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It’s been more than 20 years since the book How Proust Can Change Your Life was published. A “literary biography and self-help manual,” Proust is a fun read that uses the French writer’s words of wisdom to help solve — or at least understand and learn to cope with — universal issues such as how to enjoy a vacation or how to be a good friend.
With Proust, Alain de Botton launched a new genre of self-help books, using wit and insight from poets and philosophers to address modern problems. The new book Your Renaissance: 8 Steps to Embrace Your True Self and Renew Your Life by Maura Garau reminds me of Proust, only it mines the personal stories and works of Italian Renaissance artists to help readers reflect on their own lives and choices.
Garau, the founder of CyberItalian and the former Director of the Italian Language Program for the United Nations UNSRC Circolo Culturale Italiano in New York, tackles subjects like self-image and finding balance with lessons from Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael with lively, educated prose. Reading Your Renaissance feels like touring an art museum with an engaging and knowledgeable guide — who also happens to be a life coach.
From portrait to self-portrait: a journey of self-awareness through Renaissance art. The lives and works of the greatest Renaissance artists provide us with the necessary tools to practice the art of embracing our true self and, in so doing, renew our lives. Sometimes we need to stop and reassess our current situation, understand who we are, where we are going, and where we want to go. Meet Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael, and other renowned artists of the Renaissance. Learn about their life and work – details of which are rarely included in art books – that will help you connect with your inner self. Turn your attention inward and discover your potential. Activate your inner resources. Be inspired.
Maura Garau’s Your Renaissance: 8 Steps to Embrace Your True Self and Renew Your Life is available in English and Italian, in color or in black-and-white, from self-publishing site Lulu and from Amazon.
You can read the first chapter here.