Customer Reviews for

The End of Your Life Book Club

Average Rating 4
( 132 )
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5 Star

(61)

4 Star

(37)

3 Star

(18)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(10)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

24 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

So many levels

This book has so much to it. A close mother-son relationship that grows closer through her terminal illness. A glimpse into an inspiring woman's life. Intelligent discussion on a variety of great books. Values to share with your children. It gives you much to ponder an...
This book has so much to it. A close mother-son relationship that grows closer through her terminal illness. A glimpse into an inspiring woman's life. Intelligent discussion on a variety of great books. Values to share with your children. It gives you much to ponder and leaves me wanting to contribute to life. Reminds you that a smile and sincere interest in others can do wonders. What a special woman and family. I may not know them in person, but i know them and my life is richer for that.

posted by Diantha on October 18, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Warm and heartfelt, the book just didn't grab my attention. I ap

Warm and heartfelt, the book just didn't grab my attention. I appreciate the effort but the prose travelled too slowly for me.

posted by Heidi_G on December 1, 2012

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Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 132 Customer Reviews
Page 2 of 7
  • Posted March 21, 2014

    The story of an extraordinary woman

    I liked this book for several reasons. It introduced me to some book titles that I had never heard of, and many of them I will want to read. There is a convenient list in the back of all books mentioned. I learned things to do and say to someone who is dying and to members of his/her family. But what I liked best was getting to know Mary Anne Schwalbe, the mother of the author and the second member of this book club. She lived life to the fullest, accomplishing astounding things like being Harvard's Director of Admissions, raising three well-adjusted children to adulthood, traveling all over the world to help those in need. Her driving passion during the last two years of her life, what she stayed alive for, was to build a central library and rural libraries in Afghanistan. This book was a wake-up call for me. I need to start working on the legacy I want to leave.

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  • Posted January 26, 2014

    highly recommended

    The title alone was intriguing to me. Then to find out that it is true story written by the protagonist's son made it even more personable. Though she is dying she and her son share books, often while she is hooked up to her chemotherapy treatment. Her dynamic life continues long past any hoped for time limit. Most encouraging - plus it gave me many titles of books I too would like to read. The heartache he feels over his mother and her dying is palpable but not depressing. It was actually an uplifting book rather than a downer. I read it very quickly....

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  • Posted November 5, 2013

    EXCELLENT.  I really enjoyed this book and all the references to

    EXCELLENT.  I really enjoyed this book and all the references to the books they read together.  Having just lost my father in January, the closeness that we enjoyed during the long waits I would not trade for anything.  If you listen, you tend to learn things you may not have otherwise.  I have already passed this book along.  Thanks for sharing your story.

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  • Posted October 26, 2013

    highly recommended

    This is an intriguing, thought-provoking read. I felt as if I were listening to the private discussions between a dying mother and her son, and I have made a list of many of the books they discussed which I have not read. I will recommend it to my book club.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2013

    Only if you must

    One more clueless male discovers that his mother, for all her public accomplishments and acclaim, really does have an intellectual life of her own. This realization comes during the mother's chemotherapy, a terrain that is treated by the author as if he alone had just discovered it. This pampered son really needs to get out more often.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2013

    Highly recommended

    For all those who have parents that are on their way to leaving the earth, this would be a good primer for making their exit. I often told myself when dealing with my parents over the years that I would do so keeping in mind that I would have no regrets or feelings of missed opportunities. I failed in one part and succeeded in others. I also believe that I have to make things easier for my daughter. Because as we all know, there is only one exit and we only have as much time as circumstance allows us. I am leaving this book out for my daughter, hopefully she will learn a few things and see the wisdom in it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2013

    Excellent read!

    I really enjoyed this book. I found it inspiring to see a person with cancer really live while waiting to be cured. I also found it interesting to see how family member dealt with the illness and death of a loved one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2013

    I recommend this book to those who are avid booklovers. The dis

    I recommend this book to those who are avid booklovers. The discussion of the books they'd read during Mary Ann's treatments is reason enough to read this book but the life of his mother, remembered as time goes by, made me admire her very much. A loving story by a loving son.

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  • Posted July 22, 2013

    Excellent Book

    My mother died a year ago and she was an avid reader, so this book really hit home. I really enjoyed it, although it made me sad.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 14, 2013

    When I first looked at the cover of this book I imagined it to b

    When I first looked at the cover of this book I imagined it to be a insipid little story. However, a senior editor at a large publishing house recommended it so I gave it a chance. 




    This book is a memoir about a literary professional and his very literate mother. Their love story plays out after the mother is diagnosed with terminal cancer; it is depicted via the books they read. It is a book club of two. 




    Schwalbe's mother is something of a Mother Teresa. She traveled the world, often the most cruel and filthy places, to improve situations. Reading all her achievements made my life feel small and sheltered. 




    I felt like I got to live vicariously with a woman whose world view was broad. At the same time, I got to see a simple portrayal of mother/son relationship as they discussed the books they read, often in the waiting room of the oncology treatment center. 




    One of Schwalbe's greatest strengths is that he is shows instead of tells. He treats readers as intellectuals and doesn't tell them what they are supposed to feel in each scene. 




    Neither does he put his mom on a pedastal, although I'm not sure how he could keep from doing that when she was so accomplished. 




    I highly recommend this book. Even thought it tackles a sad topic, it's inspiring---not sad---until the very end. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2013

    Flametail

    Waits for laceflight....

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2013

    I loved this book: the premise, the books discussed and the beau

    I loved this book: the premise, the books discussed and the beautiful relationship depicted between Mother and son. You will weep, but you must read this book!

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  • Posted June 14, 2013

    Recommend

    Enjoyed hearing about the books that they talked about in the book and reading about the relationship that the Mother and Son had during her illness.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2013

    Amazing Read

    A dear friend recommended this book but I did not immediately put it on my reading list. However, when it appeared on a Barnes & Noble list of books that might be interesting, I ordered it based upon her recommendation. This was a wonderful book at so many levels -- their love of reading, the mother's phenomenal life story, her struggle with the life-ending diagnosis, the relationship between a mother and son, their life in review as it went through the 50's, the 60's, the 70's, 80's, 90's, through 2011. I, in turn, have recommended it to my sister who loves non-fiction better than I.

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  • Posted May 8, 2013

    Interesting but tends to be a bit depressing to anyone who has been through the dying process with a loved one recently. Good for book club discussion.

    Well written and touching especially in regard to mother son relationships. It is the story of and extraordinary women. Shows how families support each other when close or far apart geographically but would that be possible if the people were not wealthy?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2013

    check it out

    Anyone who loves books and has shared a good read with someone will relate to the bonding. Also sharing his feelings about his mother's long term illness and the emotions evoked by it were so real.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2013

    End of your Life Book Club

    I finished this wonderful book. Will Schwalbe's elderly mother is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. So we all know how the book ends. But what happens from diagnosis to her death is special, yet families experience it everyday. They used books to learn about each other as people, not mother and son. I highly recommend this book. And Mary Anne Schwalbe was an incredible woman.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2013

    Good...

    This book is amazing and the relationship is heartwelming! However, it was not what I was expecting to come across while choosing to read. I had a hard time really connecting with story when first startung and felt as though it was a little slow to grasping the reader. It's a good book but not one of my favorites.

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  • Posted March 19, 2013

    Touching literary treatise....

    This book is pretty cerebral and a great intellectual review of some very significant works. It also is a touching response to his mother's terminal illness. As exceptional and interesting as his mother was, however, i did mot expect it to be such a laudatory eulogy; I expected more of story of their emotional journey through that time.

    That said, I am glad I read it. I had hoped it would be a springboard for myself and my 6 adult children, and something to share and pass amongst us. it is not a book most of my kids will enjoy reading; in fact, i am pretty certain at least 4 will not bother to finish it. it Is not riveting, and had little " magic, apart from the mother he lauded. i doubt it will engender any meaningful conversation between any of us. But I got a whole new reading list out of it!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2013

    Just OK

    Boring.....

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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