Every now and then, there is a book that I think EVERYONE should read..When Breath Becomes Air tops my list this year. Kalanthi alters our view of death and reminds us what it means to really live. On top of that it is:
Addictive: You will read it way past your bedtime. It took me three days to polish it off.
Intelligent: Your mind will be opened to thoughts, references, and possibilities that are so interesting and beautiful, you will have a hard time not sharing it all, sentence by sentence, with the one you love.
Gripping: The life of a neurosurgeon is positively fascinating. I gained so much respect for the incredibly few who are called to such an important and morally difficult work.
Emotional: Watching someone who is so full of love and light go through cancer and remain true to himself, those he loves, and his passion for goodness had me smiling through my tears.
Inspiring: You cannot finish this book without resolving to be a better human; more full of empathy, support and understanding. What a legacy Paul Kalanithi has graced us with.
Buy it. Read it.Use it for book club. Give it as a gift…it is perfect for everyone. You can purchase it here.
Goodreads.com summary: At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, the next he was a patient struggling to live.
When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a medical student asking what makes a virtuous and meaningful life into a neurosurgeon working in the core of human identity – the brain – and finally into a patient and a new father.
What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when when life is catastrophically interrupted? What does it mean to have a child as your own life fades away?
Paul Kalanithi died while working on this profoundly moving book, yet his words live on as a guide to us all. When Breath Becomes Air is a life-affirming reflection on facing our mortality and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a gifted writer who became both.
*affiliate links are used in this post