This month Liz and I are both writing about non-fiction books for a change.
Liz – I read this book last month which I found to be affecting.
Paul Kalanithi’s autobiography When Breath Becomes Air is a brief and profoundly moving story of facing death in one’s thirties. Diagnosed with terminal lung cancer while still in residency as a neurosurgeon Kalanithi describes the ironies of being both doctor and patient, and ponders whether to continue his work or take another path in the time remaining. He relies on the sustenance of support from family, friends and colleagues.
The forward is by Abraham Verghese, another doctor-writer, and the afterword by Paul’s widow Lucy. Between the two is a three-part account – diagnosis, early family life and the final months. It is beautifully rendered, without self-pity, but rather a discourse on how we approach life and our inevitable passing.
Mike – I read my book at the end of last year which was inevitably tear-jerking at times but certainly heart-warming.
Christmas at Battersea, True Stories of Miracles and Hope starts with what Battersea is like on Christmas Day then goes on to relate stories of inspirational owners who found a place in their hearts and homes for abandoned pets.
Over the Christmas/New Year period I read a chapter a day. Despite the sadness at times the stories are uplifting and the pictures delightful, including two week old kittens and a Great Dane.
It’s the perfect follow on read to Rescue Me by Melissa Wareham, which tells of her fifteen years working at Britain’s most well known and loved dogs’ home.
Happy reading, and have a good weekend!