Reviews & Praise
[This] book is robust with love and laughter.
Not only a son’s heartfelt tribute to [his mother’s] courage and grace but vivid testimony to the enduring power of books to create meaning out of chaos, illuminate values, and connect us with each other.
The Boston Globe
A loving celebration of a mother by a son.
The New York Times Book Review
A book that is expressly about books, about the purpose and pleasures of books, and the ways they connect us even as we read them as a solitary pursuit…. [It’s also] about, in part, the consolations we can find in art, books in particular, as we struggle to face the terrible awareness of our own mortality.
The Plain Dealer
O, The Oprah Magazine
Completely engaging and difficult to put down. Hearing Schwalbe recount the effects that one selfless and loving person can have on the world is sad without being depressing, and deeply inspirational on a personal level to every imaginable reader.
Touching and rigorously honest, this memoir is wise about the role reading plays in our lives and deaths.
The most moving memoir of the year.
A tribute to a remarkable woman and an examplary reader.
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, author of Tuesdays with Morrie and The Time Keeper
Will Schwalbe’s lyrical tribute to a life well-lived and a death graced with love and literature is a precious gift bestowed on all of us. What a unique and beautiful book this is, and how privileged we are to have it.
Sherwin B. Nuland, author of The Art of Aging and How We Die
With a refreshing forthrightness, and an excellent list of books included, this is an astonishing, pertinent, and wonderfully welcome work.
Publishers Weekly (starred)
Will Schwalbe’s brave and soulful elegy to his remarkable mother, his recollection of their sparklingly literate conversations, is a timely reminder that one exceptional person, or one exceptional book, can be a torch in the darkness. You’ll turn the last page wishing you’d met Mary Anne Schwalbe, vowing to be worthy of her incandescent example—and promising yourself to read more.
J.R. Moehringer, author of The Tender Bar
Will Schwalbe gives us two love stories in one: that of his relationship with his dynamo of a mother as her horizons shrink, and that of their mutual devotion to the printed word, infinitely and insistently engaging. Tender and touching and beautifully done.
Stacy Schiff, author of Cleopatra
This touching and insightful memoir [will] appeal to readers of Tuesdays with Morrie and The Last Lecture, but also to people who love delving into books and book discussions . . . While it is a story about death, it is mostly a celebration of life and of the way books can enrich it.
I was so moved by this marvelous book. Schwalbe has done something extraordinary: made a personal journey public in the most engaging, funny and revealing way possible. It is a true meditation on what books can do.
Edmund de Waal, author of The Hare with Amber Eyes
In a heartfelt tribute to his mother, Schwalbe illustrates the power of the written word to expand our knowledge of ourselves and others.
At last a book that celebrates the role books play within our own story. Will Schwalbe has created a tender, moving and honest portrayal of the precious relationship between a mother and son—an ode to that beautiful thing called love.
Cecelia Ahern, author of PS, I Love You
This book is a passionate, purposeful and elegant guide to human existence. Living life, learning life and loving life. And ultimately, accepting life’s end. Mary Anne and Will have given us an exquisite gift. For a better life, better family and better world, read this moving elegy from a gifted and loving son to an extraordinary mother
David Rohde, coauthor of A Rope and a Prayer
An extraordinarily wise, witty, and quietly wrenching book about parental love, filial love, profound grief, and literature’s great consolations. How wonderful to encounter a writer who combines erudition with great emotional honesty, and who isn’t afraid of addressing life’s most profound and baffling questions.
Douglas Kennedy, The Woman in the Fifth
The End of Your Life Book Club is a graceful, affecting testament to a mother and a life well lived. A.
Tina Jordan, Entertainment Weekly
Poignant, moving, inspiring. I recommend it!
Seamlessly and without pretension, Schwalbe integrates literary discussions with global issues and personal memories — a feat that highlights not just how relevant but how integral literature can be to life. Readers will take away a terrific list of suggested titles, as well as precious nuggets of wisdom.
Heller McAlphin, The Washington Post
As I was reading I found myself scribbling titles on a piece of paper so that I could order the volumes he and his mother cared about. Mr. Schwalbe is not just an avid reader, he is also an advocate, a cheerleader, a disciple.
Rachel Shteir, The New York Times
A touching portrait.
The New Yorker
A gentle, searingly moving memoir, at once a love letter and a generous, incisive set of instructions not about how to die but about how to live.
Dani Shapiro, More Magazine
A warm reminder why we read and what our reading says about us and the ways we connect with others.
Margaret Quamme, The Columbus Dispatch
Full of warmth, love, and much-needed humour.
Involving and thought-provoking…Remarkable.
Kathy Karris, Fort Worth’s Star-Telegram