When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi
Rating: Read it!
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Random House; 1 edition (January 12, 2016)
Reading Sara Review: Honestly, I do not feel like I can adequately rate this book. It’s great. You should read it. But it is too short–Dr. Kalanithi’s life was cut too short to unveil his remarkable insight into facing death head-on. It is a great book. It is a sad book. But it is a book full of truth.
Dr. Paul Kalanithi was a neurosurgeon, truly at the precipice of an incredible career. 35 and married, excited by his work, and receiving offers across the country for positions he coveted, he is diagnosed with terminal cancer. This book is his chronicle of the journey he faced.
In this book, he proves that he was an incredible writer as well as a fantastic doctor. He explores the transition from his usual doctor-patient relationships to when he becomes the unexpected patient and has the reverse relationship with his doctors.
I will end with where I started: this book is too short. His life was too short. Cancer takes away people that we love every single day. For someone to face certain death with the grace, determination and insight that Dr. Kalanithi does is awe-inspiring.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes from his writing – but I assure you that there are many more incredible insights throughout this book. This book is one that you will not easily forget – and it is a reminder to live life now, and live it fully. We have no idea what challenges will come to us, but we can only hope that we live an incredible life like many before us, including Dr. Paul. Kalanithi
“Human knowledge is never contained in one person. It grows from the relationships we create between each other and the world, and still it is never complete.”
“Because the brain mediates our experience of the world, any neurosurgical problem forces a patient and family, ideally with a doctor as a guide, to answer this question: What makes life meaningful enough to go on living?”