Unforgettable: Book summary and reviews of Unforgettable by Scott Simon

Unforgettable

A Son, a Mother, and the Lessons of a Lifetime

by Scott Simon

Unforgettable by Scott Simon
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2015
    256 pages
    Genre: Biographies/Memoirs

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Book Summary

"I'm getting a life's lesson about grace from my mother in the ICU.
We never stop learning from our mothers, do we?"

Unforgettable is a son's spirited, affecting, and inspiring tribute to his remarkable mother and the love between parent and child.

When NPR's Scott Simon began tweeting from his mother's hospital room in July 2013, he didn't know that his missives would soon spread well beyond his 1.2 million Twitter followers. Squeezing the magnitude of his final days with her into 140-character updates, Simon's evocative and moving meditations spread virally. Over the course of a few days, Simon chronicled his mother's death and reminisced about her life, revealing her humor and strength, and celebrating familial love.

Unforgettable, expands on those famous tweets to create a memoir that is rich, deeply affecting, heart-wrenching, and exhilarating. His mother was a glamorous woman of the Mad Men–era; she worked in nightclubs, modeled, dated mobsters and movie stars, and was a brave single parent to young Scott Simon. Spending their last days together in a hospital ICU, mother and son reflect on their lifetime's worth of memories, recounting stories laced with humor and exemplifying resilience.

Unforgettable is not only one man's rich and moving tribute to his mother's colorful life and graceful death, it is also a powerful portrayal of the universal bond between mother and child.

About the Author
Scott Simon is one of America's most admired writers and broadcasters, having reported from all over the world and from many wars. He is now the award-winning host of Weekend Edition Saturday. With over 4 million listeners it is the most-listened to news program on NPR. Simon has won a Peabody and an Emmy for his reporting and also has over 1.2 million followers on Twitter.

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You can see the full discussion here. This discussion will contain spoilers!

Some of the recent comments posted about Unforgettable:

"Simple, daily, caring closeness is often the scariest, most precious and delightful missing vital item in the lives of people when they grow older." Do you agree or disagree? Why?
I totally agree! There are, surely, times in human relationships where "folks" cannot be kept at home or in a simple, daily caring closeness BUT THAT SAID: So often the elderly are not valued, not kept close, etc. I think part of it is the "scariest"... - marganna

Did you enjoy the musical references throughout the book?
Oh yes! Now when I hear Scott hum a tune or sing a bit on his Saturday morning I get a special warm feeling. All the music and references were especially important to the telling of this story. It's the backdrop to the memoir - music, theater, etc. ... - marganna

Embarassing Moments
He might have skipped over / glossed over - it's totally understandable that there must have been some of those moments; however this book was not about that. I did not feel shorted or misled in the least. This was about the celebration of his mother... - marganna

How did his father influence shape Simon?
Killable expressed my thoughts very well: The father was "funny, sweet-natured, playful, rascally & kind". This father who was a drunk could have been so very different where all those qualities would have been obliterated. Maybe Pat's leaving ... - marganna

In what way did Simon and Patricia's love of Chicago enhance the reading experience?
It could have been anywhere. However, I know Scott loves Chicago and his telling about the many special places made me think maybe it would be a city to visit for real some day. So I guess it did enhance the reading experience. Again, his telling of ... - marganna

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Simon appreciates how generously Patti is treated by the staff at the hospital, which brings up memories of the "lovely" men who courted her. He takes his quirky, devoted, gracious mother on her own terms, and his work shimmers as a touching tribute." - Publishers Weekly

"A charming tribute to a remarkable woman and the bond between mother and son." - Kirkus

"This is an unforgettable meditation on a life lived, as Hemingway wrote, 'all the way up.'" - Laura Hillenbrand, author of Unbroken and Seabiscuit

"Unforgettable is a treasure. It is as poignant and tender and wise as Tuesdays with Morrie, with the added virtues of being unflinching and, quite often, very funny." - Scott Turow, author of Presumed Innocent

"Who would have thought that such short intimate tweets could lead to such literature? This mother and son story is personal, universal, and filled with humor. Scott Simon reminds us of the transience of life and the endurance of love - and that beautiful writing is the best guardian of memory." - Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran

"This is an extraordinary book. Amazing. Breathtaking. Affirming. This book will change lives, restore hope to the broken-hearted, and remind the rest of us of what is truly important." - Laurie Halse Anderson, author of Speak

The information about Unforgettable shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Reader Reviews

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Lola M.

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I wanted to like this memoir. It desperately wanted to be liked, but that was the problem. It was hard to wade through all the shifting wonderful and at times it felt overdone. I understand Mr. Simon was trying to share the luminous life that was his mother's, but felt more connected to the story and his tender relationship with his mother when the scene shifted to the low lights and quiet of the hospital room.

With a little reworking, this might have been slim gem of a book.

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Author Information

Scott Simon Author Biography

Scott Simon is the host of National Public Radio's Weekend Edition with Scott Simon. He has covered ten wars, from El Salvador to Iraq, and has won every major award in broadcasting, including the Peabody and the Emmy. His memoir, Home and Away, rose to the top of the Los Angeles Times nonfiction bestseller list. His second book, Jackie Robinson and the Integration of Baseball, was named Barnes & Noble's Sports Book of the Year. Simon has also written a book about his family's experiences, entitled Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other: In Praise of Adoption. He is also the author of the novels Pretty Birds and Windy City: A Novel of Politics. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and daughter.

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