Sunday, June 2, 2013

We're Spinning Circles

I finished reading a book today that I started reading back in January but stopped reading for a number of reasons. I saw the book while standing in the Chicago airport, wasting time until my six hour layover would end. I read the back cover of the book, read the first chapter, and then put it back down and walked out of the little airport bookstore.
When I got home from Chicago I bought the book on my nook and began reading it. Will Schwalbe wrote The End of Your Life Book Club, starting with the diagnosis of his mother: pancreatic cancer. She is only given six months to live, but the book follows their family through the next two years of her battling her fatal disease.
Will and his mother, Mary Ann (Maryanne) Schwalbe, start their own book club, using time spent in doctor's offices and waiting rooms as their time to discuss their books and to give each other feedback. Originally I stopped reading this book because I just knew what was going to happen, his mom was going to die. And I cannot stand reading books like that; I have a hard enough time dealing with the nightmares that I have of my own mother some day dying, I didn't want to have to read another's experience with it. But I think that I also stopped reading it because it made me feel very insignificant. Maryanne devoted her life to other people. She gave to charities, she traveled to faraway countries, she welcomed refugees into her home again and again to live. In short, she made me feel very inadequate. She was bad enough, but it seemed like her family was filled with go-getters and overachievers and people who
I've always wanted to be one of those people that goes to third-world countries and teaches children how to read and to bring them the joy that books will give you. And every time that I've ever thought about doing it, I've become filled with the fear that something would happen to my mom while I was gone, and that I would miss time with her.

I wish that I was the kind of person that wrote down notes while reading books, because there are so many different things about this book that spoke to me and so many parts of the book where I just had to pause and turn into my pillow and cry for a minute. It's a wonderful book.

And it also has helped me decide to expand my interest in books. I love me some Sci-Fy, and I just love Young Adult books, but very rarely do I branch out from what I know. Will and his mom read so many books that just have...depth, and I think that that's something that I normally shy away from because then it seems more like work and less like reading. But I think it's something that I'm going to do. A friend recently pinned something on Pinterest, 65 Books You Need To Read in Your 20s, and I think it's something that I'm going to seriously try to accomplish. I have roughly 5 1/2 years left of my 20s, and I think it's something that I can accomplish. And that I should accomplish. My life needs some depth in it; I can't just keep watching Mulan every day of my life on the Disney channel while reading Neil Gaiman books.* **

*Ironically, Neil is on the list.
** I'm not actually watching Mulan right now. Right now I'm watching Mission Impossible.

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