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The End of Your Life Book Club book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. The inspiring story of a son and his dying mother. The End of Your Life Book Club [Will Schwalbe] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. An Entertainment Weekly and BookPage Best Book of. Mary Anne Schwalbe is waiting for her chemotherapy treatments when Will casually asks her what she's reading. The conversation they have grows into a.

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The End Of Your Life Book Club

As its title suggests, these discussions are the ostensible subject of Will Schwalbe's memoir, “The End of Your Life Book Club.” But just as the. An Entertainment Weekly and BookPage Best Book of the Year During her treatment for cancer, Mary Anne Schwalbe and her son Will spent many hours sitting. The questions, discussion topics, and reading list that follow are intended to enhance your reading group's discussion of The End of Your Life Book Club, the .

She held fast to an eccentricity that he, also a book lover, believed robbed her of the true pleasure of a good book: she read the ending first. That was heresy for him and, I would wager, most readers. It certainly was for me before I dug into The End of Your Life Book Club, his true account of how he and his adored mother formed the exclusive club in the last months of her life. It was November, , and her answer, Crossing to Safety by Pulitzer Prize-winner Wallace Stegner, would launch them on a journey that continued until her death in September, Books and the opportunities they offer — in choosing, reading, sharing and remembering them — had always been his special bond with his mother. Mary Anne Schwalbe lived a life rich with adventure and compassion. Instead of limiting herself to an office stateside, she spent much of her time on the ground, working with refugees affected by wars in Liberia, Thailand, Sudan and other countries. For that reason, she believed at first that her debilitating fatigue over the summer of was just the effects of another parasite picked up on the road, in this case, on a mission in Afghanistan. Sadly, she was wrong and for two years, Will Schwalbe, journalist, author and editor, and his mother discussed everything from T. She and son, Doug, were Lewis fans, while Will fell hard for Tolkien as a child.

‘The End of Your Life Book Club’ by Will Schwalbe - The Boston Globe

Quite the opposite; they honor her by rendering her complete. After almost two years of dictation, Mary Anne is too ill to compose her blog posts. For the first time, Will himself writes the message that goes out under his name. He shows it to his mother for her approval, and she adds a few lines about President Obama and the need for health care reform.

Instead we read the words of a man who is losing a person he loves and is helpless to do anything about it. Christopher R.

The End of Your Life Book Club

Book Review A Long Goodbye. Alfred A.

A version of this article appears in print on , on Page 16 of the Sunday Book Review with the headline: A Long Goodbye. All of this her son outlines in an amiable, conversational style that is often charming but ultimately unsatisfying.

When they are, the discussions are perfunctory. In the chapter named for T. CreditRobert H. And then one of us started to giggle.

Well, truthfully I am, but even after all these years it would seem like ratting out a sibling to name a name. But these are not qualities that make for a scintillating memoir. To paraphrase Joan Didion, a writer is always ratting somebody out.

A great memoirist, even one moved primarily by love and devotion, must possess a certain amount of ruthlessness — toward himself if no one else. Young Will followed suit, devouring books about Paul Revere and Alistair MacLean thrillers, and eventually rising to the chair of editor-in-chief at Hyperion.

In the summer of , Mary Anne returned home to New York from yet another trip abroad — she was a frequent visitor to refugee camps in Asia and Africa — to find herself weakened by hepatitis. Then the trap door opened — a terminal diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, with a life expectancy of three to five months.

The End of Your Life Book Club Reader’s Guide

Talking about novels proved a springboard to talking about everything. Mary Anne elevated kindness and gratitude to cardinal virtues. She believed in warm smiles, prompt thank-you notes, easy conversation with strangers. She felt blessed that she could afford first-rate cancer care and worried about sick people without health insurance.