polite code for loser, weirdo and even potential serial killer (‘I'm not surprised they found all those bones in his back garden, he was always a loner … ’). But at the same time, we revere the solitary genius, the hermit, the artist musing in a garret. This is why the first step to enjoying solitude, says Sara Maitland, is to let go of stereotypes and accept that, to some extent, we all need time alone.

Like many self-help books, How to be Alone initially focuses less on the how and more on the why. Although an uncomfortable idea to accept, it's hard to argue with Maitland's point that perhaps we fear solitude because we don't want to know how empty our heads really are. More encouragingly, she points out that while we may initially fear time alone, it certainly won't do us any harm – and will probably do us good. Whether you're looking for some quiet in a busy life or trying to deal with solitude due to break-up or bereavement, this is a good place to start.

(Review from <a href="http://www.list.co.uk/article/57696-sara-maitland-how-to-be-alone/">The List</a>.)
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Joys of Solitude, 12 Jan 2014
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This review is from: How to Be Alone (School of Life) (Kindle Edition)
Written in an easy style, it was a joy to read. Also at less than 200 pages, it took only a few hours to go through it. The first few chapters delved into why solitude is frowned upon these days. This was followed by chapters on how to be alone. The final part of the book focused on the joys of solitude. Indeed there is a lot to be gained from being alone and this book reminded us of the need and benefits of solitude. Being alone is empowering and allows one to tackle creative work more efficiently. This book is thus a timely reminder of the benefits of solitude in a noisy world.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to the topic, 10 Mar 2014
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This review is from: How to Be Alone (School of Life) (Kindle Edition)
This book met my expectations. I was expecting a short, basic, well written and well-researched book about this topic and I've found all these things in it. It's really good if you're first approaching this subject as it gives you a lot of ideas and facts, and it's very easy to read too!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reassuring, 9 Mar 2014
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H. Davies - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How to Be Alone (School of Life) (Kindle Edition)
I found this book quite reassuring. I am not alone by choice, but many of the actions she suggests I have already taken on. I would recommend it to anyone who is alone, by choice or not.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Another wander about through the "subject", 5 Mar 2014
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The author has admitted that in her previous book "The Book of Silence" she had never decided whether she was in fact writing about silence or being alone; the result was a book many liked, for its fine writing about her personal experiences, but often felt let down by her omissions on the subject and her rambling on about semi-scientific theories about silence.

This book, less well written than her first book, is part of a series from The School of Life ([...]). Alain de Botton is the founder of this School of Life and if you like his style of whimsy, catholic musings and profusion of references and sometimes shaky theories and conclusions from the facts he uses then this book might seem to fit.

This book does have things to say when it is directly about the author but too much is cut and paste of ideas and the conclusions she draws from her rush through western history are baffling and history seems forced to fit into her personal view. When she talks of other "loners" she mentions some excellent sources, Thorreau, Admiral Byrd and also exceptional book about a Buddhist nun and her 12 years of solitude in the Himalayas, "Cave in the Snow", the last one really is worth reading. The originals are so much better than this book that my recommendation would be to read them and leave this.

I would not be quite as terse as the previous reviewer, "Found it to be a collection of unconnected ramblings. Not sure what it is trying to be." but there is not much I could say other than once you have read the first thirty or so pages, which suspiciously look to be a faux section for a possible magazine article, then that is it, apart from the original sources, some whimsical reflections, journalistic speak and a weak conclusion.

I hope the rest of the series of books is more intellectually robust and actually do answer in a detailed, rigorous and creative way the "How to's "of life.

but often uneasily came to ask the question,
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but not what I expected, 30 Mar 2014
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This review is from: How to Be Alone (School of Life) (Kindle Edition)
Good tips for how to enjoy time alone and interesting discussions on how solitude is regarded by wider society. I did not like that the author did not discuss much the fear of being alone, almost just boiling it that to a phobia. I think many people pick up this book because they have never been alone I their lives or not for a long time, and they do not know how to find themselves in these situations, and may feel scared of this. I would like the author to approach this aspect of being alone deeper. I do not have any problem with single people or people who like solitude, yet the author also spends quite a lot of time defending 'solitude' - interesting but yet again I did not need to be persuaded.
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12 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars disappointing, 24 Feb 2014
This review is from: How to Be Alone (School of Life) (Kindle Edition)
had high hopes of this book. Found it to be a collection of unconnected ramblings. Not sure what it is trying to be.
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How to Be Alone (School of Life)
How to Be Alone (School of Life) by The School Of Life
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