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Download The End of Your Life Book Club Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The End of Your Life Book Club, by Will Schwalbe Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (9,985 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Will Schwalbe Narrator: Jeff Harding Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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“What are you reading?” 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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Quotes & Awards

  • “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

  • “With a refreshing forthrightness, and an excellent list of books included, this is an astonishing, pertinent, and wonderfully welcome work.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “A celebration of life and of the way books can enrich it.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Selected for the October 2012 Indie Next List
  • Nominated for the Barnes & Noble Discover Award
  • An 2012 Entertainment Weekly Best Book for Fiction
  • A 2012 BookPage Best Book for Fiction
  • A 2012 Amazon Best Books of the Year for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Alice Ritchie | 1/26/2014

    " A touching tribute from a son to his mother. A lovely transition from life to death with the aid of books to ease the journey. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Ryan M. Hanna | 1/25/2014

    " A must-read for anyone who loves books and the relationship between children and mothers. Loved it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Tonia | 1/25/2014

    " Absolutely loved this book and highly recommend it. Will Schwalbe's mother is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. MaryAnn is a woman who had led an interesting and extraordinary life working as an actress, then at Harvard, and eventually moving into relief work around the globe. After her diagnosis, Maryann and Will start an informal mother son book club while she is going through chemotherapy. Through discussing various books, the reader gets to learn about the mother and son's shared love of books and philosophies on life, love and community. I can think of few books that moved me as deeply as "The End of your Life Book Club" did. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Mary Ross | 1/13/2014

    " This is a book for readers, book clubs, and anyone who has accompanied a loved one on the journey through which cancer takes him/her. It brought back memories of my own mother's 44-month fight with ovarian cancer. I was able to recall the good things I shared with my family throughout that time. The book also describes how books can bind as few as 2 people into a strong community. Book lovers will devour it, then go on to search for titles that Will and Mary Anne Schwalbe shared. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. "

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