This charming biography shuffles incidents from Montaigne s life and essays into twenty thematic chapters Bakewell clearly relishes the anthropological anecdotes that enliven Montaigne s work, but she handles equally well both his philosophical influences and the readers and interpreterswho have guided the reception of the essays. "The New Yorker
" Serious, engaging, and so infectiously in love with its subject that I found myself racing to finish so I could start rereading the Essays themselves It is hard to imagine a better introduction or reintroduction to Montaigne than Bakewell s book. Lorin Stein, "Harper s Magazine
" Ms. Bakewell s new book, "How to Live," is a biography, but in the form of a delightful conversation across the centuries. "The New York Times
" So artful is Bakewell s account of [Montaigne] that even skeptical readers may well come to share her admiration. " The New York Times Book Review
Extraordinary a miracle of complex, revelatory organization, for as Bakewell moves along she provides a brilliant demonstration of the alchemy of historical viewpoint. "Boston Globe
" Well, "How to Live" is a superb book, original, engaging, thorough, ambitious, and wise. Nick Hornby, in the November/December 2010 issue of The "Believer
" In "How to Live," an affectionate introduction to the author, Bakewell argues that, far from being a dusty old philosopher, Montaigne has never been more relevant a 16th-century blogger, as she would have it and so must be read, quite simply, in order to live Bakewell is a wry and intelligent guide. "The Daily Beast
Witty, unorthodox "How to Live" is a history of ideas told entirely on the ground, never divorced from the people thinking them. It hews close to Montaigne s own preoccupations, especially his playful uncertainty Bakewell is a stickler for what we can t know. "How to Live "is a delight "The Plain Dealer
This book will have new readers excited to be acquainted to Montaigne s life and ideas, and may even stir their curiosity to read more about the ancient Greek philosophers who influenced his writing. "How to Live"is a great companion to Montaigne s essays, and even a great stand-alone. "San Francisco Book Review"
A bright, genial, and generous introduction to the master s methods. " Kirkus Reviews
" [Bakewell reveals] one of literature's enduring figures as an idiosyncratic, humane, and surprisingly modern force. "Publisher s Weekly (starred)"
As described by Sarah Bakewell in her suavely enlightening "How to Live, or A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer" Montaigne is, with Walt Whitman, among the most congenial of literary giants, inclined to shrug over the inevitability of human failings and the last man to accuse anyone of self-absorption. His great subject, after all, was himself. Laura Miller, Salon.com
Lively and fascinating . . . "How To Live" takes its place as the most enjoyable introduction to Montaigne in the English language. " The Times Literary Supplement
" Splendidly conceived and exquisitely written . . . enormously absorbing. " Sunday Times
" "How to Live" will delight and illuminate. " The Independent
" It is ultimately [Montaigne s] life-loving vivacity that Bakewell succeeds in communicating to her readers. " The Observer
" This subtle and surprising book manages the trick of conversing in a frank and friendly manner with its centuries-old literary giant, as with a contemporary, while helpfully placing Montaigne in a historical context. The affection of the author for her subject is palpable and infectious. Phillip Lopate, author of "The Art of the Personal Essay
" An intellectually lively treatment of a Renaissance giant and his world. " Saturday Telegraph
" Like recent books on Proust, Joyce, and Austen, "How to Live" skillfully plucks a life-guide from the incessant flux of Montaigne s prose . . . A superb, spirited introduction to the master. " The Guardian
" ["How to Live"] is written in the form of a delightful conversation across the ages with one of the most appealing, likeable writers who ever lived. " Independent Mail
""More than just a straightforward biography of Michel de Montaigne, Sarah Bakewell cleverly breaks away from chronology to explore the fundamental questions of living through the philosophy, beliefs, essays and experiences of the French master we often reference as the father of essay. " Cerise Press"
"[A] must-read in its entirety."" Brainpickings"
"Bakewell s writing style is equal parts fluid and fascinating."" The Flaneur s Turtle""show more