Review: The End of Your Life Book Club — Will Schwalbe

Read: 83
To Go: 17

Book List:
81. Low Pressure — Sandra Brown
82. How Should A Person Be? — Sheila Heti
83. The End of Your Life Book Club — Will Schwalbe


Mary Anne Schwalbe is waiting for her chemotherapy treatments when Will casually asks her what she’s reading. The conversation they have grows into a tradition: soon they are reading the same books so they can have something to talk about in the hospital waiting room. The ones they choose range from classic to popular, from fantastic to spiritual, and we hear their passion for reading and their love for each other in their dynamic and searching discussions.

I seem to be gravitating to books about books this year — first Tolstoy and the Purple Chair by Nina Sankovitch, and now The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe. The latter was another one I got from my Flare friend, and it was definitely an advanced copy, so I didn’t feel right reading and reviewing it until it was released. Moving forward!

I kept saying I was going to read Schwalbe’s book, and then subsequently putting it off in favour of other books. Mostly it was because the cover wasn’t much of a sell to me — it looked deceptively boring. I’m so glad I got around to reading it, though, because inside that dull cover was an incredibly touching story. The End of Your Life Book Club is a beautiful novel about how books and memories are inextricably linked, and how we can sometimes live through the books we read. It was also a memoir of Mary Anne Schwalbe — who, I must say, was one hell of an inspiring woman — and about a close relationship between a man and his mother. Probably one of the most heartfelt books I’ve read this year. (It needs a new cover, though — something that is as beautiful as the story within it.)

Next book: I have two Nora Roberts compilation books, which amount to three stories in each. You can bet your bottom dollar that I’m counting each story as a separate novel, because they all were at one point. And also, I am desperate to finish.

– Kelsey


4 thoughts on “Review: The End of Your Life Book Club — Will Schwalbe

  1. I really liked this book, as well, but you’re right — the cover is boring! I definitely agree that it was a very touching story and a wonderful tribute to Mary Anne. It also made me add so many books to my TBR list!

    • I definitely meant to reply to this earlier, but I was in a reading frenzy and didn’t get around to it.

      I know, right?! I ended up picking up “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” by Mohsin Hamid because I saw it mentioned in here, and noticed a few other titles from the book that looked interesting. I’ll probably be referring back to TEOYLBC for possible reading material in the future. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Review: The Reluctant Fundamentalist — Mohsin Hamid | The Independent Review

  3. Pingback: Review: The Elegance of the Hedgehog — Muriel Barbery | The Independent Review

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