Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Last Lecture

The Last LectureThe Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I struggled with this book at the beginning. Once I got over my fear of it being another sad story about someone dying from cancer (and only about dying from cancer) I enjoyed the book very much. The book was broken up into sections and the chapters in each section flowed well. I found the writing style unique, it was a good mix of "to the point", humor and smarts that kept the book from being too emotionally heavy.

Pub. Date: April 2008

Synopsis: "We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand." —Randy Pausch

A lot of professors give talks titled "The Last Lecture." Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them. And while they speak, audiences can't help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy?

When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn't have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave—"Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams"—wasn't about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because "time is all you have and you may find one day that you have less than you think"). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.

In this book, Randy Pausch has combined the humor, inspiration and intelligence that made his lecture such a phenomenon and given it an indelible form.

Recommended Reading:
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
The Noticer by Andy Andrews

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