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 ...more
I have also - since reading this book bought AT LEAST a DOZEN copies ....or more ( Not at full price)... but in perfect condition to give to close friends...
heck -- I've sent the book to a few people on this site.
I LOVE this book - I adore Will ( the author) ...
And Ive known Will had been writing a new book about ...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 ...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 ...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
A hard one to review as my beloved nanny died of pancreatic cancer last year. I didn't realise this before agreeing to review the book and the parallel experiences made it a challenging read. Especially as her birthday has just gone and there are only three months till the anniversary of her death. She was on my mind even before reading this. Nanny and I never had a book club as such, but we both read a lot and often shared/talked about books. She is intertwined so much with my idea of ...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 ...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, ...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 ...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 ...more
What I most enjoyed about this book were the descriptions of the books. There were books I had in my To Be Read pile that I moved to the top after reading what Will’s mother said about them. There ...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...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 ...more
In 2007, Will Schwalbe's dynamic mother, Mary Anne, was diagnosed with a form of advanced pancreatic cancer, which is always fatal. This was a shock to Will's entire family, as Mary Anne had always been a true force of nature, a crusader for humanitarian rights all over the globe, once the director of admissions at Harvard and Radcliffe, and truly an inspiration to everyone she encountered.
Mary Anne and her husband, Douglas, raised their three children with very strong principles of ...more
I read more and more slowly as I neared the end: I became very fond of Mary Ann Schwalbe and did not want to say good-bye to her or our time together.
I grew to admire her tremendously and wish I could have actually met her.
I do wish Schwalbe had given more space to the books being discussed but ...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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I’ve put a lot about myself in my books, but here are some of the basics. I was born in New York in 1962; grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts; went to boarding school in New Hampshire, and to college in New Haven, Connecticut. So I consider myself a New Englander, ...more