« It's a Mad Men World | Main | Hurt Go Happy by Ginny Rorby »

How to Live, or, A life of Montaigne by Sarah Bakewell


"How to Titles" are a staple of publishing and library collections and there are many titles published each year with the goal of improving how we live our lives. This is not a new phenomenon; nearly 500 years ago, Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) invented the literary form of the essay. His Essays of Montaigne much like Shakespeare's works and the Bible - has been in print ever since.

As reviewers have said "It is hard to imagine a better introduction--or reintroduction--to Montaigne's essays than Bakewell's book." I find it comforting to know that our problems are not unique to our times but have been wrestled with for centuries. How to educate our young, How to live with others, How to survive love and loss, and even How to read were only some of the topics Montaigne addressed. Not all of Montaigne's essays dealt with major life crises. Other topics were much more mundane but equally enlightening: How do you avoid getting drawn into a pointless argument with your wife, How do you deal with a bully, How do you cheer up a crying neighbor, and finally something for everyone - How to reconcile yourself to failures.

The author has seamlessly merged biographical information about Montaigne with a discussion of why he wrote his essays and what guidance he has to offer us. Like any good biographer, the author has brought Montaigne to life and made him relevant to today's readers who would like to live life well, and make the most of every moment so that life does not drain away unappreciated. Check catalog for availability.

Submitted by Tom @ Center Street Library

Bookmark and Share


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 26, 2012 9:00 AM.

The previous post in this blog was It's a Mad Men World.

The next post in this blog is Hurt Go Happy by Ginny Rorby.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.