The End Of Your Life Book Club

Hardcover | October 2, 2012

byWill Schwalbe

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Mary Anne Schwalbe was a renowned educator who filled such august positions as Director of Admissions at Harvard and Director of College Counseling at New York's prestigious Dalton School. She also felt it incumbent upon herself to educate the less fortunate and spent the last 10 years of her life building libraries in Afghanistan. But her story here begins with a mocha, dispensed from a machine in the waiting room of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Over coffee, Will casually asks his mom what she's been reading. The conversation they have grows into tradition: soon they mutually agree to read the same books and share them together as Mary Anne waits for her chemotherapy treatments. The books they read, chosen by both, range from the classic to the popular: from The Painted Veil to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; from My Father's Tears to the Christian spiritual classic Daily Strength for Daily Needs. Their discussions reveal how books become increasingly important to the connection between a remarkable woman whose life is coming to a close, and a young man becoming closer to his mom than ever before.

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From Our Editors

INDIGO SPOTLIGHT: This month's Spotlight selection is a graceful and inspiring memoir about the stories we share with the people we love.The End of Your Life Book Club is a moving testimonial of the love between a son and his aging mother as she prepares for the end of her life. Both are great readers who know books can open up worlds ...

From the Publisher

Mary Anne Schwalbe was a renowned educator who filled such august positions as Director of Admissions at Harvard and Director of College Counseling at New York's prestigious Dalton School. She also felt it incumbent upon herself to educate the less fortunate and spent the last 10 years of her life building libraries in Afghanistan. But...

WILL SCHWALBE has worked in publishing (most recently as senior vice president and editor-in-chief of Hyperion Books); new media, as founder of Cookstr.com; and as a journalist, writing for such publications as the New York Times and the South China Morning Post. He is on the board of Yale University Press and the Kingsborough Communit...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:352 pages, 8.16 × 5.68 × 1.39 inPublished:October 2, 2012Publisher:Knopf CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0307399664

ISBN - 13:9780307399663

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From Our Editors

INDIGO SPOTLIGHT: This month's Spotlight selection is a graceful and inspiring memoir about the stories we share with the people we love.The End of Your Life Book Club is a moving testimonial of the love between a son and his aging mother as she prepares for the end of her life. Both are great readers who know books can open up worlds and change lives. Will Schwalbe worked for years as an editor at a large publishing house and his mother Mary devoted her life to education and works of charity culminating in the creation of a major public library in Afghanistan. Facing an uncertain time, they form a book club that allows them to share ideas and talk honestly about what matters most to them.Together they create a keepsake collection of books that any booklover would treasure. These books allow them to speak more easily about difficult subjects: love, mortality, responsibility, ethics and what constitutes a life well lived.This is a restrained yet powerful story, unsentimental yet involving. It is an urgent reminder of how books and reading can bring us closer together. It will become a book you love and want to share with those closest to you.

Editorial Reviews

INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLERFINALIST 2013 – ABA Indies Choice Book Awards“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“Will Schwalbe’s lyrical tribute to a life well-lived and a death graced with love and literature is a precious gift bestowed on all of us. What a unique and beautiful book this is, and how privileged we are to have it.” —Dr. Sherwin B. Nuland, author of How We Die and The Art of Aging “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“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, author of Cleopatra“I was so moved by this marvelous 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 “At last a book that celebrates the role books play within our own story. Will Schwalbe has created a tender, moving and honest portrayal of the precious relationship between a mother and son—an ode to that beautiful thing called love.” —Cecelia Ahern, author of PS, I Love You“This book is a passionate, purposeful and elegant guide to human existence. Living life, learning life and loving life. And ultimately, accepting life’s end. Mary Anne and Will have given us an exquisite gift. For a better life, better family and better world, read this moving elegy from a gifted and loving son to an extraordinary mother.” —David Rohde, co-author of A Rope and a Prayer “An extraordinarily wise, witty, and quietly wrenching book about parental love, filial love, profound grief, and literature’s great consolations. How wonderful to encounter a writer who combines erudition with great emotional honesty, and who isn’t afraid of addressing life’s most profound and baffling questions.”  —Douglas Kennedy, The Woman in the Fifth