Sarah Bakewell’s How to Live

I think I’m going to be behind in my usual blog business — responding to comments, reading other people’s blogs — for a while, but thank goodness spring break is coming up next week. I will be back in the swing of things very soon.

In the meantime, I’d like to point out my review of Sarah Bakewell’s book How to Live: or a Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer, which is over at the Quarterly Conversation. The short version of my review: I liked it very much. If you’d like to read more, the review is here.


Filed under Books, Nonfiction

5 responses to “Sarah Bakewell’s How to Live

  1. Nice review! I am so very much looking forward to reading this book.


  2. Thanks for the link, I’m heading over.


  3. As you know, I really enjoyed the Bakewell book too. The structure could have seemed super gimmicky, but it actually worked brilliantly. And I loved the way she chronicled the continuing “life” of the Essays alongside that of the man, which is something that seems particularly appropriate to this particular subject given Montaigne’s identification with his own work and the huge amount of versioning people have subjected him to over the years. This was a really great review – you captured so many of the book’s myriad aspects in a short piece. Well played!


  4. Stefanie — you will love it, I’m guessing. Considering all the awards it’s won, there seems to be a consensus it’s a good book!

    Lilian — thanks for reading!

    Emily — thank you! She makes skipping around in time look easy, and I know it’s not. You’re right that it’s an appropriate form given who Montaigne is. I’m guessing he would approve 🙂


  5. Michelle

    I’m so late catching up on posts around the blogosphere, but wanted to comment here. I read your review and really enjoyed it. I’ve been meaning to read the Blakewell book and will bump it up a little further on the TBR pile.


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