Ann Schwalbe and her son Will had always talked with each other about what they were reading, so when Ann was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, it seemed only natural they would continue and even formalize their reading plans. They chose books together, read them and then during her treatment sessions at the hospital they discussed them. I think I was expecting a focused and detailed account of the books they read and discussed, but while the books and their talks are there, this was so much more. Will's mother was an admirable and remarkable woman: former director of admissions at Harvard and a well-known humanitarian. This book was a lovely tribute to her, to books and to reading.
APPEAL: This is a bittersweet, moving and reflective memoir about books and coming to terms with death.
NOTES (language, violence, sex, humor, satire):
There is a list at the end of the books of all the books they read and that Will mentions in the book.
bereavement, books, cancer, family relationships, grief, mothers and sons, reading, terminal illness
Calvin Trillin's About Alice; Azar Nafisi's Reading Lolita in Tehran
DATE/STAFF: 11/28/2012 / BF