The End of Your Life Book Club – Will Schwalbe (2012)


When his mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, a nearly always fatal cancer, Will Schwalbe and his mom, Mary Anne, begin a de facto book club for two. They had always enjoyed discussing books, but with chemo treatments and doctor’s appointments, they began sharing books and discussing them as any other book club would. While reading and discussing the books, Schwalbe felt closer to his mother than ever before, and felt he met a new version of her. The story is poignant and sad, as one would expect, knowing that Mary Anne had an incurable disease. Their books ranged in topics and genres, and acted as a new language for them; a language wherein the two of them could discuss death, cancer, life after death, religion, and many other topics that were difficult to broach. Mary Anne Schwalbe was an interesting person in her own right, and her family is populated with exciting and inspiring people, adding to this were the wonderful book reviews of the dozens of books that the two read together. Broken into chapters by the title of a book they read during that period, Book Club is a memoir to Schwalbe’s family, his mom, and to loss. Definitely worth reading. 336 pages

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