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Jan 28 / Elliot Darvick

Launch Partner Highlight Series:
The End of Your Life Book Club x Unbucket

This series highlights the amazing group of organizations and individuals contributing to our first set of branded Unbucket lists. We felt their investment and belief in what we’re accomplishing together warranted special recognition.

10 Life Lessons - The End of Your Life Book Club

Some of you might not know this, but the genesis of Unbucket was a mother’s day gift. Mother’s Day was approaching, and our co-founder Elliot Darvick decided to mail his mom a list of things to do together over the year to come. With Elliot and his mom living thousands of miles apart, this list brought them closer in ways regular phone calls to catch up did not. That Mother’s Day gift sparked the idea that everyone should have a list to share with someone they love. Months later Unbucket was born.

Will Schwalbe and his mother also shared an unconventional, yet truly meaningful gift: a two-member book club of which they were both members. Will’s mother, Mary Anne, had been diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer in 2007. Accompanying his mom to a chemotherapy treatment, Will asked her: “What are you reading?” That question led the pair to form their own book club where over the next two years, they read and discussed a wide variety of books, and discussed the fabric of life, and ultimately death. The experience inspired Will to write the New York Times Bestseller The End of Your Life Book Club.

A chance meeting between Elliot and Will revealed complementary visions sharing a common inspiration. Their chance meeting resulted in the creation of two Unbucket lists full of suggested reading inspired The End of Your Life Book Club: 10 International Books & 10 Life Lessons.

It’s Will’s hope that you’ll form your own two-member book club with someone you love. It’s Elliot’s hope that you’ll use Unbucket to capture what you want to read, what you’ve read, and inevitably, memories from the deep discussions that follow.

Q&A with Will Schwalbe

In addition to authoring The End of Your Life Book Club, Will Schwalbe is the founder of and former SVP and Editor in Chief of Disney’s Hyperion Books. Will also serves on the Boards of Governors of Yale University Press and the Kingsborough Community College Foundation.

1. What excited you about working with Unbucket?
I was tremendously excited to work with Unbucket from the moment I heard about it. As the world gets more and more high-tech and we all spend more and more time communicating through machines, I think many of crave opportunities to interact with each other in small groups. I love how Unbucket uses on-line communication to power and facilitate an unlimited range of experiences of all different kinds. And I’m a compulsive list-maker and list-sharer — so it’s like it was made for me. And even though I started by creating lists of books, I’m really excited to create and share hybrid lists as well, maybe tied into books — combining things to read, eat, see, and discuss.

2. How do you see The End of Your Life Book Club bringing people closer?
I used to think that a book is the greatest gift in the world. I know believe that it’s the second greatest gift — the greatest one is the conversation you have about a book with someone you love or with someone you don’t know well but want to get to know better. We all are a combination of so many things, but for those of us who are readers, we are partly made of all the books we’ve read. When we share those books and our thoughts about them, we’re really sharing our deepest selves.