Will Schwalbe - Books for Living - Hodder & Stoughton

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    • ISBN:9781444790795
    • Publication date:12 Jan 2017

Books for Living

a reader’s guide to life

By Will Schwalbe

  • Hardback
  • £16.99

Bestselling author Will Schwalbe's new book about books. An exploration of how reading guides us, comforts us and helps us make sense of the world and our place in it, through books as diverse as The Girl on the Train, The Little Prince and Reading Lolita in Tehran.

From the author of the best-selling The End of Your Life Book Club, an inspiring and magical exploration of the power of books to shape our lives in an era of constant connectivity.

'I'm on a search and have been all my life: to find books to help me make sense of the world, to help me become a better person, to help me get my head around the big questions that I have, and figure out the answers to some of the small ones while I'm at it' Will Schwalbe

Why is it that we read? Is it to pass time? To learn something new? To escape into another reality?
For Will Schwalbe, reading is a way to entertain himself but also to make sense of the world, to become a better person, and to find the answers to the big (and small) questions about how to live his life. In this delightful celebration of reading, Schwalbe invites us along on his quest for books that speak to the specific challenges of living in our modern world, with all its noise and distractions.
In each chapter, he discusses a particular book-what brought him to it (or vice versa), the people in his life he associates with it, and how it became a part of his understanding of himself in the world. These books span centuries and genres (from classic works of adult and children's literature to contemporary thrillers and even a cookbook), and each one relates to the questions and concerns we all share. Throughout, Schwalbe focuses on the way certain books can help us honour those we've loved and lost, and also figure out how to live each day more fully.
Rich with stories and recommendations, Books for Living is a treasure for everyone who loves books and loves to hear the answer to the question: "What are you reading?"

Books covered include:
David Copperfield
Rebecca
Stuart Little
The Importance of Living
Giovanni's Room
Bird by Bird
The Girl On The Train

'I used to say that the greatest gift you could ever give anyone is a book. But I don't say that anymore because I no longer think it's true. I now say that a book is the second greatest gift. I've come to believe that the greatest gift you can give anyone is to take the time to talk with someone about a book you've shared. A book is a great gift; the gift of your interest and attention is even greater' Will Schwalbe

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781444790771
  • Publication date: 12 Jan 2017
  • Page count: 288
  • Imprint: Two Roads
a life-enhancing celebration of the power of books and reading, very much in the vein of Tuesdays with Morrie — Independent
"Good books often answer questions you dind't even known you wanted to ask" is a sentiment with which all avid readers will agree — Irish Times
I very much enjoyed it . . . inspiring and charming . . . Books, to Schwalbe, are our last great hope to keep us from spiralling into the abyss. It's an old-fashioned thesis-that this ancient medium can save civilization-but I happen to agree. Books build compassion, they inspire reform. They remain, Schwalbe writes, 'one of the strongest bulwarks we have against tyranny.' And man, do we need bulwarks right now. Lots of bulwarks . . . Read Schwalbe's book. — A.J. Jacobs, The New York Times
Schwalbe's book challenges the notion of reading-on-the-run. It does not offer bullet-pointed highlights so that you can dip in, find the solution and emerge thinking 'There, I've done Copperfield'. Schwalbe expects the readers to read. His own observations are certainly not the fruit of skim-reading... One of the key elements of Books for Living [is] clear: the boundary between our reading and our lives is often so porous. — Times Literary Supplement
Instead of trying to dust off some forgotten tome and convince us of its value, [Schwalbe] focuses on its pressing relevance at some critical juncture in his life. He isn't arguing - and certainly not shilling - on behalf of a book or author; he's passing on his own experience and leaving us to identify with it or not. Of course we do identify with it, typically, in large part because Schwalbe presents himself so convincingly as an Everyman. He doesn't pretend, or even aspire, to the scholarly expertise of Denby and Dirda, or to Gottlieb's breezy insider status. He conveys this humility with his easygoing, egalitarian tone and his high-low eclecticism, which ranges from Homer's The Odyssey and Melville's Bartleby the Scrivener to E.B. White's Stuart Little and Paula Hawkins' The Girl on the Train....Books for Living is [a] gift, and one that keeps giving. — USA Today
Moving... Schwalbe truly shines... It should convince even reluctant readers to pick up a book. — Boston Globe
Each chapter about a beloved book-Stuart Little, David Copperfield, Song of Solomon, Bird by Bird-is a finely crafted, generously candid, and affecting personal essay, none more moving than the homage to his boarding-school librarian, who subtly steered him to James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room, having 'realized that I was gay at just about the same time I did.' In this warmly engaging, enlightening, and stirring memoir-in-books and literary celebration, Schwalbe reminds us that reading 'isn't just a strike against narrowness, mind control, and domination; it's one of the world's greatest joys — Booklist *starred review*
Schwalbe's tremendous experience with reading and his stellar taste make for a fine guide to the varied and idiosyncratic list of books for which he advocates. By the end of the book, all serious readers will have added some titles to their to-read lists. — Publishers Weekly *starred review*
Schwalbe's 'manifesto for readers' is not about his favorite books but those that helped him when he had a need. Written in a chatty, conversational style, the book is thematically organized by a wide variety of needs: slowing down, searching, trusting, napping, praying, etc.... In an age when the number of readers is declining, a delightful book like this might just snare a few new recruits. — Kirkus Reviews
A sweet and utterly restorative series of vignettes about how books - the right books, at the right times - can not only deepen a life but save it. — The Christian Science Monitor
In Books for Living the brilliant Will Schwalbe takes us on a personal journey through a life of reading. But like any great journey, it is far more than an accumulation of miles, or words. Books for Living is a map, a chart, to the places deep inside ourselves where books can take us. It's about how stories, how characters, inspire us, guide us, reveal us. Books For Living is now one of my favourite reads of all time, and I know I will revisit it over and over. But be warned. It's also quite an expensive book to read since I kept calling my local bookseller and ordering the volumes Will mentions in each chapter. This is a beautiful, powerful, warm, funny, awe-inspiring odyssey. An absolutely astonishing gift to all of us who have spent our lives loving books. — Louise Penny, author of the C. I. Gamache crime series

***PRAISE FOR WILL SCHWALBE'S THE END OF YOUR LIFE BOOK CLUB***
I was so moved by this marvellous book. Schwalbe has done something extraordinary: made a personal journey public in the most engaging, funny and revealing way possible. It is a true meditation on what books can do.

— Edmund de Waal, author of The Hare with Amber Eyes
Will Schwalbe gives us two love stories in one: That of his relationship with his dynamo of a mother as her horizons shrink, and that of their mutual devotion to the printed word, infinitely and insistently engaging. Tender and touching and beautifully done. — Stacy Schiff, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Cleopatra

A perfect book-club book about books and the community they create that also portrays the love between mother and son.

— Library Journal
Will Schwalbe's brave and soulful elegy to his remarkable mother, his recollection of their sparklingly literate conversations, is a timely reminder that one exceptional person, or one exceptional book, can be a torch in the darkness. You'll turn the last page wishing you'd met Mary Anne Schwalbe, vowing to be worthy of her incandescent example - and promising yourself to read more. — J. R. Moehringer, author of The Tender Bar
A wonderful book about wonderful books and mothers and sons and the enduring braid between them. Like the printed volumes it celebrates, this story will stay with you long after the last page. — Mitch Albom, author of Tuesdays With Morrie and The Time Keeper
At last a book that celebrates the role books play within our own story. Will Schwalbe has created a tender, moving and honest portrayal of the precious relationship between a mother and son - an ode to that beautiful thing called love. — Cecilia Ahern, author of PS, I Love You
an astonishing, pertinent, and wonderfully welcome work. — Publishers Weekly starred review
An extraordinarily wise, witty, and quietly wrenching book about parental love, filial love, profound grief, and literature's great consolations. How wonderful to encounter a writer who combines erudition with great emotional honesty, and who isn't afraid of addressing life's most profound and baffling questions. — Douglas Kennedy, author of Leaving the World and The Pursuit of Happiness
This touching and insightful memoir about the slow process of dying will appeal to readers of Tuesdays With Morrie and The Last Lecture, but also to people who love delving into books and book discussions. Like Mary Anne, who reads the ending first, you know how this book is going to end, but while it is a story about death, it is mostly a celebration of life and of the way books can enrich it. — Booklist (starred review)
a moving and inspiring story — Choice Magazine
What self-respecting reader isn't a sucker for a great book about other great books? The End of Your Life Book Club is that much and more. — BookPage
a graceful, affecting testament to a mother and a life well lived. — Entertainment Weekly

a tribute to a remarkable woman and an exemplary reader.

— Salon
Literature bridges generations in Will Schwalbe's thoughtful tribute to his late mother — Vogue.com
A truly poignant read . . . a moving tribute to a wonderful-sounding mum and the power of fiction. — Good Housekeeping
It helps of course if you are a book lover and can relate to the passion for reading, but even prolific readers will find that the book teaches them not only about life and death but about the power of a really good book to move you and peel off the onion skin layers of "what you already know" and reveal truths. — Curious Book Fans
Two Roads

The End of Your Life Book Club

Will Schwalbe
Authors:
Will Schwalbe

Brenda Ashford

Brenda is 91 years old and lives near Milton Keynes. She worked as a Norland Nanny for over sixty years and loved every minute of it.

Cherry Denman

Almost educated at St Teresa's Convent, Effingham, Cherry Denman went on to study at the Ruskin School of Drawing, Oxford and at the Royal College of Art. An acclaimed artist and illustrator, she has written and illustrated several previous books including A Modern Book of Hours and The History Puzzle. Cherry is married with two children and, when not abroad, lives in London, where she tries to ignore the glazed looks of her loyal friends as she recounts her tales of typhoons and tarantulas, and pretends not to care when they assume her West African voodoo fetish earrings come from Accessorize. And how was she supposed to know that samphire was the new broccoli?

Christina Noble

Christina Noble was born in the slums of Dublin city. At the age of ten her mother died, and her alcoholic father could no longer care for her or her siblings. In the years that followed she suffered physical, emotional and sexual abuse in orphanages and on the streets, and after her marriage she was the victim of domestic violence. One night she had a dream about the street children of Vietnam and decided to make it reality. In 1989 she set up the Christina Noble Children's Foundation in Ho Chi Minh city and in 1997 she expanded it to Mongolia. To this day she continues to devote her life to improving the lives of the street children.

Emma Pearse

Emma Pearse is an Australian journalist who lived in New York for over ten years, where she wrote for New York, Slate, Salon and Village Voice, among others. Emma now lives and works between Australia and New York. Sophie is her first book.

Francesca Brown

In October 1999 Francesca was diagnosed with ME and virtually bedridden for two years. However, in 2001 an Angel appeared to her and helped to heal her of her illness. Since recovering, Francesca has been in daily contact with the Angels and continues to work with them as a conduit to all those in need. She lives in Dublin and is married with two children.

Franny Moyle

Franny Moyle has a degree in English and History of Art from St John's College, Cambridge. She enjoyed a career in arts programming at the BBC that culminated in her becoming the corporation's first Commissioner for Arts and Culture. She is now a freelance executive producer and writer as well as a director of the Hackney Empire, which is near her home in East London. She is married and has three children.

Garrison Keillor

Garrison Keillor was born in Anoka, Minnesota, and graduated from Minnesota University in 1966, already writing for the New Yorker. He hosted the live radio show 'A Prairie Home Companion', delivering a weekly monologue set in the quiet, fictional mid-western town of Lake Wobegon. He has been described as 'the best humorous writer to come out of America since Thurber.'

Gary Mulgrew

Gary Mulgrew was born in Glasgow in 1962 and lived there until he graduated from the University of Strathclyde. He joined NatWest Bank in 1983 and worked for them in Manchester, London, Tokyo and New York before joining the Royal Bank of Canada in 2000. His banking career ended in June 2002 when he was indicted by the US authorities for allegedly defrauding NatWest. After years of court battles and a high profile public campaign, he and two other members of the 'NatWest Three' were eventually extradited to America. Two years of detention in Houston, Texas were followed by two years in seven different prisons in the United States and England until his full release in early 2010. He now runs a number of successful businesses in the south of England, supported by his bankers, NatWest.

Gordon Smith

Gordon Smith is a world-renowned medium, who travels the world offering his unique abilities to thousands of people in need. Gordon never charges for his spiritual readings. He has written numerous spiritual bestsellers about his work and now runs mediumship workshops and events across the globe. For more information, visitwww.gordonsmithmedium.com or follow Gordon on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/gsmedium or on twitter @GSMedium

Halima Bashir

Halima Bashir grew up in the remote deserts of Darfur, Sudan, in a loving family that was part of the black African Zaghawa tribe. She proved herself to be academically gifted and went on to be the first person in her village to qualify as a medical doctor. But then war broke out and her life sprialled into an unimaginably dark nightmare. In 2005 she finally sought asylum in the UK where she continues to speak out about the violence in Sudan. In October 2008 she won the Victor Gollancz Human Rights Prize. Halima still lives in the UK with her husband and two sons and they were all granted UK citizenship in 2008.

Jacqueline Walker

Jacqueline Walker arrived in Britain in 1959. She has been a teacher and a mother of three, and taught creative writing as well completed two Arvon writing courses. Pilgrim State is her first book.

Jai Pausch

Jai Pausch became an impassioned advocate promoting pancreatic cancer research following the 2008 death of her husband, Randy Pausch, Ph.D, acclaimed Carnegie Mellon University professor and author of the international best seller, The Last Lecture. During Randy's twenty-three-month battle with cancer, Jai took on the responsibility as his cancer caregiver, learning specialised medical, palliative, and hospice care. Previously, Jai Pausch led the Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science Web team as the Director of Electronic Publications. Today, Pausch researches do-it-yourself instructional videos for home repairs and remodelling. She lives with her children, Dylan, Logan and Chloe, in Hampton Roads, Virginia.

James Fox

James Fox is the reader of SELECTIONS FROM EXODUS-DEUTERONOMY (audio). His distinguished career spans theatre, TV and film. His TV credits include Joanna Trollope's The Choir and A Question of Attribution. His film work includes A Passage to India, The Russia House, and Remains of the Day.

Jan Parker And Jan Stimpson

Jan Stimpson has been a leading counsellor for Parentline Plus for over 10 years. She now works with families privately through Peter King Lewis Family Practice and www.daisychainparents.co.uk. She is mother of two sons.

Jasvinder Sanghera

Jasvinder Sanghera CBE was born and brought up in Derby. A survivor of a forced marriage, she is the co-founder of Karma Nirvana, a national project that supports both men and women affected by honour-based crimes and forced marriages. Jasvinder is also an international speaker and a Leading Expert Advisor to the Courts in child and criminal proceedings. Her memoir SHAME was a Sunday Times Top 10 Bestseller. Jasvinder has brought the issue of forced marriage into the public eye and helped the Forced Marriage bill go through Parliament. She has won numerous awards for her work including a Metropolitan Police GG2 Diversity Award in 2005. In 2007 she received one of the prestigious Women of the Year awards. Jasvinder was made an Honorary Doctor of the University of Derby in 2008. She was awarded a Pride of Britain Award in 2009 and was named a Cosmopolitan Ultimate Woman of the Year in 2010. In 2011 the Guardian listed Jasvinder amongst the top 100 inspirational women in the world.

Jennifer Rees Larcombe

Jennifer Rees Larcombe - daughter of world-famous preacher Tom Rees and brought up in the grand surroundings of Hildenborough Hall, one of Britain's influential Christian conference centres - has long lived in the public eye. She made national headlines when miraculously healed from encephalitis, has since written many best-selling books and now runs Beauty From Ashes a retreat centre for broken lives. She is still much in demand as a speaker to Christian groups and continues to touch lives through publication of her daily Bible reading notes.

Jenny Tomlin

Jenny Tomlin was born and brought up in east London. She has two children and lives happily in France. Jenny is a bestselling author and children's rights campaigner.

Jill Abramson

Jill Abramson, a bestselling and award-winning author, has worked on the Wall Street Journal and Time and, from 2011 until 2014, she was the executive editor of the New York Times (the first woman to hold this position). A dog-lover all her life, she has long been fascinated by the complex relationship between dogs and their owners. She, her husband, and Scout live in New York City and Connecticut.

John Devane

John Devane still practices as a lawyer in his home town of Limerick, Ireland. He is married with a family.