The End of your Life Book Club

The End of your Life Book Club

Audiobook CD - 2012
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"What are you reading?"

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 pancreatic cancer, which is almost always fatal, often in six months or less.

This is the inspiring true story of a son and his mother, who start a "book club" that brings them together as her life comes to a close. Over the next two years, Will and Mary Anne carry on conversations that are both wide-ranging and deeply personal, prompted by an eclectic array of books and a shared passion for reading. Their list jumps from classic to popular, from poetry to mysteries, from fantastic to spiritual. The issues they discuss include questions of faith and courage as well as everyday topics such as expressing gratitude and learning to listen. Throughout, they are constantly reminded of the power of books to comfort us, astonish us, teach us, and tell us what we need to do with our lives and in the world. Reading isn't the opposite of doing; it's the opposite of dying.

Will and Mary Anne share their hopes and concerns with each other--and rediscover their lives--through their favorite books. When they read, they aren't a sick person and a well person, but a mother and a son taking a journey together. The result is a profoundly moving tale of loss that is also a joyful, and often humorous, celebration of life: Will's love letter to his mother, and theirs to the printed page.

Publisher: [Westminister, MD] : Books on Tape, [2012]
ISBN: 9780449806654
0449806650
Branch Call Number: 616.9940092
Characteristics: 8 sound discs (9 hr., 37 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
Additional Contributors: Harding, Jeff

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TheresaAJ
Mar 12, 2018

When the author's mother is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, they find books a bridge to share their thoughts, feelings, and fears through countless doctors' appointments, treatments, and just not good days. Switching between favorite authors and current writers, Will and his mother cover a remarkable amount of territory in almost two years. Like an onion, the various books uncover the biographies of both mother and son topic by topic. Unlike most books about books, I've actually read many of the books discussed by Will and Mary Anne. Although my opinions didn't always agree with theirs, it was refreshing to see my choices reflected through their voices.

d
dana2155
Jun 11, 2017

Boring!

g
garthburlingham
Oct 15, 2014

Book junkies will like this book, especially fiction fans. The story has "good pull" to it, even if we all know the outcome. And what an inspiring woman, and an exquisite mother. This is a perfect piece for a six hour car trip. Though I am a non-fiction nut, I am glad to have partaken in this. Give it a try. Most of you will not be disappointed.

VanessaCCL Nov 27, 2012

"Editor and writer Will Schwalbe and his mother, Mary Anne, started a book club just for them as they sat in the waiting room at the centre where Mary Anne was receiving chemotherapy. Their conversations began with her remarks about a particular book and continued through more than two years of her treatments. Their discussions allowed them to talk - directly or indirectly - about issues of life and death in addition to the books themselves.." Biography and Memoir Newsletter November 2012 http://www.nextreads.com/Display2.aspx?SID=5acc8fc1-4e91-4ebe-906d-f8fc5e82a8e0&N=571059

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