Two great books

I recently finish reading How to Live: Or a Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer by Sarah Bakewell. It’s a superb book–definitely worth reading in these difficult times, which I guess really aren’t that different from every other generation’s difficult times.

I followed up How to Live with W. Somerset Maugham’s The Razor’s Edge. According to my Kindle, I’m 70 percent of the way through the book, and I find it to be a great companion to Bakewell’s biography of Montaigne. In our modern lives, it’s necessary to live in the world but not be of the world, and I think both books contain great insight into how one must deal with life’s absurdities.

One of the highlights of my high school academic career was watching the film version of The Razor’s Edge in my senior English class. The last scene (featuring Bill Murray, no less) remains in my mind a cinematic picture of hope that we may rise above much of the world’s illusions and attain true peace.

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