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An Entertainment Weekly and BookPage Best Book of the YearDuring her treatment for cancer, Mary Anne Schwalbe and her son Will spent many hours sitting in waiting rooms together. Sharing books he loved with his savvy New Yorker mom had always been a great pleasure for both mother and son, becoming especially poignant when she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2007, at age 73. In 2007, Will Schwalbe received the kind of news that stuns every child: his mother, Mary Anne, had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Schwalbe’s chronicle of what they read as the cancer did its awful damage is a moving reflection on parents and children and the power of the written word. Despite the grim subject matter, The End of Your Life Book Club is not depressing in the least.
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As I was reading I found myself scribbling titles on a piece of paper so that I could order the volumes he and his mother cared about. Throughout this memoir, Schwalbe and his mother discuss characters and themes from the books they read, and Schwalbe considers these same characters and themes in relation to his mother, who, as an administrator at Harvard and the Dalton School in New York City and a widely admired humanitarian, tirelessly strove to help others. Books provided the author with much-needed ballast during the chaos and upheaval of his mother's terminal illness.
With rare exceptions (such as Steve Jobs), those who suffer from the disease have very short life expectancies. Each chapter is devoted to one of their picks, as varied as John O’Hara’s Appointment in Samarra (which kicked off the book club) and Josephine Tey’s mystery novel Brat Farrar to Joan Didion’s sober reflection on widowhood, The Year of Magical Thinking. Once, by chance, they read the same book at the same time—and an informal book club of two was born.
In the process, Schwalbe shows why books were so important to him and his mother: they introduce readers to new worlds and fabulous characters while, at the same time, they help explain the world in which the readers themselves live. While they waited together through interminable doctor visits, hospital stays and chemotherapy sessions, they discussed what they had been reading. Mary Anne was a perpetual traveller who tirelessly volunteered for non-profit organizations in Third World countries; the news was a difficult blow.
Each book gives mother and son a chance to learn about each other in a deeper way, but the club also helps Will to come to grips with his own life.
Schwalbe and his mother wondered as they waited together over many chemotherapy sessions at Memorial Sloan-Kettering.
VERDICT This book will bring tears to readers' eyes—it is an essential title for lovers of memoir. This became the beginning of the "End of Your Life Book Club." As Schwalbe points out, the name was appropriate not just because his mother was dying, but because any book could be your last.
But in the course of her treatments, Mary Anne and Will hit upon a novel way to spend time with each other: a two-person book club.


Cementing his relationships with his partner and siblings, he leaves his job for a startup and later moves on to other rewarding, if less financially secure, projects. And I can’t think of higher praise than that my mother, to whom I lent an advance copy, loved this book as well.
Please check your email, click the link to verify your address, and then submit your comment. A profoundly moving memoir of caregiving, mourning, and love—The End of Your Life Book Club is also about the joy of reading, and the ways that joy is multiplied when we share it with others. Recommended for anyone who enjoys books about mothers and sons, books about the love of books, and books about the strength of families. Books provided an avenue for the author and his mother to explore important topics that made them uneasy.
If you can't find this email, access your profile editor to re-send the confirmation email. With a refreshing forthrightness, and an excellent list of books included, this is an astonishing, pertinent, and wonderfully welcome work. Some of the books included The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo, The Book of Common Prayer and The Etiquette of Illness, and the authors included Dennis Lehane, E.M. Schwalbe, who served as the editor in chief of Hyperion Books, introduces each of the authors with the insight of a veteran editor, highlighting their styles and strengths.
Each chapter holds a subtle message fleshed out through their readings and discussions, and themes include gratitude, loneliness, feminism, faith, communication, trust and grief. In a heartfelt tribute to his mother, Schwalbe illustrates the power of the written word to expand our knowledge of ourselves and others.



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the end of your life book club reviews vegas



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