There are some books you are left thinking about long after the last page has been turned. This is one of those books. Finishing this book was like sitting in a movie theater while the credits are still rolling, glued to your seat. I read it this May while vacationing in Mexico and I had people come up to me at the resort and ask me about it, saying they have heard of the book but didn't know if it would be too sad or really inspiring. My answer was it's both. I finished it in the airport and I was crying and blowing my nose and almost missed my flight because the gate changed and I didn't hear the announcement. True story. You can read this book in a day and I recommend it because you probably won't be able to put it down.
When Breath Becomes Air is written by Paul Kalanithi, a neurosurgeon on the verge of finishing his residency. At the age of thirty-six he's diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was the doctor the next day he was the patient. Paul talks about his struggle finding the meaning of life and answering questions like, "What makes life worth living?"
This book will move you, inspire you, probably bring you to tears and encourage you to never give up.
1. How did you feel about Paul's decision to continue to practice medicine after he had been diagnosed? Would you have done the same?
2. What did you think of Paul and Lucy's decision to have a child in the face of his illness?
3. How did this book impact your thoughts about medical care, specifically end of life care?
4. Lucy wrote that Paul's illness brought them closer together. Did you find yourself seeing how that could happen? How so?
5. Paul was determined to face death with integrity and through his book demystify it for people. Do you think he succeeded? Why or why not?