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What a powerful read!

Created: 09/28/12

Replies: 28

Posted Sep. 28, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
debracoley

Join Date: 08/11/11

Posts: 69

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What a powerful read!

Once you have finished a great novel, it lingers. What effect did this novel have on you? How will it affect the rest of your reading life?


Posted Sep. 28, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
MarieA

Join Date: 10/12/11

Posts: 42

RE: What a powerful read!

This book touched my soul! Thank you, Will Schwalbe.


Posted Sep. 28, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
cynthiaa

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 50

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RE: What a powerful read!

This book reads like the life of many who have cancer and who have a loved one with cancer or any terminal illness. I think the "life review" is a process we go through. This book is so REAL to me. Since reading it, it has come back to mind many times. I am so glad I read this and will pass it on to my friends.


Posted Sep. 29, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
raynat

Join Date: 02/29/12

Posts: 22

RE: What a powerful read!

I am enjoying the book tremendously. I was a Hospice volunteer for many years and it was so rewarding. I am very interested in end of life issues and an advocate of everyone having an advance directive for health care and mention it to friends whenever it comes up for discussion.

I'm also getting some new ideas for books that were Mary Ann's favorites.

I'll add more after I have finished the book. I find I read a few chapters every day.


I identified with Caroline since I am also an adoptive mother. Although I didn't feel anything like her. I was ready to be a mother and took it on with a positive attitude. Also I don't approve of open adoption so I wouldn't like all the people in the story to be involved in our lives.

I loaned this book to several of my friends and they just said it was O.K. I liked the book and wanted to find out how they all interacted with each other even though I wouldn't like that for my life.
Posted Sep. 29, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lisag

Join Date: 01/12/12

Posts: 298

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RE: What a powerful read!

My father in law has terminal cancer and we aren't sure how much longer he has to live. Since I know his big wish in life was to visit Mongolia, which he never will, I found the best book I could on traveling in that country and gave it to him. He loved it and I felt good giving him at least that much, which was all I could give. When I see books or articles on things I know he's interested in I pass them along to him. Since we aren't really close it's all I feel I can comfortably give and he's had a lifetime passion for learning. But I'd like to practice that with other friends/family, before they get to the point they're dying and time is limited. This book made me think about that.


Posted Oct. 02, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
jacquelynh

Join Date: 06/14/11

Posts: 34

RE: What a powerful read!

YES! Congratulations Will Schwalbe. Oprah has just put this book on her list of BEST NEW BOOKS!
Well deserved.


Posted Oct. 02, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
dorothyt

Join Date: 04/10/11

Posts: 102

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RE: What a powerful read!

(Re: the initial post, I believe this book is a memoir, not a novel.)

As I posted before, this book made me think about what I would read if my time for reading was limited. I don't necessarily mean that everything I read must be a "classic" or have deep meaning. Even reading something just for fun has merit if it is well-written. I rarely stop reading a book that I am not enjoying, preferring to see it through, but maybe I'll change that. Life is unpredictable.


Posted Oct. 02, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
LReads

Join Date: 06/23/12

Posts: 27

RE: What a powerful read!

So true! Te book is packed with a lot of meaning and I hope friends will read it soon so I can discuss it with them. The book is a reminder of the richness of literature but also a good example of the life one can have even when in the midst of dying.


Posted Oct. 03, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
pennyp

Join Date: 03/22/12

Posts: 102

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RE: What a powerful read!

It was a wonderful book. I mentioned it to my book club but for some reason it did not gather much interest.
Mostly these days, people don't want to read about poor health, difficult topics, etc. their loss, one of the better books I have read in a while.


Posted Oct. 03, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Lea Ann

Join Date: 04/20/11

Posts: 63

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RE: What a powerful read!

I so enjoyed this book. I'm a bit late to the party here as had hip replacement surgery on 9-24. Which would have been no biggie (well, maybe a small biggie), but I have a blood clotting disorder which complicates such things. But, after TLC at the hospital and 4 blood transfusions, I'm hopefully on the road to recovery and am savoring the memories of this book. My son is also a reader and I could mentally put myself into the places of the "book club" in this book. What a tender time for the mother and son and what special memories were created. I shall speak more of individual books they shared and the general idea of such a book club, but just wanted to let you know I did read and so enjoyed this volume.


Posted Oct. 04, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 484

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RE: What a powerful read!

Hi Lea Ann, so glad to hear the op went well - you're not late at all - the discussion will be open for many weeks to come!


Posted Oct. 09, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
markb

Join Date: 09/20/12

Posts: 2

RE: What a powerful read!

I truly enjoyed this book. As a clergy and educator, the book provided a wealth of opportunities to be shared in my ministry and offer books for others to read. I found the novel engaging, thought-provoking and hard to put down. Thank you, Will, for sharing such a wonderful journey with all of us, and encouraging us to begin our own journeys.


Posted Oct. 09, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
raynat

Join Date: 02/29/12

Posts: 22

RE: What a powerful read!

It appears everyone liked this book including me. I look forward to reading some of her favorite books also.

What a wonderful way to communicate with a member of your family.


I identified with Caroline since I am also an adoptive mother. Although I didn't feel anything like her. I was ready to be a mother and took it on with a positive attitude. Also I don't approve of open adoption so I wouldn't like all the people in the story to be involved in our lives.

I loaned this book to several of my friends and they just said it was O.K. I liked the book and wanted to find out how they all interacted with each other even though I wouldn't like that for my life.
Posted Oct. 09, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
raynat

Join Date: 02/29/12

Posts: 22

RE: What a powerful read!

It appears everyone liked this book including me. I look forward to reading some of her favorite books also.

What a wonderful way to communicate with a member of your family.


I identified with Caroline since I am also an adoptive mother. Although I didn't feel anything like her. I was ready to be a mother and took it on with a positive attitude. Also I don't approve of open adoption so I wouldn't like all the people in the story to be involved in our lives.

I loaned this book to several of my friends and they just said it was O.K. I liked the book and wanted to find out how they all interacted with each other even though I wouldn't like that for my life.
Posted Oct. 10, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
deby's Gravatar
deby

Join Date: 10/21/10

Posts: 8

RE: What a powerful read!

I asked for this book because my mother is in the middle/early late stages of Alzheimer's. Although it is not pancreatic cancer, it is still terminal, so our time is limited. We still have discussions about books, which really strikes a chord with her, as she continues to enjoy "reading," even though she reads the same book/same page/same paragraph many times before she moves on to another book. Thank you, Will, so much for giving me books to talk about with my mom and for feelings I can share with myself.


Posted Oct. 10, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
susan m

Join Date: 10/10/12

Posts: 2

RE: What a powerful read!

I have worked with Hospice over the past few years. During long treatment sessions families find television boring. What a great idea to share books which can start discussions about family stories.
Thank you Will for a loving book. I look forward to reading some of these favorites.


Posted Oct. 11, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
maryj

Join Date: 03/06/12

Posts: 11

RE: What a powerful read!

This was such a wonderful book. The bond you share with your mother is wonderful. I lost my mom when I was 23 and miss her so much. Wish this book was around then.


Posted Oct. 16, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
djn

Join Date: 05/19/11

Posts: 51

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RE: What a powerful read!

I think this is on my "most powerful books list".....However I dont think we have to be at the end of our lives to take the messages in the book and use them more often in daily encounters with our families. As Will stated we are all in the end of life book clubs.


Posted Oct. 16, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
raynat

Join Date: 02/29/12

Posts: 22

RE: What a powerful read!

To djn - That was a very astute comment. You are right. We are all in the end of life of many things. One day at a time enjoying everything around us!


I identified with Caroline since I am also an adoptive mother. Although I didn't feel anything like her. I was ready to be a mother and took it on with a positive attitude. Also I don't approve of open adoption so I wouldn't like all the people in the story to be involved in our lives.

I loaned this book to several of my friends and they just said it was O.K. I liked the book and wanted to find out how they all interacted with each other even though I wouldn't like that for my life.
Posted Oct. 17, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 127

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RE: What a powerful read!

This book is a good reminder to make time for family and friends. Will Schwalbe did a good job of conveying the hectic pace of his life. Books can bring people together. The comment above about television becoming boring when one is sitting in a hospital or hospice with a loved one is so true. And as we face saying goodbye, some of the news, advertisements, and banal television plots seem particularly useless.


Posted Oct. 18, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lisag

Join Date: 01/12/12

Posts: 298

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RE: What a powerful read!

Becoming comfortable in the silence - without TV - is a real blessing when sitting with a person who's ill. If s/he is well enough, playing card games or any other game is a better option. When your attention is focused elsewhere it's sometimes easier to talk about things you otherwise wouldn't, even if what you're saying is banal, and nothing deep or life-changing, you're at least comfortable and talking as if things are more normal. Occupying your mind in more than one way can help pull attention away from the sadness of the situation, at least for a while.


Posted Oct. 18, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 484

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RE: What a powerful read!

Thank you to all those who have shared their thoughts on this topic, especially Deby and Lisa. My father has dementia and it's so tempting to keep the TV on to fill the silence but, as Lisa says, a comfortable silence is a good thing. Like Deby's mother, he still reads but will reread the same page many times and has little recollection of what he's read - but at least he can control the pace at which he reads, whereas TV is just becoming a frustrating blur of action. Added to which, he was reading for at least a couple of decades before TV was even invented, and rarely watched TV when he was in good health - so there seems little doubt which is likely to give him the most comfort.


Posted Oct. 22, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
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kimberlyb

Join Date: 01/12/12

Posts: 9

RE: What a powerful read!

Debracoley-

Forget my reading life this book will affect my LIFE period!!! I cried about a dozen times, because it was a complete revelation for so many areas in my own life, how I have neglected family, neglected the importance of literacy and most importantly forgotten the importance of charity and philanthropy!

In our society it is so easy to be self-absorbed. Mary Ann is a true super woman/saint!! And I aspire to live like her; I want to successfully walk the fine line of being a mother and a woman, constantly balancing these intricate roles with grace, love, and discipline. Wow!

I closed the final chapter of this book shaking my head in disbelief at how selfishly I have been living my own life, consumed with minor details of discomfort and inconvenience, when there are people like Mary Ann who despite her ailment was able to live outside of herself and be a light in the world! PROFOUND!!!!


The things I want to know are in books; my best friend is the man who'll get me a book I ain't read.
-Abraham Lincoln

Posted Oct. 25, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lisag

Join Date: 01/12/12

Posts: 298

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RE: What a powerful read!

Kimberly, I'm so glad the book was such a life-changing experience for you! Isn't it great when that happens?

I wish I were more like Mary Ann, as well. It would be such a wonderful world if more people had her caring grace.

Lisa


Posted Nov. 02, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
paula

Join Date: 10/13/12

Posts: 9

RE: What a powerful read!

I loved this book! Mary Anne was quite the role model in both her living and in her dying, not just for her family and those who knew her personally but also for those of us who came to know her through her son's book.

Also, though the book is, in part, about the importance of books and reading, I would say an even more important message that it imparted is that of finding a commonality, a shared ground or interest, with those who are integral in your life. It's about communicating something about yourself to others. For most of us, we feel too exposed and vulnerable to just out and out say how we feel, even to those we love the most or have known the longest. Yet, we know it's important that we do so. For Will and Mary Anne, they were able to connect person to person at this level via the sharing of books. If the significant others in our lives are not book lovers than we can find another connector, perhaps movies or the fine arts.

What I learned, or perhaps relearned, from this book is that the life well lived is the life in which acceptance of the true self is both given and received. Will and Mary Anne were both so lucky to get that acceptance from each other, and they communicated it to one another through their shared love of books.

As for me, I am so very lucky that Bookbrowse sent me this book!


Posted Nov. 03, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
raynat

Join Date: 02/29/12

Posts: 22

RE: What a powerful read!

To Paula:

I was so impressed by your response to this book. You said so many profound things. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


I identified with Caroline since I am also an adoptive mother. Although I didn't feel anything like her. I was ready to be a mother and took it on with a positive attitude. Also I don't approve of open adoption so I wouldn't like all the people in the story to be involved in our lives.

I loaned this book to several of my friends and they just said it was O.K. I liked the book and wanted to find out how they all interacted with each other even though I wouldn't like that for my life.
Posted Jan. 03, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Yanna

Join Date: 01/03/13

Posts: 2

Both characters are symbols of hope

I enjoyed the audio version of Schwalbe's book. The tone in the reading was so positive. We have a family member dealing with cancer and when I come home from sitting at his bedside, I need a good book to lose my thoughts and my feelings of the day. " Books are a window into other lives."
I kept writing some of their book titles mentioned and received insight into how their handled Mary Anne's illness.


Posted Jan. 03, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lisag

Join Date: 01/12/12

Posts: 298

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RE: What a powerful read!

Hi, Yanna,

This would make an excellent audiobook. I especially enjoy listening to nonfiction on CD, more so than fiction. Next time I have a long drive I'll try to remember to bring this along.

Lisa


Posted Mar. 03, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
jwbriggs13

Join Date: 05/09/12

Posts: 16

RE: What a powerful read!

I agree. A few weeks before Christmas each year, my book group meets at a restaurant for lunch and a book exchange. Always great fun. This past Christmas, i had been so touched by EOYLBC I had to share it with other readers so I took it as a bonus book. After all the normal book exchange excitement with the "stealing" and cajoling completed, we drew one name for the bonus book. I was the only one who had read EOYLBC, and some found the title off putting. After only the briefest explanation, the group members were very curious and interested. At least two members have now read the book and both were as touched as I had been.


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