Books for Living
By Will Schwalbe
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 SchwalbeWhy 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?"
Until I Say Good-Bye
By Bret Witter, Susan Spencer-Wendel
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERAs inspirational as Tuesdays with Morrie and The Last Lecture ... What would you do with one year to live? Susan Spencer-Wendel was determined to laugh instead of cry.In 2011, she learned she had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis disease -(ALS) - Lou Gehrig's disease - an irreversible condition that systematically destroys the nerves that power the muscles. Susan was just 44-years-old, with three young children, and she had only one year of health remaining. She decided to live that year with joy.She left her job as a journalist and spent time with her family. She built a meeting place for friends in her backyard. And she took seven trips with the seven most important people in her life. As her health declined, Susan journeyed to the Yukon, Hungary, the Bahamas, and Cyprus. She went to the beach with her sons and to Kleinfeld's bridal shop in New York City with her teenage daughter, Marina, for a glimpse of the wedding she would never attend.She also wrote this book. No longer able to walk or even lift her arms, she tapped it out letter by letter on her iPhone using only her right thumb, the last finger still working.And yet Until I Say Good-Bye is not angry or bitter. It is sad in parts - how could it not be? - but it is filled with Susan's optimism, joie de vivre and sens of humour. It is a book that, like Susan, will make everyone smile. From a hilarious family Christmas disaster to the decrepit monastery in eastern Cyprus where she rediscovered her heritage, Until I Say Good-Bye is Susan Spencer-Wendel's unforgettable gift to her loved ones and to us: a record of their final experiences together and a reminder that every day is better when it is lived with joy. Susan died in 2014 with a life lived to the full.
The Still Point of the Turning World
By Emily Rapp
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERWith a new chapter detailing the events that have taken place since Ronan's passing in February 2013. Like all mothers, Emily Rapp had ambitious plans for her son, Ronan. He would be smart, loyal, physically fearless, level-headed but fun. He would be good at crossword puzzles like his father. He would be an avid skier like his mother. Rapp would speak to him in foreign languages and give him the best education. But all of these plans changed when Ronan was diagnosed at nine months old with Tay-Sachs disease, a rare and always-fatal degenerative disorder. Ronan was not expected to live beyond the age of three; he would be permanently stalled at a developmental level of six months. Rapp and her husband were forced to re-evaluate everything they thought they knew about raising a family. They would have to learn to live with their child in the moment; to find happiness in the midst of sorrow; to parent without a future. The Still Point of the Turning World is the story of a mother's journey through grief and beyond it. Rapp's response to her son's diagnosis was a belief that she needed to 'make my world big' - to make sense of her family's situation through art, literature, philosophy, theology and myth. Drawing on a broad range of thinkers and writers, from C.S. Lewis to Sylvia Plath, Hegel to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Rapp learns what wisdom there is to be gained from parenting a terminally ill child. In luminous, exquisitely moving prose, she re-examines our most fundamental assumptions about what it means to be a good parent, to be a success, and to live a meaningful life.
The End of Your Life Book Club
By 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 more in between. We hear their passion for reading and their love for each other in their intimate and searching discussions. The End of Your Life Book Club is a profoundly moving testament to the unconditional love between a child and parent, and the power of reading in our lives.
Happier at Home
By Gretchen Rubin
In The Happiness Project, she worked out general theories of happiness. Here she goes deeper on factors that matter for home, such as possessions, marriage, time and parenthood. How can she control the cubicle in her pocket? How might she spotlight her family's treasured possessions? And it really was time to replace that dud toaster.And what does she want from her home? A place that calms her, and energises her. A place that, by making her feel safe, will free her to take risks. Also, while Rubin wants to be happier at home, she wants to appreciate how much happiness is there already.So, starting in September (the new January), Rubin dedicates a school year - September through May - to making her home a place of greater simplicity, comfort and love. Each month, Rubin tackles a different theme as she experiments with concrete, manageable resolutions - and this time, she coaxes her family to try some resolutions, as well. With her signature blend of memoir, science, philosophy and experimentation, Rubin's passion for her subject jumps off the page, and reading just a few chapters of this book will inspire readers to find more happiness in their own lives.
The Reading Promise
By Alice Ozma
When Alice was nine years old, she and her father - a beloved school librarian - made a promise to read aloud together for 100 consecutive nights. Upon reaching their goal, they celebrated over pancakes, but it was clear that neither wanted to let go of what had become their reading ritual. They decided to continue what became known as The Streak for as long as they possibly could.From L. Frank Baum to Dickens to J.K. Rowling to Shakespeare, Alice's father read to her every night without fail until the day she entered college, a remarkable eight years later. In this deeply affecting memoir, Alice tells the story of her relationship with the extraordinary man who raised her - from his steadying hand on the back of her wobbly bike to his one-man crusade to keep reading in schools - the words they shared and the spaces in between. Alice poignantly illustrates the unbreakable parent-child bond, the books they treasured, and the life lessons learned along the way.
The Last Lecture
By Randy Pausch, Jeffrey Zaslow
The phenomenal international bestseller - with over 8 million copies sold.What legacy would you choose to leave behind for your children?When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give 'a last lecture' lecture, he didn't have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. But the lecture he gave, 'Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams', wasn't about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because time is all you have and you may find one day that you have less than you think). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.A lot of professors give talks titled 'The Last Lecture'. Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy?In this book, Randy Pausch has combined the humour, inspiration, and intelligence that made his lecture such a phenomenon and given it an indelible form. It is a book that will be shared for generations to come.