I enjoyed their distraction from the painful unfolding events by sharing their respective experiences in the wider context of favourite literary pieces.
It's very human touch
The fact that they also loved some of my favourite books, and were able to navigate their experience through their shared love of great books
I am not sure I would be eager to read another book by Will Schwalbe. Since this book is likely to be very unique for him, it would be hard to judge this book against others he may write.I thought the narrator did a fine job.
I would only recommend this book to those who really love books or are perhaps coping with the loss of someone. I don't think this book is for everyone. It reads like a diary or book report. The best parts of the book are when we learn about Will's mother's life leading up to the cancer. You could also use this book as a "must read list" before you die, since it references so many great books.There are no plot twists here. No real "aha" moments. It just quietly chronicles the life of an extraordinary women.
He brought life to the individual voices in the book. I thought he did a good job.
There are a few books referenced in it that I would like to read now.
Say something about yourself!
Bibliotherapy, living, dying
For the most part, the book was positive and and did not idealize or malign anyone or anything. It demonstrated that life is for the living.
The son, who devoted his time and love during his mother's experience with pancreatic cancer. The mother's voice was not pleasant, and I considered it the weakest link.
Not so much a moment, but the series of events and books that framed the process of dying from pancreatic cancer. The epilogue is memorable, and moving.
The mutual reading and sharing of books as therapy for an incredibly accomplished and tireless mother and son pair. The major source of tension, which was by no means major, was the son's tolerance and pseudo-acceptance of his mother's reliance on Christianity as a crutch at the end. Fortunately, neither character was provincial and the book club related conversations (and great list of books to read or listen to anytime) were often captivating. The use of humor elevated the quality and enjoyment of this work. No easy task within the context of death and dying from one of the most malignant and difficult to treat types of cancer. It was fortunate that her course was relatively indolent.
Avid reader of classics and fiction, history and well-written genre novels. Music lover and huge audiobook fan.
HIghly recommend this for anyone who likes talking about books. I bought this book on sale because I really do like to know how people choose to read the books they read and what they think about them. However, I hated the title so much I hesitated for a long time because it sounded so morbid. Also, I thought it sounded like the author was marketing his book on the basis of his mother's cancer. In fact the book is a beautiful tribute to his mother and the discussions are exactly the kinds of things I like to know about other readers and what they read. But the title was quite a put-off.
I also wasn't wild about the narration because the narrator's voice did not seem to suit either of the main characters, Will Schwalbe or his mother, although his pace and pronunciation were very clear and would otherwise have been fine. He just sounded like a professional narrator rather than someone emotionally involved in either the books he read or the relationship with his mother. Also the narrator used a vocalization for a woman's voice to signal the mother's words that was unpleasant and priggish. I admit it's difficult to portray a 75 year old woman and her son in the same voice, but I think if a vocalization had to be used it could have been done in a less irritating manner.
That said, I had no trouble listening to the entire book which discusses many books I have read or planned to read, and some books I will try because I enjoyed the discussion of them in this book. The discussions were exceptionally interesting and on target and even the mother's illness which originally made me hesitant about reading this book ultimately gave the book meaning. However the title still seems like something written by a marketing person. But this is a very good book I highly recommend to enthusiastic readers.
Still highly recommended book for anyone who enjoys discussing books.
Schwalbe and his mother read and commented on many books that I have read; their comments were short but very insightful. Even though Schwalbe's mother is dying, at no time does the book wallow in self-pity, nor does it become a downer. To the contrary, the woman is strong and positive in the face of a terminal disease and therefore doesn't allow the reader to feel sorry for her. Her son, Will, also does not provoke sorrow.
I loved the way I could almost feel like I was present at the their book club meetings.
The compassionate way he describes his mother's life and achievements - along with her illness.
No - but he is good!
At the end when he summarises what his mother taught him in life.
I loved listening to Jeff Harding. My sister recommended the book, but I bought the audiobook instead and I don't regret it for one minute.
It's real and touching at the same time. It makes you laugh, cry and think. Also makes you want to read more.
So hard to pick, but I guess when he summarizes his mother's advice for life.
What would YOU like to remember about your mother?
A fantastic book about life and a reading addiction. Wonderfully narrated too.
This book was an absolute pleasure to read. Will Schwalbe writes in a very accessible manner that is refreshing. He’s a book publisher from a well-educated and influential family. His world is changed however when it is learned that his mother, the cog in the family is diagnosed with cancer and is given roughly six months to live. They are a family of readers, so it isn’t a shock that he asks her “what are you reading?” This begins a strange book club, with only two members, a son and his mother. The books they read are fantastic to be sure, but it’s how the books help them cope that inspires me. It gives them an avenue to approach difficult conversations.
My mother has Muscular Dystrophy and it is very hard to watch her muscles deteriorate and pain increase. I don’t know how many more years she has left. A difference between Schwalbe and I is that I’ve had 17 years to prepare mentally. But you really can’t prepare for it. This book helps. It shows that just being there as a family is most important, to make them feel special. I love my mom so much and hope she lives many more years, but this book helped me realize I’m less alone and showed me things to say…
A sad book to be sure, but less sad than I’ve probably made it out to be. It’s really a story of love. A love of family and a love of books. Is there a better combination?
I listened to it several times. Sometimes to just the parts I found particularly moving.
He is an excellent reader.
This book made me laugh and cry. It made me remember all the books that meant so much to me growing up.
I enjoyed the speaker and the story, but it could be a little sad/depressing at times. This may or may not be a good book for someone who is going through a similar experience with cancer or has a loved one with cancer.