I found The End of Your Life Book Club quite by accident. I was searching for another book on the Overdrive app and this one came up. It looked interesting, so I thought I would give it a shot. After all, a book about reading books that’s also a true story? Right up my alley.
This is not a spoiler, because you know right from the start, but the book is about a son and his mother, who is dying of cancer and how they accidentally start a book club together.
As I started reading it, I decided to write down every book they mention. Three pages later I found the list at the end.
This book brought up so many different feelings and memories that I’m not sure that I can quite capture how it affected me. I started reading this book at the beginning of March, but it captured me so completely that I was almost positive that it would be the one I featured this month.
I loved how in this book, the idea that books affect us throughout our lives is woven in. The stories that they read become part of his own narrative, inextricably connected to what he was thinking and feeling as he went through this journey with his mother. Its how I feel about books. I read certain books at different times of the year because they are linked to those experiences. Reading books like Hunger Games, and Matched will always remind me of when I was caught in my own love triangle (it was a terrible and perfect time to read these books). Reading The Three Musketeers will always remind me of graduating college and how it was the last book I read before I walked for graduation. The last book I read in my college house. It always reminds me of the date that I went on with a boy named Sam to see the play and how he told me that he never re-reads books because there are too many books in the world to ever re-read anything. How it broke my heart that he didn’t know the joy of returning to the old friends and memories that can be found in the ink of books.
Being deeply religious myself, I loved this quote.
“I love how Brooks shows that every great religion shares a love of books, of reading, of knowledge. The individual books may be different, but reverence for books is what we all have in common.”
I felt connected to the author and wanting to start some kind of book club of my own. In fact, not long after reading this book I decided that my husband and I should have a little book club of our own… we still need to choose a book though.
It was a fantastic read. I highly recommend it. It was authentic and touching without shattering me.
It added books to my never-ending “to read list”. Of the hundreds of books mentioned, these are the ones that caught my interest:
Crossing to Safety By Wallace Stegner
Daily Strength for Daily Needs By Mary Wilder Tileston
People of the Book by Karen Connelly
The Uncommon Reader By Alan Bennet
I’ll end with this quote,
“Freedom can still depend on ink, just as it always has.”
How do the books you read get woven into your life? Have you read this book? What did you think?