The End of Your Life Book Club: A Mother, a Son and a World of Books

Author(s): Will Schwalbe

Biography / Memoir | Literary Criticism & Essays & Journalism

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. For fans of Tuesdays With Morrie and The Last Lecture.

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. 


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'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

'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

Will Schwalbe has worked in publishing, most recently as senior vice president and editor in chief of Hyperion Books; digital media, as the founder and CEO of; and as a journalist, writing for various publications including The New York Times and the South China Morning Post. He is on the boards of Yale University Press and the Kingsborough Community College Foundation. He is the coauthor, with David Shipley, of Send: Why People Email So Badly and How to Do It Better. Find out more about The End of Your Life Book Club here. Follow Will on Twitter, on Facebook or on Pinterest.

General Fields

  • : 9781444706376
  • : Hodder & Stoughton General Division
  • : Two Roads
  • : June 2011
  • : 216mm X 135mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : September 2012
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Will Schwalbe
  • : Paperback
  • : 1
  • : 028.9092
  • : 352