When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi

When Breath Becomes Air has to be, I think, one of my favourite reads so far this year. It’s profound, deeply moving and greatly inspiring. It was written as an autobiography by Paul Kalanithi, and was published after his death. Kalanithi takes the reader on a journey through his life, and into his illness and contemplation about death.

His dedication to medicine, and his passion for studying and learning, shine through his writing. He describes his endless search for understanding what makes life meaningful, from studying English literature and philosophy, to studying medicine and becoming an (almost) fully qualified neurosurgeon. He talks about his wife, and their plans for the future, their decision over whether to have a child or not, knowing that he will soon pass away. His writing is straightforward and lacks any self-pity and I was straightaway totally absorbed in the book.

I don’t think I can really do it justice here, but as I said it has been perhaps the best book I’ve read this year. Everyone should read it!




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