Society & Culture
Will Schwalbe on Books for Living
Author Will Schwalbe is one of the funniest serious readers you’ll ever hear. In our conversation, before a packed house at The Nantucket Book Festival, Will and I talk about his latest work, Books for Living, in which he treats us to a tour of books we might love to read – but may have missed – and shares his perspective-changing takeaways for how to live a more meaningful life. Imagine: the hero Odysseus taught Schwalbe about the importance of mediocrity, exemplified by his story of getting a C on a high school paper and the unusually clever response from his teacher when Will objected; and the book Wonder taught him about how to increase his kindness quotient. Schwalbe also shares his unique insight on resilience, based on his conversations about books with his mother when she was dying of cancer, which led to his NY Times Bestseller The End of Your Life Book Club. He recommends a book that made it impossible for him to feel sorry for himself when he was at his worst, and explains why he’s “the last gay man in America who does not want children.” Finally, after touring the country, he has a special message about why the “tribe of readers” may help heal the divisions in our nation.
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