Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Book Review: The End of Your Life Book Club

"What are you reading?" Will asked his mother this question as they waited for her chemo treatment at Sloan Kettering in New York. Thus began an informal book club. They shared books, asked questions, and were 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. (cover blurb)
Mary Anne Schwalbe was an amazing woman, who even in dying, showed grace and concern for so many. Her humanitarian efforts for refugees, and her work for education in Afghanistan was astounding. And her strength while dying helped her son, Will, look at the world differently.

He has written a powerful memoir and captured treasured memories in books. This is not maudlin. The books and subsequent discussions are thought-provoking. Did I cry at the end? Well, yes. I cared a lot about Will's mother and admired her common sense, her energy, her passion, and her grace.

P. 103 Of course, we are all dying and none of us knows the hour...And there's a world of difference between knowing you could die in the next two years and knowing that you almost certainly will.

The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe reinforces the message that books matter.


  1. This book sounds like a Must Read... right up there with Mitch Albom's work.

  2. I've heard a couple of good reviews about this book already. The only thing that puts me off is I'm not keen on memoir. Maybe I'll make an exception for a book about books.

  3. Schwalbe's memoir of his mother and her death is very good. We all face death and for Mary Anne and Will, that death came with love of books and each other.

    Marlene Detierro (Gun Parts and Accessories)