From Michael Dirda’s review of Julian Barnes’s book, NOTHING TO BE FRIGHTENED OF:
Beautifully done might also justly describe Nothing to Be Frightened Of. A friend once summed up Julian Barnes’s own daily existence: “Got up. . . . Wrote book. Went out, bought bottle of wine. Came home, cooked dinner. Drank wine.” Some might say: Not much of a life. Yet the philosopher Epicurus maintained that quiet routines like this offer our best response to death: Work hard at what you care about and enjoy moderate pleasures. It’s really very good advice, but probably just a little too sensible for the unruly human heart.