BOOK REVIEW : WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR - by PAUL KALANITHI

Wednesday, April 5, 2017


I think this is my 2nd book for Year 2017. Really not proud of myself. =(

Truthfully, I don't know how and where to begin to write about this book. I've bought this book after I've read it synopsis and it makes me eager to know about Paul story.

It took me nearly three months to finished reading this book. As hard for me to finished reading it. It hard for me to write a review about this precious book as well. But, I will try to give the best review for all of you. Insyallah. 

I'm glad that I could finish it on 30th March 2017. This precious book makes me feels differently throughout the Paul journey.

At the age of 36, 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. 

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? There 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 gift to us all. 

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.


As I mentioned above, I've bought this book after reading the synopsis. It is because as per stated in the synopsis, Paul died while working on this book. So, I eager to know about his life and who continued writing his book.

This book divided into two part of Paul life story.

The First Part: In The Perfect Health I Begin, Paul shared about his life struggling to be a neurosurgeon. How he met his wife Lucy. What are his goals for life and stories about his patients that he treated. Every patients have different cases and stories so it quite interesting.

For me, it is interesting to read about the medical story. But, there is some part I feel this book is a heavy book because there are lots of medical terms been used. I don't have a medical background so everytime I saw a medical term I need to Google it and know the meaning. 

Throughout my reading on the first part, I wish our blogger friend Hanis Amanina are reading this book with me because she studying in the medical field. So, she might be can help me regarding the medical term. =)

On the first part, the storyline a little bit slow for me. I guess that is one of the reasons it took me nearly three months to finished it. 

The Second Part: Cease Not Till Death, Paul started a story about how he knew that he been diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. 

While he is been treated due to his illness, he still keeps on working as a neurosurgeon. Be a neurosurgeon was his goals. Lots of thought coming from Paul especially about having a baby with Lucy. He keeps on thinking that what will happen to Lucy when he died? Can Lucy take care of their baby when he died? Does he have time to see Lucy giving birth to their baby? 

The second part makes me feel heartbreaking, sad, eager, sympathy and I cried towards the end. While reading it,  I can't stop thinking, if I'm at Paul shoe what will I do?

What I salute about Paul, he never gives up even his illness starting to deteriorate. He keeps his head held high and still done a surgery for his patients. Lucy is a supportive wife towards Paul. A strong woman. It is not easy knowing that his husband will die one day while she is pregnant. But, Lucy feels glad that she will be giving birth for Paul.

At the end of this book, there is an epilogue by Lucy herself. The epilogue totally makes me can't stop crying especially when Paul at his last breath. 

I can feel how Lucy feels because truthfully until today I can still remember the last day my late dad at his last breath. I was there after done my Zuhur prayer. The doctors and nurses help my late dad to breathe with the help of all the oxygen machine etc and that time they asked me to wait outside. That was the last time I saw my late dad. 

I hope my review about this book convinces you to read. This is really a good book for us to remember that this world is not a permanent place for us to live. Nothing in this world remains forever. And, it also makes us to not giving up even our lives nearly end. 

R.I.P to Paul.

Al-fatihah for my late Dad, Azmi Idris.




Book Category : Memoirs
Rating: 4.5/5







20 comments:

  1. Uihhh. Beratnya dugaan cite ni. Bku cm gni memang bestkan bace.

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    1. Aah berat dugaan dia Mek . Nadia suka baca buka based on real life story. Kita dapat bnyk pengajaran dan jugak tak semua orang kehidupan nya sama dgn kita . Pada masa sama kita boleh inspired from their story how to be strong when we face difficulty. =)

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  2. Replies
    1. Yes yes really an interesting book. Thanks jugak sebab sudi baca dan singgah . =)

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  3. Replies
    1. Aah Anies tersangat berat dugaan dia tapi dia tak mudah mengalah . =)

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  4. p/s pasal iti tu, nnt sy tanya kwn ya... sbb kami buat iti tu sama2... so sy kena minta kebenaran dia dulu...

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    1. ok nanti dah dapat itinerary tue hopefully boleh share with me .. tq dear Anies =)

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  5. btw, kalu teliti entry sy dari mula, sebenarnya sy dah explain segala2nya 'tentang' iti kami... ;-)

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    1. hihihi.. aah ada jugak tapi mcm nak summary semya itinerary mcm cth dlm satu table excel ke...if Anies tak keberatan lah =)

      tq =)

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  6. Rasa macam pernah baca synopsis dia :D Kalau tengok gambar last tu kiranya dia sempat jumpa anak dia la kan? Heheh

    Bila baca part "Paul shared about his life struggling to be a neurosurgeon." teringat semalam ada seorang neurosurgeon berkongsi kisah2 dia masa dia belajar & bekerja jugak. One of it pasal politik tempat kerja. Banyak saingan jugak rupanya sebab ni bidang yang masih kurang pakarnya. Bukan senang jugak nak deal dengan otak or kawasan2 tulang belakang ni.

    hanisamanina.com

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    1. aah dia sempat jumpa anak dia sebelum dia mati .

      Tue lah bila baca dia struggling jugak nak jadi neurosurgeon tue tak dpt bygkan betapa susah nya nak jadi doktor. Hanis pun still going on and od your best to be a doctor one day kan ? Amin . don't give up tau Hanis =)

      Oh means nak jadi pakar neurosurgeon mmg susah and lot of hardship. Tapi nothing is easy in this world to be achieve but nothing is impossible. Kan ? hihi .. correct me if im wrong .

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  7. It is sure an inspiring and sad story. When he struggle and never give up in his life.

    I'm sure I also will cry a lot if I read this book. :)

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    1. If Ana mcm Nadia hati tisu confirm akan nangis . Tapi, rasanya sapa yang bukan hati tisu pun might be cried when read this book ='(

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  8. Yay! Nadia buat review!! ๐Ÿ’ž
    Just by reading your review, I can feel the sadness from it and I'm really sure that I will crying a lot while reading. This book is definitely an inspiring book. I should get one soon.

    Thank you, Nadia for the review ๐Ÿ˜˜

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    1. Yes , you should dear. Alhamdulillah . Glad to hear that my review really convinced you to buy this book. =)

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  9. RIP paul and al fatihah tu ur dad and mine. i sure can relate and will surely cry while reading this book since my dad also died bcs of the stage 4 of lung cancer last year T^T

    i need to get this book. thanks for a really good review :)

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    1. Al-fatihah to your dad , dear BV . Semoga arwah ditempatkan di kalangan orang-orang beriman . Amin.

      Yes you should get one . It was such a heartbreaking story yet inspiring . =)

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Thank you for reading and comments . (^_^) .