This beautiful memoir tells the story of Paul Kalanithi, a brilliant doctor who, after a visit to the doctor, learns he only has months to live. Kalanithi blends his medical knowledge with his passion for writing to offer a heartbreaking reflection of life, dreams deferred, and hope in the face of the inevitable pain. I remember listening to the audiobook of this as I was running through the park, sobbing—folks who saw me that day must have been very confused.
Someone gifted this book to me while I was in high school and it’s one that I revisit often. Viktor Frankl offers a firsthand account of living in concentration camps during the Holocaust and offers insight into the power of the human mind in the face of human monstrosities. Given the topic, the book runs the risk of falling into the honky-dory “everything will be okay if you just believe” trap, but Frankl offers realistic takeaways that can be applied by virtually everyone.
The Yerkovich’s offer a fascinating look into the ways in which our childhoods set the stage for how we can experience and create love in our adult lives. The book was like holding up a mirror to myself and forced me to see some uncomfortable truths about the stories I’ve been told, both by others and by myself. The biggest takeaway—you can’t always control what happens to you, but you can control what you do with it. Reading this was difficult at times (my wig was snatched for pages at a time), but I’m a better friend, partner, sibling, child, and person because of it. Oh, and you don’t need to be married to have an “aha” moment.
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