I’ve never read any books by Proust. It really wasn’t a requirement for reading this book. It may have helped a bit, but it was still very enjoyable and informative.
Alain de Botton takes the reader through Proust (French author in the early 1900s whose most famous work was In Search of Lost Time) and his philosophy on life as evidenced through his novels, articles, letters to friends, and diary. It was a fascinating look at the man and it covered many themes we’ve seen continually crop up in this year’s Books of Titans reading list.
Two of the main themes were the importance of time and mindfulness. Proust’s famous book was a 7-volume book (3000+ pages on Kindle) in which he would take multiple pages to describe the most mundane item. It was part of his make up. He was interested in people and things. He wanted to dig deep and know everything about a person.
This book had great insight into friendship, reading, how to appreciate the everyday, and how to be mindful. It was a relatively short book, but a worthwhile read.