- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 9 hours and 40 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Random House Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: October 2, 2012
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B009KF0PYW
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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The End of Your Life Book Club Audible – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
This is one of those books that made me want to highlight important points and be sure to make note of some aspects as I read. One of those is that although this book is about the books that Will and his mother read, it is also a memoir of sorts. Will's mother, Mary Ann, was an amazing woman. She worked outside the home before many other mothers did so and was a great fundraiser and humanitarian. Her most recent quest was building a library in Afghanistan. She was well traveled, volunteering in many dangerous locations, not afraid to get her hands dirty. The pride Will feels for his mother is evident, and I was also amazed by this woman's accomplishments.
Although I haven't read more than a few of the books that Schwalbe and his mother read and discuss, that did not detract from the pleasure of reading this book. If anything, it has caused me to add a few more titles to my ever-growing list.
Before you begin reading, it is evident that this will not be a happily ever after ending. Yet, The End of Your Life Book Club is not really a sad story. Will Schwalbe is able to show readers the impact of his mother's life. He was also able to show the real and lasting impact her reading had on her and her children and grandchildren. This is a beautiful tribute to the remarkable Mary Ann Schwalbe.
I honestly couldn't put it down- it's a really wonderful book.
The backstory is this: Will Schwalbe's mom, Mary, is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, which (as the doctor says) is "treatable but not curable". Will vows to be as supportive to his mom as he can. But Mary isn't your typical middle-aged woman- this is a woman who has been on the frontlines of some of the most volatile areas on the earth, championing human rights, education, and literacy. She's also a sort of buttoned-up and reserved soul, not one to expound much on her feelings or emotions. She faces her illness with sort of a brisk honesty.
Will realizes that the best way he can support his mom, engage her, and open up the lines of communication is to share in one of Mary's passions- books. Will is a editor at a major publishing company, so he's quite a fan of books, as well.
So he and Mary begin sharing books, and every time the two see each other, they discuss the books they read. In the process, Mary begins to reveal more and more about not only her vast experiences, but also her emotions and her fears.
I've read quite a few "book project" books and many of them come across as an giant compiled Cliff's Notes of books that are read.Read more ›
Often books about lists of books disappoint me but this one was definitely worth it. The author works in publishing, media and writing, so he knows books and literature. His mother, whom he adores, is dying of pancreatic cancer. She too was a voracious reader. They always exchanged books but in her illness they form a secret book club of two to discuss what they are reading during the long chemo sessions (he goes to most with her). Rest assured, she is not just some little wimp of a woman with cancer - she has a powerful resume: well educated, a working mother all her married life, was dean of admissions for Harvard and Radcliff, directed a number of exclusive schools and did massive (and I mean massive) humanitarian work. She lived in many places (London, Paris) and travelled the world for her causes: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Africa - lived in dangerous places to do her work. She was part of the founding of the IRC - International Rescue Committee (a favorite charity of mine), was shot at, starved, got all sorts of diseases from her travels but she was a survivor. Her final work was building a library with mobile units in Afghanistan. She travelled all over the US raising money and she worked on this project almost to her dying breath. And she raised a big family. And through all of this she read voraciously.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Couldn't make it past chapter two. My highest compliment is he is SUCH a good writer, such good voice that I was IN the story...he was talking to me. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Sarah Andre
Exactly what I needed. Going through a similar situation and this book truly lifted me up. Well written, beautiful tribute and a treasure for any book lover.Published 1 month ago by R Sweeting
In rating this book, I vacillated between okay and like. Overall I liked the story. I had to work a little at dismissing the wealth of this family but the mother's charity work... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Carolyn Dargevics
I laughed, I cried and I remembered some of the books he mentions in the course of the book. The author made me remember how important books are to us. Read it! Read morePublished 1 month ago by Laura S
True store that many may be able to relate to. Especially if a family member has gone through stressful cancer treatments. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Christena Hauser
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