Will Schwalbe - Books for Living - Hodder & Stoughton

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    • ISBN:9781444790771
    • Publication date:12 Jan 2017
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    • Publication date:12 Jan 2017

Books for Living

a reader’s guide to life

By Will Schwalbe

  • Paperback
  • £9.99

Internationally bestselling author of The End of Your Life Book Club, Will Schwalbe's new book is another gem for book lovers. 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 international bestseller The End of Your Life Book Club, an inspiring and magical exploration of the enduring power of books - a must for all passionate book lovers, exploring books as diverse as The Girl on the Train, The Little Prince and David Copperfield.

'I've always believed that everything you need to know can be found in a book.' 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.

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?"

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781444790801
  • Publication date: 11 Jan 2018
  • Page count: 304
  • 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

'A wonderful book about wonderful books and mothers and sons and the enduring braid between them.' - Mitch Albom, author of Tuesdays With Morrie'a true meditation on what books can do.' - Edmund de Waal, author of The Hare with Amber EyesMary Anne Schwalbe is waiting for her chemotherapy treatments when Will casually asks her what she's reading. The conversation they have grows into tradition: soon they are reading the same books so they can have something to talk about in the hospital waiting room. Their choices range from classic (Howards End) to popular (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), from fantastic (The Hobbit) to spiritual (Jon Kabat-Zinn), with many in between. We hear their passion for reading and their love for each other in their intimate and searching discussions. A profoundly moving testament to the power of love between a child and parent, and the power of reading in our lives.

Alan Titchmarsh

Alan Titchmarsh is known to millions through the popular BBC TV programmes British Isles: A Natural History, How to be a Gardener, Ground Force and Gardeners' World. But he started out in far humbler beginnings, in a rural childhood on the edge of Ilkley Moor in Yorkshire.After a spell at Kew he became a horticultural journalist, as an Editor of gardening magazines, before becoming a freelance broadcaster and writer.He has twice been named 'Gardening Writer of the Year' and for four successive years was voted 'Television Personality of the Year' by the Garden Writers' Guild. In 2004 he received their Lifetime Achievement Award.Alan has appeared on radio and television both as a gardening expert and as an interviewer and presenter, fronting such programmes as Points of View, Pebble Mill, Songs of Praise, Titchmarsh's Travels and Ask the Family, and since 1983 has presented the BBC's annual coverage of The Chelsea Flower Show. He now has his own daytime TV show on ITV, The Alan Titchmarsh Show. Alan has written more than forty gardening books, as well as seven best-selling novels, including his 2008 success, Folly, which have all made the Sunday Times Bestsellers List. Alan has published three volumes of memoirs; Trowel and Error sold over 200,000 copies in hardback when published in 2002, and Nobbut A Lad, about his Yorkshire childhood, was published in October 2006 with similar success, and his third volume of memoir Knave of Spadeswas a Sunday Times bestseller.He was made MBE in the millennium New Year Honours list and holds the Victoria Medal of Honour, the Royal Horticultural Society's highest award. He lives with his wife and a menagerie of animals in Hampshire where he gardens organically.

Alister McGrath

Alister McGrath is the Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion at Oxford University, and Fellow of Harris Manchester College, Oxford. After initial academic work in the natural sciences, Alister turned to the study of theology and intellectual history, while occasionally becoming engaged in broader cultural debates about the rationality and relevance of the Christian faith. He is the author of many academic and theological works, as well as the bestselling The Dawkins Delusion and, most recently, his acclaimed C. S. Lewis - A Life.

Alys Fowler

Alys Fowler is an award winning journalist and passionate gardener. She is the author of several books and writes a weekly column on gardening for Guardian Weekend magazine. She lives in Birmingham.

Amy Bradley

The first thing you must know about Amy Bradley is that drawing really is her favourite thing, she's been doing it for as long as she can remember! That's why for her being an illustrator is the world's BEST job!!She works from a quirky studio in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, where every one of her illustrations is hand drawn, making use of digital techniques to create colourful illustrations that offer a truly refreshing, fun and energetic approach. She has worked with Andy on several books, including 'How To Be A Brilliant Teenager'.

Andy Puddicombe

Andy Puddicombe is a meditation and mindfulness expert. An accomplished presenter and writer, Andy is the voice of all things Headspace. In his early twenties, midway through a university degree in Sports Science, Andy made the unexpected decision to travel to the Himalayas to study meditation instead. It was the beginning of a ten year journey which took him around the world, culminating with ordination as a Tibetan Buddhist monk in Northern India. His transition back to lay life in 2004 was no less extraordinary. Training briefly at Moscow State Circus, he returned to London where he completed a degree in Circus Arts with the Conservatoire of Dance and Drama, whilst drawing up the early plans for what was later to become Headspace.He has been featured widely in international press, appearing in Vogue, NYT, FT, Entrepreneur, Men's Health and Esquire, to name but a few. He also makes regular appearances on TV and online, having been featured on BBC, Dr Oz, Netflix and TED.Andy currently lives in Venice, California, with his wife Lucinda.

Anne Lamott

Anne Lamott is a best-selling American novelist and non-fiction writer. She was the subject of Freida Lee's 1999 documentary Bird by Bird with Annie:A Film Portrait of Writer Annie Lamott. Her previous works include: Blue Shoe, Crooked Little Heart and Imperfect Birds.

Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson, MD was clinical director of the Immune Recover Clinic in Atlanta. He suffered from Lou Gehrig's Disease and credits practicing the healing codes for being symptom free for over 7 years. He has lectured all over the world. He is the only doctor featured in The Secret.

Bonita Norris

Bonita Norris, 29, is the youngest person in the world to have reached both the summit of Mt Everest and the North Pole. She has undertaken 6 Himalayan/Karakoram expeditions, and when not on expedition, is a TV presenter and motivational speaker. She only began climbing aged 20 after a chance lecture about mountaineering inspired her to change her life.

Chambers

Chambers is one of the world's most respected dictionary publishers, appealing particularly to word lovers and those who revel in all the quirks of the English language. Its extensive list of innovative language and reference titles includes the renowned Brewer's list of endlessly browsable dictionaries of phrase and fable, and covers English-language dictionaries and thesauruses for every level of user from school to crossword fan, from English learner to student of slang. Meticulously researched and expertly written, the highly acclaimed Chambers range has been at the forefront of presenting knowledge and learning in an engaging and accessible way since it was first established in the 19th century.

David Mitchell

Born in 1969, David Mitchell grew up in Worcestershire. After graduating from Kent University, he taught English in Japan, where he wrote his first novel, Ghostwritten. Published in 1999, it was awarded the Mail on Sunday John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award. His second novel, number9dream, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and in 2003, David Mitchell was selected as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists. His third novel, Cloud Atlas, was shortlisted for six awards including the Man Booker Prize, and adapted for film in 2012. It was followed by Black Swan Green, shortlisted for the Costa Novel of the Year Award, and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, which was a No. 1 Sunday Times bestseller. Both were also longlisted for the Booker. In 2013, The Reason I Jump: One Boy's Voice From the Silence of Autism by Naoki Higashida was published in a translation from the Japanese by David Mitchell and KA Yoshida. It was an immediate bestseller in the UK and later in the US as well.

Denis Avey

Denis Avey was born in Essex in 1919. He fought in the desert during the Second World War and was captured and held as a Prisoner of War in a camp near Auschwitz III. In 2010 he received a British Hero of the Holocaust award. Denis lives in Derbyshire.

Eckhart Tolle

Eckhart Tolle was born in Germany and educated at the Universities of London and Cambridge. At the age of twenty-nine a profound inner transformation radically changed the course of his life. The next few years were devoted to understanding, integrating and deepening that transformation, which marked the beginning of an intense inward journey. Later, he began to work in London with individuals and small groups as a counselor and spiritual teacher. Since 1995 he has lived in Vancouver, Canada.Eckhart Tolle is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Power of Now (translated into 33 languages) which is widely regarded as one of the most influential spiritual books of our time.Eckhart's profound yet simple teachings have already helped countless people throughout the world find inner peace and greater fulfillment in their lives. At the core of the teachings lies the transformation of consciousness, a spiritual awakening that he sees as the next step in human evolution. An essential aspect of this awakening consists in transcending our ego-based state of consciousness. This is a prerequisite not only for personal happiness but also for the ending of violent conflict endemic on our planet.Eckhart is a sought-after public speaker and teaches and travels extensively throughout the world. Most of the teachings are given in English, but occasionally Eckhart also gives talks in German and Spanish. In addition to The Power of Now, Eckhart has written a book designed for meditative reading entitled Stillness Speaks. A book consisting of selections from The Power of Now is also available, entitled Practicing the Power of Now.

Eva Schloss

Eva is in her mid-eighties and lives with her husband Zvi in North London. After the war she became a professional photographer (using the Leica camera Otto Frank had given her) and later opened an antiques shop in Edgware, which she ran for decades. She co-founded The Anne Frank Trust to perpetuate Anne and her step-father Otto's legacy. She was awarded an MBE in this year's New Years Honours for her work in schools, educating children on the perils of intolerance.Karen Bartlett is a writer and journalist based in London. She has written for The Sunday Times, The Times, The Guardian and WIRED from Africa, India and the U.S, and has presented and produced for BBC radio. She was the youngest Director of democratic reform and human rights campaign group Charter88, and began her career in the UK and South Africa.

Felicity Hayes-McCoy

Felicity Hayes-McCoy was born in Dublin, Ireland. She read English and Irish language and literature at UCD before moving to England in the 1970s to train at The Drama Studio, London. Her work as a writer includes television and radio drama, features, documentaries, dramatisations and adaptations; screenplays; music theatre; children's books, and interactive multimedia products.She and her husband, opera director Wilfred Judd, live in Corca Dhuibhne and in Bermondsey, London. She blogs about life in both places on her website www.felicityhayesmccoy.co.uk

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.

Georgina Rodgers

Georgina Rodgers is a journalist, editor and writer with over 15 years' experience working on magazines, newspapers, online and in busy television newsrooms. She has authored nine non-fiction titles and five Sunday Times top ten bestsellers, both under her own name and as a co-writer.She lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband, pre-schooler and new baby. She is starting to practise what she preaches and alongside propping the baby on her lap while madly typing with one finger and a zillion other work and home tasks, she tries to take the odd two minutes out - her three-year-old's Frozen colouring pens have come in particularly useful of late.

Gervase Phinn

Dr Gervase Phinn is a teacher, freelance lecturer, author, poet, educational consultant and visiting professor of education. For fourteen years he taught in a range of schools, then acted as General Adviser for Language Development in Rotherham before moving on to North Yorkshire, where he spent ten years as a school inspector - time that has provided much source material for his books. He has four grown up children and four grandchildren and lives near Doncaster. Visit Gervase's website, www.gervase-phinn.com.

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

Gyles Brandreth

Gyles Brandreth is a writer, performer, former MP and government whip whose career has ranged from hosting Have I Got News For You to starring in his own award-winning musical revue in London's West End. Currently a reporter with The One Show on BBC1 and a regular on Radio 4's Just a Minute, his acclaimed Victorian detective stories - THE OSCAR WILDE MURDER MYSTERIES - are now being published in nineteen countries around the world and are currently in development for TV. All six books in the series, OSCAR WILDE AND THE CANDLELIGHT MURDERS, OSCAR WILDE AND THE RING OF DEATH, OSCAR WILDE AND THE DEAD MAN'S SMILE, OSCAR WILDE AND THE NEST OF VIPERS, OSCAR WILDE AND THE VATICAN MURDERS and OSCAR WILDE AND THE MURDERS AT READING GAOL are available from John Murray. You can find out more about the Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries at www.oscarwildemurdermysteries.com and about Gyles Brandreth at www.gylesbrandreth.net