In the excitement of preparing for college, I ordered all of my textbooks and started looking through them. When I got one of my books and read the short description on the back, I couldn’t help but to read the entire book in less than a day. After all, it was only 225 pages long (you’d think I’d have something better to do with senior trips and such). But it was worth it!! When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi is a touching book that inspires readers to live life to the fullest. Kalanithi, a brilliant doctor, tells of his personal battle with lung cancer. A question that my sixth grade teacher always asked that I forgot about until I read this book is, “You survived, but did you live?” And Kalanithi accurately portrays the extent of this question as he describes his journey.
Even though this book has quickly become one of my favorites, I will warn you! Kalanithi uses strong language a few times. The book is also not a fairytale, it doesn’t have the happiest ending imaginable, but it does have an ending that is real and inspiring. Another warning: you have to read the prologue and the epilogue in order to get the full story. As unfortunate as that sounds, the prologue and epilogue are included in the 225 page count.
On the other hand, the best part about this book is that it is a true story, and it can be applied to everyone. I personally loved the message that it gives: to live life. President Gordon B. Hinckley said, “Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured,” and this book portrays that quote perfectly. I think that this is the perfect book to read at the beginning of Summer Break because it encourages you to have fun and enjoy life, which is what Summer is about; But, I would highly recommend it at any time of year. Happy Reading!