The End of Your Life Book Club
That’s the question Will Schwalbe asks his mother, Mary Anne, as they sit in the waiting room of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. In 2007, Mary Anne returned from a humanitarian trip to Pakistan and Afghanistan suffering from what her doctors believed was a rare type of hepatitis. Months later she was diagnosed with a form of advanced pan ...more
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But this mother, this son... Will Schwalbe professes love and admiration for his mother. What I read, between the lines and sometimes in them, is a son who feels his mother failed him, a son angry at his mother. His mother, he tells us, is a humanitarian and advocate for social change, especially on beha ...more
Fortunately, Mr. Schwalbe and his mother had always shared a love of reading and enjoyed spirited conversations about their favorite books. While the endless chemo treatments proceed, and his mother's disease progresses, the two make their way through books of all kinds, from the popular (The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Ag ...more
This is an amazing memoir. Mary Anne Schwalbe was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2007, and she and her son spend time sharing books and holding informal book club chats, partly because they were both avid readers and partly to take Mary Anne's mind off of her illness. So it's a book about books, but it's also about the lessons Will learned from his mom.
I would recommend this book to any book lovers, but also to those who are ...more
I wish my mother and I had had that common language. And I wish my stepfather, through his own bitterness and lashing out, hadn't poisoned my pro ...more
"The End of Your Life Book Club" details the final two years of Mary Ann Schwalbe, who died after battling metastatic pancreatic cancer. In the pantheon of cancers, pancreatic is one of the most deadly, especially once it spreads to other organs, the liver, in Mrs Schwalbe's case.
She is a woman unaccustomed to sitting still. She was an educator, a philanthropist, a ...more
I want to tell everyone I know -- READ THIS BOOK! The book cover's flap has the best word to described this book: profoundly moving, joyful (in spite of loss) and a celebration of life, love and the written word.
I'm very fussy about reading non-fiction and more judgmental of non-fiction than fiction; very often I think someone wants to tell a story just to 'hear' themselves 'talk'. But this book was not about that, and easily earned 5* from me.
If you do p ...more
“We're all in the end-of-your-life book-club, whether we acknowledge it or not; each book we read may well be the last, each conversation the final one.”
This is one of the most beautifully written memoirs I have ever read. When Schwalbe’s 73-year-old mother, Mary Anne, is diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, she determines to continue living her life at the same wistful speed despite grim life expectancy statistics. A retired teacher and active humanitarian, her son graciously introduces ...more
Things I enjoyed: There are many great quotes f ...more
I wish I wasn't familiar with many of the drugs and their side affects, 4 FU (5 FU in the book), we had a nickname for that one, steroids, Ritalin, and lots of Imodium to name a few, as well as the frequent blood work, chemo rooms, surgery for ports, PET scans every three months and the waiting and pr...more
There is so much I'd like to tell you about The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe but this is one of those books you need t read yourself and take away what you will.
The title describes what we're about to read aptly as it is Will Schwalbe's story of the bound he and his mother, Mary Ann Schwa ...more
Welcome to a most unusual book club where each book you read may be the last. The members are the author and his mother Mary Anne, who has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Her disease is treatable, but not cureable. There will be no miracles; the most she ...more
I wanted it to offer illuminating discussion between two people who used books as a therapy during a difficult illness. It did not. I am afraid this is a cynical reaction, but knowing that the author comes from the publishing industry, I f ...more
As Ma ...more
This book is in the same genre as Knocking on Heaven's Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death but so different, since the author's mother, suddenly diagnosed at age 74 with pancreatic cancer, is of sound mind, if not body, when she sets out with the understanding her condition is treatable but not curable. The attitude is so different than that of Ezekiel Emanuel, who proclaimed last year in The Atlantic that he hopes to die at 75.
The appreciative regard in this humble memoir for certain objets ...more
Re-reading this book in March/April 2013 for book club. I was sick and housebound with a husband who was was woking very late so I re-read the entire book on 4/1/13. I enjoyed it just as much as the first time. What a great tribute to books and reading as well as to his mother.
This book will be in my top reads of 2013. While the author’s mother underwent chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer, he and his mother traded books and discussed them, forming a type of “book club”. ...more
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He is also the founder and CEO of cookstr.com, a recipe site featuring great recipes from many of the world's best chefs and cookbook authors.
Prior to that, he was SVP and editor in chief of Hyperion Books. He has also worked as a journalist, writing articles and reviews for such publications as The New York Times ...more