February 15

When Breath Becomes Air

I joined two book clubs this year. They are VERY different. The first is women who get together once a month and talk about a book we all may or may not have read for a little while, and then talk about everything else- enjoying time together and an evening out. The second is online only, I’m friends with the organizer and a few people in the group, but many of them I have never met. This group has discussions in writing on a Facebook page wall about the book we read that month. We read the book and then start the discussion on the 15th.  February’s book was When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. I was worried that it was going to be about HIS death and HIS understanding of that one event and therefore wasn’t super excited about this book. I was so wrong. The whole first half was a majestic build up of his desire to learn about life and death in all the ways he did- making a conscious choice to peruse that knowledge. It made the second half a continuation of that instead of simply I his personal experience with dying. The arching ideas about relationships and family as defining factors in life and death were poignant yet simple and beautiful. I was worried this book was going to leave me sad- but it left me happy and hopeful and encouraged.

Today’s joy is a good book.

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