Friday, April 11, 2014

Review: The End of Your Life Book Club

Title The End of Your Life Book Club
By Will Schwalbe
Genre Non Fiction
Pages 336
Recommended by Book Club

First sentence We were nuts about the mocha in the waiting room at Memorial Sloan-Kettering's outpatient care center.

The true story of a Will Schwalbe who, when his mother is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, starts up an unofficial book club for the both of them. As his mother battles the cancer they discuss books and the wonderful joy that is reading.

What it has going for it
This book tore me very hard in both good and bad directions. On the one hand, I loved things in it so much that I actually made notes on post its and placed them in the pages. I love books about books. I loved hearing about books that they were reading. Some I'd read and some I haven't and some I haven't even heard of. I also love books that discuss books. One of my favorite books and movies is The Jane Austen Book Club. I love the things they discuss and bring up about Austen's work. Things I'd never thought of. This book has the most interesting discussions in it about books. Some of my favorite discussions were on whether happiness is a choice or not and about courage. It also made me ask myself the question: What would I be reading if I were dying. Would I forgo silly, light books? Interesting indeed. Mostly I loved this book and the ideas it presents about thoughts that come from reading.

What's lacking
And then there was the other part of the book. The biography of Will's mother. While interesting, and I pray I don't get struck by lightening for saying this, it came of a little to flowery. I don't know. He just made her sound like some sort of saint. Some sort of Mother Teresa. Yes, we all love our mothers and most of us think very highly of them but did he really need to make her sound so damn perfect? Nobody's perfect and by making her sound so it made the book seem a little less realistic. It made the book lose some of it's credibility. Which, as it's a non fiction, is saying something.

Favorite moment
I really liked the question about what type of books we would read if we knew our time was short.

Yea or Nay?
Meh. As much as I liked the discussions in this one. I still don't think I'd go around shouting about it. If it sounds like a fascinating read (like it did to me) then you'll probably like it.


  1. Just really getting started on this one. I hope I can get it down by book club. Wow.. book club is this week! I'm glad you enjoyed it mostly. I hope you come with all you post its so we can see what stood out to you! :)

  2. The book sounds interesting, but not interesting enough for me to read. And, I think I'd have a hard time reading it right now especially with his mother dying, even if she was too perfect. ;) I'm glad you got some good out of it, though.

  3. Hmm that sounds interesting but I think I'll pass. Though how would you decide what to read if you were dying???? I'd probably be begging publishers for arcs of my favorite series.

  4. +JMJ+

    Books about books are definitely up my alley as well! =D They all seem to ask some version of "What books would you read if . . . ?" which is always fun to answer! I'd really love to be part of a book club in which everyone got to answer the same question with one book and we all had to read and discuss them. =)

  5. While I've read books about books, none have been non-fiction. It sounds interesting, even though I don't usually read non-fiction books. By the way, I’ve nominated you for the Dardo and Liebster Awards, and I've just noticed that I wasn't following you from my new blogger account.