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Ella Berthoud - How to Read a Life-Changing Book

Wednesday 28th February - 6:30pm (60 mins)


(Spoken Word)


Writer and artist Ella Berthoud has spent the last six years exploring the benefits of reading fiction. She argues that we can be transformed by the power of stories, that by walking for a while in someone else’s  shoes – seeing what they see, feeling what they feel, loving what they love – we come away changed ourselves. She and fellow writer Susan Elderkin set up the bibliotherapy service at Alain de Botton’s School of Life, and have together written two books, The Novel Cure and The Story Cure, that identify novels – for adults and children respectively – which can cure a wide range of human ills and anxieties, as well as provide an occasional kick up the backside.

Ella Berthoud will share some of the stories which have the capacity to generate self-knowledge and make us the sort of people who can better withstand the challenges and confusions of existence and she asks how, as readers, we can maximise the potential for our encounters with books to be transformative.

"Utterly addictive… The Novel Cure also tells you things about yourself (like the books themselves, that includes stuff you’d rather not know)"

The Guardian

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