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Cambridge Book Club Readers~~ The End Of Your Life Book Club

The End of Your Life Book Club

by Will Schwalbe

That’s the question Will Schwalbe asks his mother, Mary Anne, as they sit in the waiting room of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. In 2007, Mary Anne returned from a humanitarian trip to Pakistan and Afghanistan suffering from what her doctors believed was a rare type of hepatitis. Months later she was diagnosed with a form of advanced pancreatic cancer, which is almost always fatal, often in six months or less. 

This is the inspiring true story of a son and his mother, who start a “book club” that brings them together as her life comes to a close. Over the next two years, Will and Mary Anne carry on conversations that are both wide-ranging and deeply personal, prompted by an eclectic array of books and a shared passion for reading. Their list jumps from classic to popular, from poetry to mysteries, from fantastic to spiritual. The issues they discuss include questions of faith and courage as well as everyday topics such as expressing gratitude and learning to listen. 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. 

Will and Mary Anne share their hopes and concerns with each other—and rediscover their lives—through their favorite books. When they read, they aren’t a sick person and a well person, but a mother and a son taking a journey together. The result is a profoundly moving tale of loss that is also a joyful, and often humorous, celebration of life: Will’s love letter to his mother, and theirs to the printed page.


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  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry, next week is just too busy now. I'm sad I can't go!

    September 25, 2013

  • Jenn F.

    I really wanted to go, but I was unable to get the book in time to read it for the disappointed!

    September 24, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Is it alright if I'm like 20 mins late?

    September 22, 2013

    • Paras H.

      yes. we will be at the large table in the very back and to the left. You can't miss us.

      September 24, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    This will be my first meeting and I'm excited to meet everyone!

    1 · August 27, 2013

  • Jenn F.

    This will be my first book club meeting. I look forward to meeting everyone!
    This book sounds amazing as well!

    1 · August 19, 2013

  • Jules

    October book:

    Come to the August meeting with your idea!

    July 11, 2013

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