Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The End of Your Life Book Club by Will…

The End of Your Life Book Club (2012)

by Will Schwalbe

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,3881365,480 (3.91)197

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 197 mentions

English (131)  Catalan (2)  Spanish (2)  French (1)  All languages (136)
Showing 1-5 of 131 (next | show all)
Almost any person who is a book lover will enjoy The End of Your Life Book Club because of its central theme: the importance of books. Sure, it is a touching story of the book club started by the author and his mother, who has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. But the motivation of their reading and book discussions is the fact that books change us. Great books are ones that help us better understand the human condition. They help us see the world from a different perspective or better understand our own perspective.

A good example of this is found in the epilogue: "(Mom) never wavered in her conviction that books are the most powerful tool in the human arsenal, that reading all kinds of books, in whatever format you choose...is the grandest entertainment, and also is how you take part in the human conversation."

Will Schwalbe and I would likely disagree on a whole host of issues (political, religious, social, etc.), but I found myself resonating deeply with his book. I certainly recommend it. ( )
  codyacunningham | May 9, 2016 |
The author reflects on his relationship with his mother, particularly as she was undergoing treatments for cancer during the last years of her life. Their relationship was often centered around books and he discusses the books that they read together and how they helped them talk about some of the tougher issues of life.
This was an OK read, not outstanding to me. Book lovers will definitely relate to it more than npn-book lovers. ( )
  debs4jc | Apr 25, 2016 |
Read for my neighborhood book group. Book about the authors time with his mother as she battles Pancreatic Cancer as they discuss a variety of books. The time they have together the spend reading and sharing a variety of books while learning more about one another. Not just a story about impending death but a celebration of life through books. ( )
  yvonne.sevignykaiser | Apr 2, 2016 |
When Mary Anne Schwalbe was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, she and her son Will started an impromptu "book club." The reader learns a little about the many books they read together, and a lot about Mary Anne and her humanitarian endeavors throughout the world. She seems like she was a remarkable woman, given the caveat that we learn about her through her son's naturally idealized viewpoint.

It was a little hard for me to relate to a family that was so clearly economically privileged, but it was still an enjoyable book. Mary Anne seemed like she had more money and heart than intellect, because some of her insights seemed pedestrian (to my ear, which is tone-deaf on matters "inspirational" and "wise"). But of course the any reader will appreciate the long list of books they will want to read. Mary Anne's taste was varied and surprisingly middlebrow, so few of the books discussed sound intellectually daunting to read. Our book club agreed that the list of books read was the most valuable part of the book. ( )
  CasualFriday | Mar 27, 2016 |
I listened to this and liked it a great deal. The author's mother is drying of cancer. He talks about their life and she is definitely an inspiration. She has worked for immigrants and helped raise money for immigrants and gone to immigrant camps to help out. He often takes her to treatment or other meetings and they share books and talk about a lot of books. It was nice to see their take on these books, only some of which I've read or heard of. I want to read more of a lot of these books.
  taurus27 | Mar 26, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 131 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Information from the Catalan Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Information from the Russian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
This book is dedicated with love and gratitude to Nina, Doug, and Dad —
and David.
First words
We were nuts about the mocha in the waiting room at Memorial Sloan-Kettering's outpatient care center.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0307594033, Hardcover)

Amazon Best Books of the Month, October 2012: Tissues at the ready, I braced myself for The End of Your Life Book Club, Will Schwalbe’s memoir of his mother’s death from pancreatic cancer. But Mary Anne Schwalbe is such a fierce, unsentimental heroine--and her son such a frank and funny storyteller--that what could have been an emotional roller coaster turns out to be a beautifully paced ride. Mary Anne loves a good book as ardently as she loves her kids and her causes, chief among them a campaign to build a library in Afghanistan. When her health starts to fail, Will joins her for hospital appointments. They wait, they talk, and they read together--everything they’ve ever wanted to discuss. As much an homage to literature as to the mother who shared it with him, Will’s chronicle of this heartrending time opens up his captivating family to the rest of us. We should all be so lucky as to read along with the Schwalbes. --Mia Lipman

Amazon Exclusive: An Essay by Will Schwalbe

Will Schwalbe

For twenty-one years I worked in book publishing, mostly in editorial, acquiring the rights to manuscripts, working with authors to help shape their works, and trying to convince the world to pay attention to the various, wonderful books we were publishing. I learned from some of the all time great editors and publishers. But part of my publishing education went way, way back – to before I could read a word myself.

When I was a young child, before I went to sleep, my mother, like so many parents, would read me a book. My brother, eighteen months older, got his own book read to him. Later, my sister, four years younger, would have her own.

My mother was a working mother (a phrase she always disliked, as she rightly pointed out that no one talks of “working fathers”), so she wasn’t always home at night. She sometimes worked late, and she travelled for business, and, even when she and my dad were in town, they occasionally were out for dinner. But if she was home, she read us each a book before bed.

My early favorites included The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf and Harold and Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson. I loved that there was a bull who liked to smell flowers and wouldn’t fight, and I was amazed by the boy who could draw himself out of any jam. But the experience was far more than the books themselves. First, there was the comfort and security of being tucked into bed. (Is it coincidence that we use the phrase “tuck into” before three of my favorite things: food, bed, and good books, or is it because the pleasures of each have so much in common?) Then, there was the happy, selfish knowledge that, when it was my turn, I would be able to monopolize my mother’s attention just by sitting and listening.

But what I remember most is the way Mom made us feel that she was sharing something she loved with us, not completing a chore or performing a ritual. (Though I’m sure there were many nights when she was exhausted and would have loved to be in bed herself and fast asleep.) And when we shared the books, we also shared discussions about them. Why didn’t the men understand that Ferdinand just didn’t want to fight? There’s no one answer, but it’s a question Mom and I explored together time and again.

Later, I would start to read to myself of course. But it was the nightly reading with Mom that helped me become a reader – and probably pushed me toward the career in book publishing. From Mom, I learned that there’s a public pleasure in books as well as a private one; that sharing books you love and getting others to read them can create a powerful bond, not just between a parent and child, but among thousands or millions of strangers.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:08 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

The inspiring story of a son and his dying mother, who form a "book club" that brings them together as her life comes to a close.

» see all 4 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
2 avail.
519 wanted
5 pay3 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.91)
1 6
1.5 2
2 29
2.5 6
3 86
3.5 41
4 166
4.5 35
5 134


An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 105,788,555 books! | Top bar: Always visible