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It was a bestseller in the US and UK. What's in a Marriage?: Argues that expecting one person to be a good partner lover and parent is almost asking the impossible. —The Independent
Negative reviews allege that de Botton tends to state the obvious from a position of privilege and have characterized some of his books as pompous and lacking focus.
In August 2008 he was a founding member of a new educational establishment in central London called The School of Life. In October that year de Botton was appointed an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects in recognition of his services to architecture. His books and television programmes discuss various contemporary subjects and themes emphasizing philosophy's relevance to everyday life.