When Breath Becomes AirPaul Kalanithi

When Breath Becomes Air

5 star

Total 8,705 Ratings

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi Book Summary

#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.

When Breath Becomes Air (Paul Kalanithi) Book Reviews

AmazingSad but the best book I ever read ..Score: 5/5

Most touching book I’ve ever readIt is a sad but beautiful story. Paul was an amazing human being. So much wisdom, such a generous spirit..Score: 5/5

IlluminatingLike 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..Score: 5/5

PowerfulPowerful and somehow delicate at times..Score: 5/5

Excellent book.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..Score: 5/5

When breath becomes airThis is a must read. touchy and heart felt. I dropped a few tears....Score: 5/5

WowBeautiful and poignant..Score: 5/5

DY FloridaAs a nurse and a wife of a medical professional who passed less than two years ago, I found this book so insightful..Score: 5/5

PhenomenalAbsolutely life changing..Score: 5/5

Very movingThis was an extraordinary book. Such a prospective to have a physician as a patient , experiencing what madden medicine can achieve from the patient prospective..Score: 5/5

BeautifulThis was a beautifully written piece. Emotional page turner..Score: 5/5

For everyone.This is the best book..Score: 5/5

Meaningful. Human.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..Score: 5/5

My favorite bookI love, love LOVED this book. Every person I recommend this book falls in love with it as well. It is truly one of those rare books that fully immerse you in the experience. It’s a book that you can’t stop thinking about. A book you can’t wait to get back and read. I can not recommend this enough. It was so inspiring, may the doctor Rest In Peace forever..Score: 5/5

Great BookRead less than a year after having a brain tumor respected. This book is a must read for those that want to fully understand what it means to be human..Score: 4/5

Best book I’ve had the chance to read in yearsCrude meaning behind the importance of living a life well lived..Score: 5/5

Accepting death.This brave man, husband and physician gave the best last contribution to love, life and death we all face ..Score: 5/5

Poignant, essential, gutting.An important and authentic conversation on what it means to live with death. I’m very humbled to have been able to learn from Paul and Lucy by way of this memoir. Thank you..Score: 5/5

AmazingHemingway said, “Write hard and clear about what hurts.” This book takes that axiom and turns it into soaring poetry. This is a story of death and dying that is both inspiring and lyrical..Score: 5/5

Simply amazingMust read, unbelievable.Score: 5/5

What an amazing true storyI know this line is used a lot for literary reviews, but I could not put this book down. Myself, being a light reader, read this in 2 days and was only disheartened that it was over. Such a wonderful story for the medical profession!.Score: 5/5

Riveting!This book is so full of insight and awesome perspectives! It kept me so interested I had a difficult time putting it down. Paul was such an awesome doctor and human being, able to connect and truly care about his patients as people..Score: 5/5

Amazing!!!A must! Brought tears to my eyes, so lovely..Score: 5/5


When Air Becomes DeathThis is the first book that I have ever read and immediately read again. I needed to bathe in his words, again. Poignant, heartbreaking, brave, excellent in every way..Score: 5/5

Beautiful ReadI read this book in one sitting. It truly is captivating and so beautiful. I truly felt like I was there with Paul during his battle with cancer. Thank you Paul for making me think about my own life and relationship with death..Score: 5/5

When breath becomes air.It lured me in to read it because I couldn’t imagine a more shocking discovery. To know that it’s happened to him and not one of his patients. Great story. God bless his family.Score: 5/5

Amazing readThis book is a must read. Provides insight and evokes emotion about life, death and illness. It brought me great joy to read as a cancer survivor, wife, mother and human. Thank you for writing and publishing this book. What a wonderful legacy to share with the world!.Score: 5/5

A well written book, makes you think about your ownA good read after a long time. Life’s fragile, time is the most important commodity we have, make the best of it..Score: 5/5

PhenomenalIncredible book that deeply moved and inspired me. Paul left a legacy that will live on forever..Score: 5/5

Beautiful!A nephrologist that I admire and respect profoundly, recommended this book to me. Well, it did not disappoint. It was beautifully written. I couldn’t stop reading it even with tears clouding my vision. Rest In Peace Paul..Score: 5/5

Loved the titleExcellent, fast paced, emotional, thoughtful, informative.. can’t say enough good things about this book!!!.Score: 5/5

This book is… beautiful.Interesting, informative and dramatic, this book is simply a beautiful gist from a beautiful man and his family. Like his life, it was over too soon..Score: 5/5

Amazing.When I began reading this book it was only to earn extra credit in my microbiology class. After the first chapter I couldn’t put it down. Such a great read and reminder to always do what we love, among other things. Make sure you’ve got a tissue box near by, you’ll need it!.Score: 5/5

Great book!Inspirational and touching!.Score: 5/5

Heartbreakingly beautifulDr. Kalanithi’s commitment to sharing his journey with us is beyond admirable. His writing is beautiful and his character even more so. He truly shows us what a life of integrity and meaning are. Thank you to he and his family for sharing this intimate memoir with us..Score: 5/5

Life and Death.This book is amazing, as a person not interested in epidemiology and getting past the details of surgery, Paul tells a compelling story and teaches an important lesson. He teaches readers to find purpose in your life and live a meaningful life, one that will be remembered. He gives new heights to the saying “Live everyday like it’s your last”. I feel very moved and privileged to have read this book and experienced (through words) a part of Dr. Paul Kalanithi’s life. Thank you Lucy..Score: 5/5

I am glad that I read it on iPad, but I nonetheless got a hardcopy.I started, and finished very soon, the book after spending some time myself in hospital. The book offers a calm and calming meditation of life by providing an account of death, narrated by the author Paul, a neurosurgeon and writer who is capable of operating with the finest precision both in brains and words. The prose in the book is poignant, emotions honest, and sentiments long-lasting. The author blended and balanced some right amounts of sorrow, wisdom, and humor. It is clear that many thoughts in the book had their origins in philosophy, but they were streamlined, by the authors’ able hands, into sentences that are clear, crisp, and comprehensible. However, the book requires emotional investments, which promise to return enormous benefits. Reading the book on my iPad, I became oblivious of progress bar that indicates both the completion of book, as well as the completion of the author’s life. It was therefore painful to find that the book stopped an abrupt stop. Paul announced his goal of writing this book only in the very end: to let the readers “walk in the shoes” of death, and realize it is the only finality. “Sooner or later”, he says. As a neurosurgeon, his goal was to help his patients to navigate through the vast uncertain area of death. This goal is equally achieved for his readers, in this book..Score: 5/5

Truly touching storyI am a pre-med student, and I come across this book online. I am attracted by the title and the author’s story. I am so happy I didn’t miss this book. I am impressed by Paul’ reflection about death and meaning of life as both a physician and patient. It makes me reflect on why I choose medicine the first place. Paul is an example of the physician I strive to be, a deep thinker, a tender caregiver and a fierce fighter. Amazing read..Score: 5/5

I couldn’t put this book downEven through currents of tears. Such a beautiful and well written book that brings deep thoughts on the meaning of life, as well as tremendous appreciation for every breath. So much love and respect to Lucy and Paul’s family for sharing this beautiful story..Score: 5/5

Meaningful! And a beautiful readI won’t lie that I cried while reading this book. This book raises a question within you, are we leading a meaningful life? Life is short and death is inevitable. This book has left me in thinking about my purpose. I can’t stress more, must read!.Score: 5/5

Great bookAll I have to say is I cried for 30 minutes straight and the end of this book, and I don’t cry..Score: 5/5

When Breath Becomes Air is Inspiring and engrossingI’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..Score: 5/5

One of the finest collectionsAn autobiography of a neurosurgeon at Stanford and a fighter of stage IV lung cancer teaches us how to see the life beyond the two ends, beyond the science, helps to understand what makes human life meaningful, what defines our identity and most importantly understand death and face the mortality!.Score: 5/5

Beautifully WrittenEmotional and powerful book, get ready for tears towards the end..Score: 5/5

Moving, thrilling and sad.This book will make you feel a lot of emotions, while also teaching you about medicine, life and suffering..Score: 5/5

Poignant and elegantThis is the type of book you don’t want to end, although you know it will and it has to. Absolutely beautifully written. Yet I find myself wishing I never got the opportunity to read it, because that would mean this gracious, intelligent man would have been able to continue living. Truly bittersweet..Score: 5/5

FantasticHighly recommended.Score: 4/5

InterestingI liked this man, I’m sure he was a great doctor, and it’s clear he died nobly, reflectively, with great humanity and vulnerability. But yet I didn’t love this book. It was interesting but did not affect me as much as I expected it to. I didn’t think the writing was top notch (if he’d become a writer instead of a surgeon, the writing would probably have been less self-conscious and detached). He had a great story to tell & he told it well. But I don’t think this book rose to the level of literature..Score: 4/5

BrilliantI laughed and cried and had to look up words, the best reading experience..Score: 5/5

Free International Money Transfer 💸Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks! The cheap, fast way to send money abroad. Free transfer up to 500 USD!AdvertorialScore: 5/5

I usually don’t read but wowI usually don’t read but I saw a linknd in post saying it’s a must read so I did while this covid stuff goes down. MAN was it good! Strongly recommend :).Score: 5/5

A masterpieceThis book is amazing, it is written so beautifully and thoughtfully, I am in awe of Paul’s writing. Furthermore the final chapter will make you cry buckets. Omg such a tragedy.Score: 5/5

Beyond excellentRaw, real, captivating, encouraging - are just some of the descriptors that come to mind. It is a highly recommended for various groups and for different reasons. Everyone will be able to take something meaningful away, but the group who should really encouraged to read and discuss its content are physicians, established and inspiring ones. Remember YOU are interacting and treating a person. Empathy is a must, not an afterthought..Score: 5/5

"Breath becomes air"One of the seminal works of literature that in my opinion merits the Nobel prize. The biography of a part of the Author's life where a neurosurgeon learns to grapple with life and death in a very personal way and from both ends of the table is simply put "beyond this world". As a surgeon myself, I have been deeply influenced by the thoughts and words reflected in this masterpiece. RIP Paul....Score: 5/5

When Breath Becomes AirWhen Breath Becomes Air is a true testament to the admirable and purposeful life lived by Dr. Paul Kalanithi. Thank you Paul and Lucy for sharing your remarkable story..Score: 5/5

Unbelievable.This book is a rollercoaster of feelings and emotions. Happiness, sadness, anger, hope, joy, defeat, etc. Very inspirational and gives the reader an interesting point of view from both sides (patient and doctor).Score: 5/5

IncredibleI will not be attempting to write a review for this book that gives it justice. Proper words don’t exist to explain the profound thoughts this book provoked and the impact it’s had on my life..Score: 5/5

Amazing heartfelt bookI absolutely loves this book! What an emotional journey this book takes you on..Score: 5/5

Payoneer 💰Payoneer is an online payment platform that lets you transfer money from any corner of the world! A best and must have payment service for every blogger, traveler, freelancer, affiliate marketer, consultant, virtual assistant, business person, online sellers, and receivers. Earn $25 for free by joining Payoneer. Sign Up Now!AdvertorialScore: 5/5

Performanece Lab 🎯Performance Lab ® CORE Formulas support all aspects of human performance, across all walks of life. Boosts work performance and productivity with nootropics for focus, multitasking under stress, creative problem-solving and more. Buy Now!AdvertorialScore: 5/5

Paul Kalanithi - When Breath Becomes Air Comments

What do you think about When Breath Becomes Air: Paul Kalanithi book? Ask the bookpedia.co community a question about When Breath Becomes Air!

Please wait! When Breath Becomes Air book comments loading...

When Breath Becomes Air E-Book Download

When Breath Becomes Air ebook download link will be update!

When Breath Becomes Air Synopsis

Book Name:
When Breath Becomes Air
Book Language:
Book Category:
Books, Nonfiction, Social Science, Philosophy
Book Size:
8112519 bytes.
Book ID:
Book Release Date:
Do you love When Breath Becomes Air book? Please share!
Amazon Kindle
You were invited to try Coinbase!Coinbase is the world's most trusted place to buy and sell cryptocurrency. Open an account today, and if you buy or sell $100 or more of crypto, you'll receive $10 worth of free Bitcoin!