When Breath Becomes Air
Before picking up The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace, Kim finished Dr. Paul Kalanithi’s memoir When Breath Becomes Air, which chronicles the young neurosurgeon’s confrontation with his own terminal cancer diagnosis.
“This book absolutely knocked me over. It is a gorgeous read. I love the conversation between Paul and Lucy when they are trying to decide whether or not to have a child and Lucy says, ‘Don’t you think saying goodbye to your child will make your death more painful?’ and he responds, “Wouldn’t it be great if it did? […] Lucy and I both felt that life wasn’t about avoiding suffering.’ I feel like he was saying, isn’t it wonderful to feel things? And if it’s more painful to say goodbye, that only means you really cared and loved in your lifetime, and that is a beautiful thing. I just love his outlook.”
The Tale of Despereaux
As the mom of two boys, Kim admits that a lot of books she reads are kid literature, while reading to her sons at night. In her memoir, Where The Light Gets In, she reminisces about her mother reading to her and her siblings at night, so it’s a treasured tradition she’s passed on to her own children.
“My mom used to read to us, so I spend a lot of time reading to my kids, and there is so much great children’s literature out there! We’ve pretty much read every book by Kate DiCamillo—she is awesome. All of her books are amazing, but our favorite is The Tale of Despereaux. My boys—and I—just loved that one. We also enjoyed The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, which was a little sad, but still an incredible read.”
Where the Light Gets In
Actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley is fairly well known: she played Annie Banks in the iconic Father of the Bride movie franchise, starred in T.V. hits like According to Jim and Nashville, and is the wife of country star Brad Paisley. But what is less well known about Kim is her mother’s struggle with a rare form of dementia called Primary Progressive Aphasia. In her stunning new memoir, Where the Light Gets In, Kim opens up about her mother’s decline and her family’s battle with the disease. Read It Forward’s editor Abbe Wright talked with Kim about her new memoir (read the moving interview here) and asked Kim what she was reading. Find out what’s on Kim Williams-Paisley’s TBR pile—a collection of books that have helped her cope with her mother’s illness and connect with her young sons—and why she’s enjoyed them.
Featured Image: Aleksandar Mijatovic/Shutterstock; Author Photo: Dana Patrick