Book Sixteen 2014:
The News – A User’s Manual by Alain De Botton
This was an easy sell for me. I’ve read every book he’s written and even a few written by others under his “School Of Life” banner.
This time around he attempts to dissect modern news media and outlets (asking first why we never do that ourselves) and wonders are there better ways in which they could be giving us “The News”.
Yes, most of it is pie in the sky and will never be touched by the gatekeepers of daily information that we all trust so blindly, but that’s the job of the philosopher surely – to look at what we need for our wellbeing and ponder how that could be achieved even if the end result isn’t something you would immediately think practical.
Honestly, this was a swift and satisfying read for me even if all it did was reinforce ideas and theories I’ve held myself for a long time. The bonus is a few new ideas I need to let rattle around for a while in my head, particularly those about how you can make “World” news something people engage with more, how to reorder “Consumer” news and why we engage with such a violent interest sometimes in the areas of “Celebrity” and “Disaster”.
Just as an aside I don’t know if I’ve come across a more beautifully typeset or printed book in a long time as well. It doesn’t affect the content one whit but it makes it very easy on the eye…