Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Last Lecture

Author: Randy Pausch
Goodreads Rating: 4.19
My Rating: 4 Stars
Pages: 5 Disks
Reviewed By: Nicole

"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand."— Randy PauschA 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 aboutliving.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. It is a book that will be shared for generations to come!!

This book was another really sad book, but I knew that going into it. I found this book last summer in my library's audiobook collection, but when my computer malfunctioned, I didn't get to listen to it, so instead I tackled it this summer. As far as sad books go, this was the cream of the crop. Around every turn I was crying as he talked about his wife and his children and how this was all for them.

I sort of wish this book was told by Pausch himself, although the narrator that they chose was wonderful. He had a soothing voice that was strong when he talked about being cavalier for his family. I loved that this book was entirely for his children to remember him and so that he could teach them lessons that he wasn't going to get to teach  them otherwise.

I loved getting to hear that Pausch got to achieve all of this dreams of becoming a Disney Imagineer and going to NASA, and that even though he had to work hard to get all the things in his life, he seemed to find all of it worth it in the end. All of these lessons are important ones, and its amazing that he got to pass them on to his children even though he doesn't get to tell them to him himself.

This was a sad, but motivating story about how important it is to take advantage of the opportunities that you have in life. 


  1. Absolutely loved this book when I read it two years ago. I even pulled it out for my ninth grade students and used quotes from it as discussion prompts for our warm up at the start of class for several weeks.

  2. The cover of this book is apsolutely beautiful! It sounds like a great read, one that is poignant and emotive, hence i can imagine that it is quite a 'deep' book that makes one think. Thank you for a really informative review.



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