If you have followed my blog for a while or you personally know me, you know I'm an avid reader. So one of my big concerns when taking my annual cruise vacation last week was that I have some good reading material with me. My idea of enjoying a cruise is to sit on the deck for hours on end, being lost in a good book. I scoured my book shelf for the stack of books that are on my "to read" list, but nothing jumped out at me. I logged online to see what was selling well, which meant a lot of people were reading it. "When Breath Becomes Air," by Paul Kalanithi jumped out at me. I read what it was about and immediately bought it, having it sent to my kindle hours before leaving for my vacation. I grabbed one more from my to-read stack (because I knew I'd read two while on the trip), and off I went!
I had made a good choice! I started on the book not long after we got on the cruise ship, and I was immediately hooked. The book is nonfiction and was written by a 36-year old neurosurgeon who had been diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. The book was written during his last year of life. While he shares his experience with medical school and being a doctor, he also raises the question of what makes life worth living. I found myself in tears through several areas of the book, which is fine with me, because books are supposed to move you somehow if they are good. I found his writing on cadavers very interesting, as well as the quality of life someone has or could have following injury or illness. There was a lot of food for thought in this book.
I loved this book and his honest, straightforward, and interesting approach to sharing so much with us. I think Paul has a beautiful writing style, and although his life was cut far too short, this book will live on as a gift to us all. It's a great book that is well worth reading. Add it to your to-read list!
- Jacqueline Bodnar