Title: When Breath Becomes Air
Author: Paul Kalanithi
Publisher: Random House
Publish Date: January 12, 2016
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "At the age of
thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a
neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer.
One day he was a doctor making a living treating the dying, and the next
he was a patient struggling to live. Just like that, the future he and
his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air, which
features a Foreword by Dr. Abraham Verghese and an Epilogue by
Kalanithi’s wife, Lucy, chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a
naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of
what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful
life” into a young neurosurgeon at Stanford, guiding patients toward a
deeper understanding of death and illness, and finally into a patient
and a new father to a baby girl, confronting his own mortality."
My Two Cents:
Breath Becomes Air" is the incredibly powerful story of a neurosurgeon
who is suddenly confronted with his own mortality when he suddenly is
diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. He is just finishing his training
as a neurosurgeon and is ready to dedicate a full career to saving other
people's lives when he realizes that the dream he once had might be
Death is scary. As humans, it is something that is
inevitable for us. It is something that we have to face. This book is a
rumination on what it means to live and what it means to die. How do you
make the best of the time that you have when that time is something
that you can't foretell. The way that Kalanithi writes is so raw, real,
and beautiful. He pours out emotion into this book and turns it into
something incredibly affecting.
This is an incredibly vivid book
that really touched me. Kalanithi is looking at death before he really
feels that he has reached his full potential or has lived a full life.
While it is quite possible that all of us could be confronted by having
our time cut too short for our preferences, we hope for the best and
that we can have a full life to the point that satisfies us
individually. Kalanithi shows us how to confront that finite amount of
time with power and strength.