Welcome to the KPL Book Club Blogspot

Welcome to the internet home of the Kilbourn Public Library (KPL) Book Club. The KPL Book Club meets at the library once a month. A book is chosen for each month and then members of the book club meet the last Monday and Wednesday of every month for lively discussion and treats. While we can’t offer you treats via the internet, this KPL Reads blog was designed for those of you who would like to participate in the book club but don’t have time to join us at meetings. Each month KPL staff will post discussion topics and questions to get you “talking”. Join in the discussion by adding a post to the blog. Click on the word comments below the post you want to "talk" about and write your comment. Be sure to check back often to see feedback and comments.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The March book selection for the Kilbourn Public Library Book Discussion Group is When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi.  When Breath Becomes Air is a profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir by a young neurosurgeon faced with a terminal cancer diagnosis who attempts to answer the question--What makes a life worth living?

At the age of thirty-six, 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. 

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. (From the publisher)

How would you describe Dr. Paul Kalanithi?  What kind of a person was he?

One of the ironies of Kalanithi's life is that he postponed learning how to live in order to learn how to be a doctor.  But once he knew he had lung cancer, he had to learn how to die.  What are the ways in which he learned to live...and learned to face his death?  Would you be as brave and thoughtful as Kalanithi was? 

Once Kalanithi and his wife learned that he had terminal cancer, why did they decide to have a child?  Even Kalanithi wonders if having a child wouldn't make it harder to die.  What would you do?

How would you (or will you) go about dying?  How do you think of death--as something distant, something frightening or horrible, as part of the normal spectrum of life, as a closing of this chapter of your life and the opening of another?  What comes to mind when you think of your own demise?

Do you  find When Breath Becomes Air enlightening, insightful, spiritual, maudlin?  Would you describe it as an important book or merely interesting?

(Questions by LitLovers)