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The End of Your Life Book Club by Will…

The End of Your Life Book Club (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Will Schwalbe

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949None9,104 (3.97)170
Title:The End of Your Life Book Club
Authors:Will Schwalbe
Info:Knopf (2012), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 352 pages
Collections:Your library

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The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe (2012)


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While it was interesting to read about the books that Will and his mother read during her fight with cancer, I am struck by the nonchalance of their upper class life and some of their cavalier ways. The book was less about the books they read than the life they led. ( )
  bogopea | Apr 15, 2014 |
Beautiful book. It really touched me and made me thinking. Mary Ann must have been such an inspirational woman. It's one of the best books I've ever read and will never forget. ( )
  yasmine_d | Apr 2, 2014 |
What a great way to chronicle a journey with someone you love! I felt like a fly on the wall in Will Schwalbe's life--at chemo, in his mom's apartment...This intimate view into the mother-son relationship left me emotionally exhausted at times but reading on because of the zest-filled way of life his family led. You must read this book! ( )
  obedah | Mar 26, 2014 |
READ it - If you love books, if you love family.
If you want to know more about the life of an outstanding woman.
If anyone close to you is battling a terminal illness.
If you want to get "more" from the books you read.
Problem with books about books is that I've now added more to the 10-lifetimes-long list of Literature I'd love to read.
The author's mother is . . . !!!!
I started with a list of adjectives and decided not attempt to list all the admirable qualities she possesses - in living to fullest, in aiding others and in dealing with her illness in a way few can even aspire to.
I was introduced to authors, books, and life lessons to learn from those read and not read as yet.

I miss my own wonderful Mother so terribly when reading or choosing books. She gave me and my sisters our love of reading and encouraged us quietly. We shared a love of books, but much more on the surface. "I liked it, I didn't, you really should read this one, I'd love to read more by this author."
Not every happy family is alike . . in being able to discuss in depth. We shared other hobbies and creative outlets together that were even more precious to me.
In fact, I smiled through this entire book thinking of Mom's oft reply when asked about what she'd been reading, "Well, I don't really want to have to do a book report."
I was disappointed by that response, but honored her desire to read and be left alone with her enjoyment, escape, and thoughts. It hasn't quieted the voice that speaks to me so often, "I need to tell Mom about this book." ( )
  CasaBooks | Mar 14, 2014 |
Fantastic book club book. Discusses books read between mother and son during mother's chemo treatments. ( )
  wirtley | Mar 3, 2014 |
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This book is dedicated with love and gratitude to Nina, Doug, ad Dad --
and David.
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We were nuts about the mocha in the waiting room at Memorial Sloan-Kettering's outpatient care center.
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:49:50 -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.

(summary from another edition)

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