Tuesday, March 29, 2016

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Paul Kalanithi was a 36-year-old neurosurgeon just about to finish up his years of training when he was diagnosed with lung cancer. Suddenly, he found himself the patient, instead of the physician, considering treatment options.

Dr. Kalanithi died while working on this book, and his wife writes a moving, beautiful, and heartbreaking epilogue. It's one of the most moving epilogues I've ever read.

Several things made this book hit super close to home. I'm the same age that Dr. Kalanithi was when he died. He died not so long ago, just a year ago in March 2015. In addition, he worked at Stanford which is not so far from my hometown. So the proximity in time, space, and age really made me think about life, death, purpose, and how life can change so drastically in just one day. Why him and not me? Why NOT me?

A sad and beautiful book. If you're up for reading something that will make you think about your life, I highly recommend When Breath Becomes Air.

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