Sunday, December 30, 2012
Will Schwalbe's mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in her early 70's. An activist all her life, she embraced a fairly aggressive treatment regimen in an attempt to lengthen the quality days she had left.
Her son Will, recently retired from a publishing job as Editor-in Chief at Hyperion Publishers, often volunteered to accompany her to various doctors appointments and medical procedures during the almost 2 years she lived after her diagnosis. As they rode buses and subways, and sat in waiting rooms or "treatment booths", they found themselves not only following their life-long habit of reading, but also trading books and discussing their impressions, likes and dislikes of various books. As they discussed the books, stories of their previous adventures in life became intertwined and personal details were allowed to percolate to the surface.
I chose the book for the book club related subject matter. In the end however, I discovered a treasure of a tribute to an emancipated woman, a loving mother and a courageous family. It was heartwarming without being maudlin, and gives the reader a glimpse of a rich and varied reading life that both of them enjoyed. Even MaryAnn's penchant for always reading the end of the book first, a habit I normally find abhorrent, did not produce a negative feeling toward her. The appendix gives a complete list of books the two discussed - as you can see, the range was wide, deep and eclectic. There were quite a few I had read, and several other that popped right up as candidates for our local book club. It was an exceptionally good ending to a great reading year and a loving tribute to an incredibly well-read woman.
Title: The End of Your Life Book Club
Author: Will Schwalbe
Publisher/format: audio from Books on Tape, 9 hrs, 37 min
Narrator: Jeff Harding
Subject: end of life, books
Source: Public library
Why did I read this book now? The subject intrigued me
Posted by Tina at 12:00 AM