Received: Received from Random House of Canada in exchange for an honest reviewRelease Date: September 11, 2012
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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.
From the moment that I opened up this book, I knew I was in love. This is a book that is for all readers out there. Seeing all the chapters named after a book or poem really interested me to see how it would be incorporated into the book. I will say be prepared to have your TBR pile grow exponentially after reading this book.
This book will brings out every emotion possible in readers. This is such a beautiful tale of how books can really bring people together. Schwalbe does a beautiful job bringing this story to the people and showing how much books really can affect the readers. Schwalbe really brings out his emotions through everything he went though with his mother in his story, and I'm happy that he chose to share this story with the world.
I loved how these two characters read books and in their discussion of these books are able to touch on difficult subjects that a mother and son would not be able to talk about on a regular day. The characters were strong through everything they went through, I adored Mary Anne's strength to fight through and her convictions were inspiring.
I found myself flipping through the pages wondering what book they would discuss next and how it would factor into their lives. This is a book that everyone needs to read just to see how books really are important and can change someone's life in many ways. There were so many amazing quotes about how books touch the characters lives. Run out and get this book ASAP!