Book Groups

HPL Book Group
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Tuesday, August 28 at 7:00


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. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality.

What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away? These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir.

Paul Kalanithi died in March 2015, while working on this book, yet his words live on as a guide and a gift to us all. “I began to realize that coming face to face with my own mortality, in a sense, had changed nothing and everything,” he wrote. “Seven words from Samuel Beckett began to repeat in my head: ‘I can’t go on. I’ll go on.’” 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.

Details:
  • Books are available for checkout at the Reference desk
  • The HPL Book Group meets the last Tuesday of each month (except December)
  • New Members are always welcome
  • For more information, please contact the Reference Department at 781-741-1405, ext. 1404
When Breath Becomes Air Book Cover

Books on Tap!

Join the HPL for Books On Tap, our newest adult book club! It will meet the 2nd Tuesday of every month at the Liberty Grille in Downtown Hingham at 7:00 pm, and  will provide a fun and relaxed atmosphere for members to chat about books. Book choices will focus on recent, fresh, and interesting reads.  So come on down, grab a cocktail, and enjoy a literary night out! Books will be available for pick-up at the reference desk two weeks before each meeting.  This month, Books on Tap is reading...

The Immortalists by Chole Benjamin
Tuesday, September 11 at 7:00

If you knew the date of your death, how would you live your life?

It's 1969 in New York City's Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The Gold children—four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness—sneak out to hear their fortunes.

The prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden-boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in '80s San Francisco; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician, obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy; eldest son Daniel seeks security as an army doctor post-9/11; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality.

A sweeping novel of remarkable ambition and depth, The Immortalists probes the line between destiny and choice, reality and illusion, this world and the next. It is a deeply moving testament to the power of story, the nature of belief, and the unrelenting pull of familial bonds.

Details:

  • Books are available for checkout at the Reference desk
  • Books on Tap meets the second Tuesday of each month
  • New Members are always welcome
  • For more information, please contact the Reference Department at 781-741-1405, ext. 1404
books on tap logo
The Immortalists book cover