How to Live: A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer
"When I am attacked by gloomy thoughts, nothing helps me so much as running to my books. They quickly absorb me and banish the clouds from my mind."
— Michel de Montaigne
Montaigne's essays are among my favorite reading material both for their breadth of subjects and for the thinking that they spur. The essays serve as a catalyst for my own thinking, but as with most of my literary reading I am also interested in the lives of the authors behind and beyond the literary works themselves. Here Sarah Bakewell tells the story of Montaigne’s life in an admirably brisk and entertaining fashion, focusing on anecdotes and themes rather than on thoroughness and strict chronology. This is not a biography for the Montaigne expert but rather for the general reader who wants to know more about the man or who has read and loved the essays. That having been said it is a delight for most any reader that is interested in exploring Montaigne's world from a twenty-first century perspective.
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