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. Pedln, So far the books now on my TBR list bcs of this book are Appointment in Smarra, Man Gone Down and People of the Book. If you love reading as much as I do - and I know most of you do - then I'd love for you to get a copy and let me know what you think. She spent six months in Thai refugee camps, was shot at in Afghanistan, and was an electoral observer in the Balkans. Will Schwalbe describes Mary Anne as the 'air traffic control' in their family, as the person who would automatically assume responsibility and control over others. The 'End of Your Life Book Club' described in the title encompasses the literary bond between Will and Mary Anne that is strengthened with Mary Anne's deterioration of health.
By reading this book you're invited into Will and Mary Anne's book club, and this is perhaps what I enjoyed most about it.
After finishing The End of Your Life Book Club this morning, I'm going to send an email to my local village bookshop asking them to stock The Lizard Cage by Karen Connelly and Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro in time for my trip back home next weekend.
Enabling JavaScript in your browser will allow you to experience all the features of our site. 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. It generally happens after I read something remarkable and I want to share it with everyone.
It's perhaps best classed as a memoir, in which Will Schwalbe celebrates his mother's life and their shared relationship with literature; something which becomes most prominent following his mother's diagnosis with pancreatic cancer.
She founded the Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children, and persuaded the International Rescue Committee to set up a UK office. You notice this characteristic of hers throughout the book, not least in how 'Will's' blog posts about her health are in fact written by her. Before her check-ups and chemo appointments, the mother and son discuss the books they have both been reading.


Not only could I join their discussions of great books, but I could also find recommendations of novels I'd perhaps enjoy as much as they did. I'm in need of some real, tangible books, and Will Schwalbe's remarkable book has provided me with the perfect ideas to start with.
Of course it sounds like a perfect read for book lovers.I too like the combination of classics and more contemporary books. I always enjoy books that present a love of literature through themes or characters, so this was the perfect choice for me.
There are lots of interesting thoughts on sickness, health and the impact of positive thinking on the body. I came across the book quite spontaneously in a Spanish bookshop, and after putting off reading it for several weeks, I ended up giving in.
Not only does it celebrate reading, but the author commented on my review, which totally made me love it even more!
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.
When something needs to be done, and she thinks she can do it, she does it, without fanfare and what-have-you. She spent a great deal of her life in education, teaching and overseeing admissions (including some time at both Radcliffe and Harvard University), but during her last two decades she dedicated herself to working with refugees worldwide. Towards the end of her life, her work to fund a library project in Afghanistan reflected her love of reading and her belief in its power to change. In some reviews people criticise this side of her character, but I appreciated how Will wrote so accurately and honestly about his incredibly philanthropic and kind, yet always on the go, mother. As they choose to read (or reread) the same books together, their book club of two people is formed. 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.


Even now, at the end, innundated with cards, letters and flowers from her many friends and students. After marching with her band in the ST Patricks day parade in Dublin, and assorted concerts all week long.
I can compare it to our interracial family, we talk among ourselves when issues arise for family members, generated from external events, but would i write about it in a book about my mother dying? You'll have to let me know if you read it, or otherwise post about it on your lovely blog!
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. But they also give us something we all can talk about when we don’t want to talk about ourselves. 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.
Patrick's Day in Ireland - having been in Dublin several years ago for that once in a lifetime experience!
Each chapter holds a subtle message fleshed out through their readings and discussions, and themes include gratitude, loneliness, feminism, faith, communication, trust and grief. No problem!  She told me later she couldn’t turn the key on and for several weeks afterwards had to use her left hand to do so. In a heartfelt tribute to his mother, Schwalbe illustrates the power of the written word to expand our knowledge of ourselves and others. Will comments about the fact that she's always stopping to smile and talk to strangers.



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