I ordered When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi, when it was first printed last year, but held off on reading it until this summer. Knowing that it was a heavy read about a neurosurgeon who quickly and brutally loses his fight with stage 4 cancer I wanted to make sure I read it when I was in a quiet moment where I could really process what I was reading. Kalanithi was one of those unique souls who was completely talented in many different arenas. A sought after neurosurgeon whose career was about to explode on the research and surgery front – he was also an exceptional writer. His words about life, love, relationships, being a doctor, and facing a terminal illness came closer to poetry than prose. I wept while Kalanithi pragmatically explained what it was like to feel cancer in his body. And I cringed as he, once the doctor and then the patient, experienced what it was like to be on the other side of the diagnostic table. I finished, feeling this book should become a “must read” for anyone who is venturing into the medical field. Kalanithi beautifully tackles the topics of healing, hope, compassion, life and death. It’s a must read.