The inspiring story of a son and his dying mother, who form a book club that brings them together as her life comes to a close.
Mary Anne Schwalbe is waiting for her chemotherapy treatments when Will casually asks her what she's reading. The conversation they have grows into tradition: soon they are reading the same books so they can have something to talk about in the hospital waiting room. Their choices range from classic (HOWARD'S END) to popular (THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO), from fantastic (THE HOBBIT) to spiritual (JON KABAT-ZINN), with many in between. We hear their passion for reading and their love for each other in their intimate and searching discussions.
A profoundly moving testament to the power of love between a child and parent, and the power of reading in our lives.
'I was so moved by this marvellous book. Schwalbe has done something extraordinary: made a personal journey public in the most engaging, funny and revealing way possible. It is a true meditation on what books can do.' - Edmund de Waal, author of The Hare with Amber Eyes
'Will Schwalbe gives us two love stories in one: That of his relationship with his dynamo of a mother as her horizons shrink, and that of their mutual devotion to the printed word, infinitely and insistently engaging. Tender and touching and beautifully done.' - Stacy Schiff, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Cleopatra
'A perfect book-club book about books and the community they create that also portrays the love between mother and son.' - Library Journal
'Will Schwalbe's brave and soulful elegy to his remarkable mother, his recollection of their sparklingly literate conversations, is a timely reminder that one exceptional person, or one exceptional book, can be a torch in the darkness. You'll turn the last page wishing you'd met Mary Anne Schwalbe, vowing to be worthy of her incandescent example - and promising yourself to read more.' - J. R. Moehringer, author of The Tender Bar
'A wonderful book about wonderful books and mothers and sons and the enduring braid between them. Like the printed volumes it celebrates, this story will stay with you long after the last page.' - Mitch Albom, author of Tuesdays With Morrie and The Time Keeper
'This touching and insightful memoir about the slow process of dying will appeal to readers of Tuesdays With Morrie and The Last Lecture, but also to people who love delving into books and book discussions. Like Mary Anne, who reads the ending first, you know how this book is going to end, but while it is a story about death, it is mostly a celebration of life and of the way books can enrich it.' - Booklist (starred review)
'a moving and inspiring story' - Choice Magazine
'Literature bridges generations in Will Schwalbe's thoughtful tribute to his late mother' - Vogue.com
Will Schwalbe has worked in publishing for many years.
He is the author of the international bestseller, The End of Your Life Book Club and the critically-acclaimed Books for Living, and co-author (with David Shipley) of Send: Why People Email So Badly and How to Do It Better.
He has also worked in digital media, and was the founder of Cookstr.com. As a journalist he wrote for the New York Times and the South China Morning Post.
He lives in New York City.
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