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The End of your Life Book Club

Schwalbe, Will (Book - 2012 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The End of your Life Book Club


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An inspiring memoir for fans of Joan Didion, Annie Lamott, and Mitch Albom, The End of Your Life Book Club is a beautiful celebration of literature and a profound testament to the ways we remember our loved ones. Mary Anne Schwalbe was a renowned educator who filled such august positions as Director of Admissions at Harvard and Director of College Counseling at New York's prestigious Dalton School. She also felt it incumbent upon herself to educate the less fortunate and spent the last 10 years of her life building libraries in Afghanistan. But her story here begins with a mocha, dispensed from a machine in the waiting room of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Over coffee, Will casually asks his mom what she's been reading. The conversation they have grows into tradition: soon they mutually agree to read the same books and share them together as Mary Anne waits for her chemotherapy treatments. Their discussions reveal how books become increasingly important to the connection between a remarkable woman whose life is coming to a close, and a man becoming closer to his mom than ever before.
Authors: Schwalbe, Will
Title: The end of your life book club
Publisher: New York :, Alfred A. Knopf,, 2012
Edition: 1st ed
Characteristics: viii, 336 p. :,21 cm
Local Note: 20121025 ba / 20140218 al (020, 593)
Also : Toronto : Vintage Canada, 2013
ISBN: 9780307399670
0307399664
9780307399663
9780307594037
Branch Call Number: 616.994 S398e1
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Report This Mar 31, 2014
  • Liber_vermis rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

An incredible memoir of the last two years of the life of a woman who achieved so many things. Was it cruelly ironic that her final accomplishment was a library in Kabul, Afghanistan, where book clubs may not be widely tolerated? Most readers will not be able to put this memoir down until finished!

Report This Feb 09, 2014
  • KateHillier rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

As others have said, this is a hard book to rate because of the personal subject matter. It's also mostly a son transcribing and sharing the words of his mother. She is an admirable woman and her good work is given its moments but the book is mostly about a mother and a son's relationship with books and with each other. It's also about our own relationships with books and how that helps us relate to others, known and unknown

Report This Nov 01, 2013
  • modestgoddess rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I've been recommending this to everyone too. Think the mother is definitely Type A - she gets so much done, even while terminally ill! Love her deep and powerful faith and the way it colours everything she does. Definitely uplifting and enjoyable. Unfortunately my holds list at the library just got a lot longer....So many books, so little time!

Report This Oct 12, 2013
  • ser_library rated this: 1.5 stars out of 5.

i would have liked more info on the books discussed and less on the activities and meals of the family.

Report This Sep 09, 2013
  • zedea rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

How books bring people together...in the most unusual circumstances. A mother and son get even closer through the passages of "the end of your life book club" Very enlightening!

Report This Aug 18, 2013
  • mpfickes rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

By the time I finished it, my copy was festooned with yellow post-it notes, flapping like flags to remind me of authors to explore, books to find, and quotes to note or share with others. In writing his mother's end of life journey through an account of the many books they read together in a 2-person "book club," Will Schwalbe memorializes his extraordinary mother and the life lessons she shared, often writ large in the literature relished by a family of indefatigable readers.

Report This Aug 06, 2013
  • gracindaisy rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A touching story of a mother dying of cancer and her son. The added bonus is that both people love reading and create their own book club, discussing and reading the best books of their life. This is a book junkie's bonanza; final bibliography contains more than 150 books - some you've read and others you'll want to read.

Report This Jul 29, 2013
  • amodolo rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This was such a beautiful book. Have a box of tissues next to you when reading it though. I love how Will Schwalbe has this bond with his mother through reading. Also love the long list of books on my to-read list after reading this book!

Report This Jul 17, 2013
  • Malca rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Amazing memoir. Have recommended it to everyone.

Report This Jul 13, 2013
  • nicole1104 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Beautiful. Highly recommended.

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Page 128 - " I realized then that for all of us, part of the process of Mom's dying was mourning not just her death but also the death of our dreams of things to come. You don't really lose the person who has been; you have all those memories. ..... I was learning that when you're with someone who is dying, you may need to celebrate the past, live the present, and mourn the future all at the same time."

Report This Jan 04, 2013
  • becker rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

“One of the many things I love about bound books is their sheer physicality. Electronic books live out of sight and out of mind. But printed books have body, presence. ... I often seek electronic books, but they never come after me. They may make me feel, but I can't feel them. They are all soul with no flesh, no texture, and no weight.”

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Report This Jan 04, 2013
  • becker rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

End of Your Life Book Club

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