Overall, what did you think of The End of Your Life Book Club?
Join Date: 11/16/10
Join Date: 04/09/11
Join Date: 04/16/12
Join Date: 06/13/11
As a lover of books, I now take the lead like Will and Mary Ann of starting a conversation with "what are you reading now". Unlike Mary Ann, I never go directly to the end of the book. As a spoiler alert, the book ends with a comprehensive list of the books discussed. The book introduced me to a new must-read book list.
The book itself is a poignant memoir of a son's love and devotion of his exceptional mother. Weaving snippets from the book club discussion kept the story from being weighed down by the heavy topic of death.
Join Date: 12/04/11
I loved this book on so many levels! How awful the situation but how wonderful that they were able to spend the time together sharing books. I felt connected in a way when they were reading books I have already read and I am so thrilled to have a new list of must-read books. I've aready recommended this book to my book club and its not even published yet!
Join Date: 09/25/12
I loved this book! I too have recommended it to my book club. The book illustrates so well the idea of CONNECTION. When a book works, readers connect with it. As Will shared his story of reading and talking about books with his mom, I connected with them and sometimes with the characters in the books he cited. That's the beauty of book clubs too. When we connect with the stories of characters, we begin to share our own stories and connect with our fellow readers.
Join Date: 06/23/12
I totally enjoyed the book! I can't imagine any book lover that wouldn't but the rich relationship between mother and son would definitely be of interest to anyone? I found myself making a list of things to read as I read the book which, in my mind, was definitely a bonus?
Join Date: 10/21/10
I enjoyed reading the The End of Your Life Book Club...I have sorta believed that this is how a protracted dying event should work. I'd love to give a "death" like this to anyone who desired one. What a way to leave this body with joy and completion along with words and memories.
Join Date: 04/14/11
Join Date: 04/22/11
I think the book was written as a tribute to books and the meaning they have in our lives. In that respect the book was a total success. I enjoyed the descriptions of books read and am glad that he listed all of them in the Appendix. I'm looking forward to reading some of them.
I also think he intended the book to be a lasting tribute to his mother, and the influence she had in his life. He also succeeded in that regard, but in my opinion, he carried his portrayal of her a little too far. His mother appeared too perfect and too saintly to be believable.
Join Date: 06/01/11
I started this book interested in the author's opinion on the various books that he read with his mother. The story grabbed me and I was easily drawn in to the story. What a delightful read. I plan to read several of the books discussed that I have not yet read. I'm reading People of the Book right now
Join Date: 01/12/12
I loved the book but my only complaint is I'd hoped the author would go into greater depth discussing each book. That would have made it better, for me. As it is, I appreciate the beauty of Will's love for his mother and the special relationship they shared.
Join Date: 06/14/11
Ah, Shirley, I wish I hadn't already read PEOPLE OF THE BOOK (two times) before. What a lovely experience you must be having!
I loved END OF LIFE and the experience mother and son had in the face of her dying days. So many people fear death BUT facing death, as part of life, gave a great gift to the mother. It wasn't just about good books to read but also about helping the mother to not be so alone as she faced what we all will do eventually. Denial of a time limited life leaves many people to die without support. This was an example of courage and real love - how it should be done!
Join Date: 03/13/12
I am glad that I read this book. I have always loved books, and so to read a book about books making a difference in a family's life was nice. I think that this is a book that adult children will appreciate the most. I can't see the average teenager enjoying this book. Some of the people to whom I've recommended this book have recently lost a parent , and they were afraid it would be too sad. I told them, it's not.
Join Date: 09/26/12
Join Date: 05/19/11
I have to admit the title didn't speak to me, but my oh my how I enjoyed the book.. I feel about books how Mary Ann felt about books, a means for understanding our world and every book we read has a message for us. It is definitely a book lovers book. I made a list of books I want to read from the books they discussed. What a wonderful legacy for a mother to leave her son.
Join Date: 06/01/12
I really enjoyed this book. My mother died when I was 18. Books were something we shared--we used to go to the library together, we would read together, we would read some of the same books. This book brought those feelings back for me.
Join Date: 06/13/11
i really liked this book - while I expected to be impressed by the links to books my overwhelming response was what an amazing woman his mother was.
And the book did speak to me - I have entire groups of friends that I have nothing in common but books with and they have always been a link to my family.
Join Date: 08/11/11
I absolutely loved this book! I imagine that I have at least a hundred "marked" pages and or passages that I felt MUST NOT BE FORGOTTEN! What a powerful read and one so very very personal,yet I felt that Will
really wanted me to be a participant and witness to one of the most unforgettable time in his life. How many novels grant this experience to readers? Not many, which is why I am thoroughly moved by this work.
Join Date: 04/14/11
I received an Early Review copy of this book. I was intrigued by the title, and expected something gloomier. I was pleasantly surprised to make the journey with this remarkable mother-son team. When my mother was living, we often passed a book between us, but only a few titles come to mind, and no deep discussions ensued. I envy this duo for all they shared.
Join Date: 04/10/11
"How could anyone who loves books not love a book that is itself so in love with books?"
This quote refers to "The Uncommon Reader," but for me it is about this book. I expected to find out about books I might want to read--which I did--but was also absorbed by Will Schwalbe's tribute to his wonderful mother and her story of courage in the face of pain and illness.
Yes, I do love this book.
Join Date: 06/18/11
I too loved this book. I loved the theme, the relationship between the son and his mother, and the wonderful list of books to read. I was excited to see chapters named after books I have loved and was disappointed in some cases that there was so little mention of the book in the chapter. Small criticism, though. I can't wait to recommend this book to one of my book clubs and to read some of the books which I have added to my "to read" list.
Join Date: 06/13/11
I loved the book, as well. I didn't EXPECT to enjoy it so much, and actually procrastinated about starting it because I thought it would be sad or depressing. Quite the contrary was true for me. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Will and his mom through their "book club" discussions, and had a hard time putting the book down once I finally began! It's one I will recommend to other friends, as well. It is wise on so many different levels and has many lessons to impart about empathy and kindness, love and loss, and learning to be still and listen and be present in each moment.
Join Date: 06/13/11
I lent my copy of the End of Your Life Book Club to a friend who is a cancer survivor. Within hours of giving her the book, she called to thank me for sharing the book with her that she was thoroughly enjoying the book and impressed by the excellent writing. She viewed the book as a definite keeper and one to share with others.
Join Date: 09/06/11
I wanted to read the book to see if the author and his Mother thought about the books the same way I did. I wonder if their ideas about the books were changed because they were reading with the understanding that Mary Anne was dying. Would their opinions have been differend if she had not been dying? I really enjoy the two book clubs that I belong to with the different ideas that we have about the books that we read.
Join Date: 03/22/12
Join Date: 10/12/11
At first it was difficult for me to discuss THE END OF YOUR LIFE BOOK CLUB, for this book has a special meaning for me because my son and I have been exchanging books and discussing them for a long time. The irony lies in the fact that we are the same ages as Will and Mary Anne when they started their repertoire. What a wonderful experience it is to share the love of literature with someone you love be it a son, a spouse, a friend. Emily Dickinson once said "there is no frigate like a book.'' And as a cancer survivor, I marvel at the wonderful journeys to every corner of the earth one can share with another lover of literature. What a wonderful opportunity Will and Mary Anne had as their time together grew short--and what memories... . What a powerful love between a mother and a son!
Join Date: 04/20/11
I like the concept of a mother and son enjoying and discussing books together, esp. at such a stressful time in their lives. I would have to believe that it brought them even closer to each other and that each learned something about the other that was new as the read and discussed each book.
As to their choices of books, they were most interesting. One could look for "deep reasons" for their choices and I believe some would qualify as such. Others were chosen, I believe, simply for the joy of reading them, for the distraction they provided from Mom's illness.
I very much enjoyed the book and it is now a "keeper;" a book to pull from the shelf on a regular basis to explore and to jog my memory re books to be read and why others I have already read.
Join Date: 10/10/12
I am amazed an inspired by the energy and passion of Mary Ann to share her love of books. In spite of her physical limitations she was driven to build a national library for the Afgan people. In all her life works she was open to serve others and yet find time to read! I am now trying to carve out a time in the day to read as well as to find a passion I can serve.
Join Date: 07/25/12
As I read "The End of Your Life Book Club", I kept thinking how brave the author was to have written such a book. One of the many strengths of the book is that the author is so candid and exposes his feelings so openly--a brave thing to do. For example, he admits how difficult it is to discuss death with his mother and how he relies, at times, on "The Etiquette of Illness" to help him through awkward moments. (That is a book I would like to get my hands on!) He also talks about their differing views on religion and I sensed that this subject may have been a point of conflict between the two in the past. I think this honesty throughout the book very much helps the reader connect to his story.
The book focuses on the time of his mother's cancer diagnosis to her death from a very a difficult disease. The process of writing the book would have forced him to reexamine some very painful moments as he relived his mother decline and death. Also a courageous thing to do.
Join Date: 10/20/12
Truly a 5-Star book!! I shared my reading love with my dear grandmother who lived to be 100! She read the classics to her three granddaughters' and finished with a bedtime poem during our youth. In her later years we talked daily and always discussed what we were reading. Although our choices were different, the pleasure we derived was the same.
Reading is a wonderful bond that so many people can share in. How fortunate for those of us that have discovered this!!
Join Date: 10/21/12
This is a book I will cherish and recommend. I was immediately struck by the facility with which Mr. Schwalbe was able to capture in a few sentences or a short paragraph the book he and his mother were currently reading, Then the way he was able to weave a particular book into his past and current life was remarkable and enjoyable. The book is all about love, isn't it? Love for the author's remarkable mother, love for reading and books, love for family and humanity. Ultimately it's also about coming to terms with death and loss but this is done with great love as well.
Join Date: 10/13/12
Like Mary Anne, I think I'm very lucky! The End of Your Life Book Club was not my first book club choice, but I love it. I don't think another book would have affected me so much. My father died of cancer many years ago. Yet, this book still brought me back to that time when he was in treatment. I wish Dad had been a reader so that we could have used books as a bridges to establish connection. His bridge to others during the last few months of his life was sports, especially basketball, but I am not a big sports fan. Discussing books allows you to talk about the bigger themes in life and to talk about your feelings, attributing them to characters in your book.
Mary Anne was widely traveled, and I found myself wondering... is just Americans or do people from other countries also cloak or hide their feelings from their loved ones, even from their dying loved ones?
Join Date: 02/29/12
I really liked the book. Now I will pass it on to my avid book reading friends. I have also written down all their recommended books they liked and hope to read many of them.
I like almost all the books you recommend. I just love reading.
Join Date: 10/21/10
I think this wonderful book should be required reading. I also think that even if you don't read like this book with a loved one, or to anyone reading a book to someone, is sometimes the easiest way to communicate about many things. I still remember listening to a book that a teacher read to my class 60-years-ago. Thanks, Will
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