A son's love story written for his mom, complete with a book-lover's dream wish list. I wish I had been where I could have written down some of the books' names, instead of driving down the road. Beautiful story, inspiring mother and son.
This is a book no one should miss. Mary Ann Schwalbe was a remarkable woman. There's probably a little bit of her in each of us and this book could help us discover it. I will definitely listen to this book again and again and will try to read as many of the books she and her son Will read.
What better story for Audible fanatics than one about the power of reading and sharing books. The remarkable relationship between Will and his Mother in her last years, and the role that books played during those years, makes for a beautiful read. I found myself wanting to be part of their exclusive book club as well. Several of the books Will and his mom shared are now on my Wish List.
Will Schwalbe introduces us to his extraordinary mother, Mary Anne, through the books they choose to read and discuss as she and they face a devastating diagnosis. We learn about Mary Anne's work in refugee camps, her philosophy of life, her only regret (not being able to see her grandchildren grow up), and her drive to organize everyone and everything around her. It was an honour to meet Mary Anne through Will's memories and Mary Anne's stories. And the books! Each book opened up topics of conversation that allowed Will and his mother to discuss what truly matters in life.
I'm a nurse who specializes in care of the elderly and this book is a real gift!
I generally enjoyed Schwalbe’s book, although I did feel it was a bit slow at times. I appreciated how the book was centered upon literary works and the connection the author had with his mother through books. His mother truly did lead an extraordinary life and it was touching to hear her thoughts about life and the way she chose to live it.
I found the narrator’s voice a bit annoying and, at times, actually obnoxious, which detracted from the story. I felt his tone projected a negative undertone to passages where, had I read them myself, wouldn’t have been perceived negative at all.
The Book Snob for Paris Life Magazine.
A book for book lovers, and a book that will broaden your Horizons and introduce you to an absolutely remarkable woman. I've heard of some new books that I want to read and I've remembered some wonderful books that I've already read. I've stretched my adoration for women around the world and I've been inspired. Recommend!
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.
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.