End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe

This book an uplifting true story about a two-person book club. Will Schwalbe and his mother, Mary Anne, have most of their club meetings in Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center while waiting for her cancer treatment. Mary Anne Schwalbe was an active woman: loving wife and mother, member of the Women’s Commission/International Rescue Committe, former Director of Admissions for Harvard/Radcliffe, Associate Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, friend and mentor to many people around the world. She shares her love of the printed word with all three of her children, but she creates a special bond with the author during the hundreds of hours they spend in hospitals. “Throughout, they are constantly reminded of the power of books to comfort us, astonish us, teach us, and tell us what we need to do with our lives and in the world. Reading isn’t the opposite of doing; it’s the opposite of dying.” The reader will meet many interesting people and an eclectic collection of titles, including some childhood favorites. Although the outcome of this story is apparent from the start the story is not depressing. There is a lot of living packed into this book. I wish I had known this admirable woman and her family. The only negative is that I now have dozens of titles to add to my ‘to-read’ list, and unlike Mary Anne, I’m a slow reader. A complete list of all of the titles mentioned throughout the book is included at the end.

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