What We Are Reading Today: Parisian Lives by Deirdre Bair

Updated 08 December 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Parisian Lives by Deirdre Bair

  • Parisian Lives “pulls you in slowly but deeply

Award-winning biographer Deirdre Bair explores her 15 remarkable years in Paris with Samuel Beckett and Simone de Beauvoir, painting intimate new portraits of two literary giants and revealing secrets of the biographical art.

Parisian Lives “pulls you in slowly but deeply. It isn’t just about writing about two famous authors but the memoir (of the) writer’s life as well and what it takes to be a biographer,” said a review published in goodreads.com. 

It said the stories relating to both Beckett and de Beauvoir “are different but equally compelling. These stories are page turners.”

The review added: “Drawing on Bair’s extensive notes from the period, including never-before-told anecdotes and details that were considered impossible to publish at the time, Parisian Lives is full of personality and warmth and give us an entirely new window on the all-too-human side of these legendary thinkers.”

It said that Bair’s memoir “is the interrelated stories of writing biographies of Beckett and de Beauvoir and Bair’s own journey of discovery while launching her academic career.”


What We Are Reading Today: Kill Reply All by Victoria Turk

Updated 18 January 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Kill Reply All by Victoria Turk

Victoria Turk’s Kill Reply All “is one of the more amusing digital-etiquette books you’ll read,” says a review in The New York Times. 

“Simply put, social media has created a new universe of ways we can be mean to one another. So digital good manners are a great kindness, whether they apply to friends, work or love,” it added.  

Turk “provides an indispensable guide to minding our manners in a brave new online world, and making peace with the platforms, apps, and devices we love to hate,” said another critic.

A review in goodreads.com said the digital revolution “has put us all within a few clicks, taps, and swipes of one another. But familiarity can breed contempt, and while we’re more likely than ever to fall in love online, we’re also more likely to fall headfirst into a raging fight with a stranger or into an unhealthy obsession with the phones in our pockets. If you’ve ever encountered the surreal, aggravating battlefields of digital life and wondered why we all don’t go analog, this is the book for you.”