When Breath Becomes Air - Paul Kalanithi

When Breath Becomes Air

By Paul Kalanithi

  • Release Date - Published: 2016-01-12
  • Book Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Author: Paul Kalanithi
Our rating: 5/5 stars

5 Score: 5 (From 8,468 Ratings)

When Breath Becomes Air Paul Kalanithi read online review & book description:

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST • This inspiring, exquisitely observed memoir finds hope and beauty in the face of insurmountable odds as an idealistic young neurosurgeon attempts to answer the question What makes a life worth living?

NAMED ONE OF PASTE’S BEST MEMOIRS OF THE DECADE • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • People • NPR • The Washington Post • Slate • Harper’s Bazaar • Time Out New York • Publishers Weekly • BookPage

Finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award in Creative Nonfiction and the Books for a Better Life Award in Inspirational Memoir

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 treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air 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 neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality.

What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away? These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir.

Paul Kalanithi died in March 2015, while working on this book, yet his words live on as a guide and a gift to us all. “I began to realize that coming face to face with my own mortality, in a sense, had changed nothing and everything,” he wrote. “Seven words from Samuel Beckett began to repeat in my head: ‘I can’t go on. I’ll go on.’” When Breath Becomes Air is an unforgettable, life-affirming reflection on the challenge of facing death and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a brilliant writer who became both.

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When Breath Becomes Air book review When Breath Becomes Air ePUB; Paul Kalanithi; Biographies & Memoirs books.

Posted Reviews

  • Excellent book.

    By Andy Tre
    This was a beautifully written book that really hits home. I recently lost my father to stage IV pancreatic cancer. This book has provided me with some new insight and perspective. Some of the similarities are shocking and also familiar. It opened up old wounds, but allowed me to see clearer. I cried. I began to mourn again. It all caught up to me because of this book. Yet, there is the beauty of this creation. Paul wrote so eloquently. His prose is unmatched. His story is almost surreal. I wish I could have met this man and his family.
  • When Breath Becomes Air is Inspiring and engrossing

    By brennansgranmom
    I’ve read this beautiful book twice now and it has become one of my top inspirational memoirs. Paul, a gifted neurosurgeon has just hit his stride when he’s diagnosed with cancer. His perseverance pays off not in a longer existence but rather a more meaningful one. A fascinating look at one doctor’s ability to accept his premature death and live in the present.
  • Phenomenal

    By Faith Munge
    Incredible book that deeply moved and inspired me. Paul left a legacy that will live on forever.
  • Meaningful. Human.

    By DEClevidence
    Thoughtful. Moving. Emotional. Human. A wrestling with life and death from a neurosurgeons, and thinkers, perspective. An exposition on the constant introspective challenges of how best to live ones life, what is meaningful, what do you value, and what is your legacy? Those answers change in context, and they’re not the same for everyone: here’s a great framework.
  • loved the title

    By elise taylor
    excellent, fast paced, emotional, thoughtful, informative.. can’t say enough good things about this book!!!
  • Fantastic

    By BarbiQ2
    Highly recommended
  • Beautiful

    By RhiannaB2641
    This was a beautifully written piece. Emotional page turner.
  • For everyone.

    By Sauntee
    This is the best book.
  • A well written book, makes you think about your own

    By Loery
    A good read after a long time. Life’s fragile, time is the most important commodity we have, make the best of it.
  • Illuminating

    By Up4ItToo
    Like Martha Weinman Lear’s “Heartsounds”, “When Breath Becomes Air” is an enlightening, medical-insider’s view of life, death, and the period in-between an “I just want my life back” illness, terminal or not. Peppered with snippets of both familiar and esoteric poetry and philosophy, Dr. Kalanithi’s lovely prose will impel you to reinterpret the meaning of both the literature and your own life, and is worthwhile reading for anyone who has, is, or will face serious illness, whether as patient, recovered survivor, caregiver, or loved one. In short, for everyone. It will provide a lasting understanding that you are most definitely not alone.

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