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The pleasures and sorrows of work
De Botton, Alain.
Adult Nonfiction HD4901 .D35 2009

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Summary: Combining narrative virtuosity, a scholar's grasp of history, an intellectual intrepidness, and a dazzling ability to reveal the extraordinary in the ordinary (and vice versa), Alain de Botton has created his own ever-surprising genre into which The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work fits brilliantly. In this tantalizing new book, Alain de Botton takes on an activity common to us all--the activity in which most of us spend the majority of our time, but which rarely gets serious attention beyond the realm of cartoons and television sitcoms. With his signature elan and expansive curiosity, de Botton explores a diversity of occupations, from accountant to aircraft salesman, painter to power-station designer, career counselor to cookie manufacturer, and the vast diversity of locations where these occupations are undertaken. Peering closely at details of the workday and workplace that we tend to overlook, and asking questions that we hesitate to ask ourselves (To what end do we exhaust ourselves on a daily basis? What makes work pleasurable? Why isn't it pleasurable when it isn't?), de Botton gets at the whys and wherefores of routine, practice, and process, focusing a new and unexpectedly revealing light on the essential meaning of work in our lives.

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