Tuesday, March 26, 2013

What a treasure of a book! Will Schalbe and his mother Mary Anne start their private book club, revisiting old friends and sharing new ones, during her two year journey suffering from pancreatic cancer. She would not have called it suffering as she was an extraordinary woman who accomplished extraordinary tasks and continued to bring joy to all she met during those two years. Many of the books highlighted were ones I had many, some are now or order at the library. I felt an immediate kinship when they both counted A Prayer for Owen Meany as one of both their favorites, as it is mine. Here's a powerful paragraph from the end of the book: "...Mom taught me not to look away from the worst but to believe that we can all do better. She never wavered in her conviction that books are the most powerful tool in the human arsenal, that reading all kinds of books, in whatever format you choose...is the grandest entertainment, and also is how you take part in the human conversation. Mom taught me that you can make a difference in the world and that books really do matter: they're how we know what we need to do in life, and how we tell others. Mom also showed me, over the course of two years and dozens of books and hundreds of hours in hospitals, that books can be how we get closer to each other, and stay close, even in the case of a mother and son who were very close to each other to begin with, and even after one of them has died."

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