The Last Lecture Author:Randy Pausch, Jeffrey Zaslow 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 a... more »s 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. It is a book that will be shared for generations to come.« less
This book is a keeper! Sorry everyone, I'm hanging onto this one. I finished it in about two days, let my 17 year old son read it and he finished it in four--and he doesn't like to read much. The beauty of this book is it is not maudlin. It does not dwell on his diagnosis of pancreatic cancer or the death sentence that comes with it. Instead, he tells you what he did with his life and why he's happy he did it. He also tells us how to learn from our mistakes. One of my favorite quotes was "brick walls are not put in our path to stop us; brick walls are there to see how badly we want our goal." (Not a verbatim quote, but you get the gist.) I recommend everyone run out and buy this book and buy it for all your friends--it's that good.
I was first introduced to this book by the television special right before it came out. Since then I have been delaying actually reading it, but always saying "I need to read that book." There were always other books to read. I finally got down to reading it, and I have degraded myself for waiting so long.
In my opinion, every high school student in america should be required to read this book. This is a great teacher. From the beginning to the end, it is a great read that gives you more than most self-help books that are presently out there.
I am not one to write a review about anything, but this is one item I just had to tell others about.
I absolutely loved this book. A quick read. It is a very inspirational book that encourages you to enjoy every day and live in the moment. This book will make you look at life and it's challenges differently. One of my favorite books.
This is an amazing story of courage and inspiration! Wow is all I know to say! Please read this book if you get the chance. You won't be disappointed. It is not down trodden with painful memories but is filled with hope for all of us. Very easy to read. It was an honor to learn about this man and his message.
Amazingly motivational. This book came to me at a perfect time in my life and made me feel like I could handle whatever life decided to throw at me. We all have challenges to overcome, and we all have strengths to overcome them. Sometimes it just takes some digging. Definitely a keeper to read over and over again. Very easy read.
There's nothing more bittersweet than reading a story where you know the ending before you start the first page. Everyone knows that on July 25, 2008, Randy Pausch lost his battle with cancer. But fortunately for those of us who never knew the man, he's left behind his legacy in THE LAST LECTURE. The well-known lecture can be viewed on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ji5_MqicxSo), but with the help of a Wall Street Journal writer, Jeffrey Zaslow, he's taken his famous "last lecture" and written a book on how to live.
If you've watched the actual last lecture (I took the time after reading the book to sit and watch the entire talk), then the book is a perfect companion. If you've not seen the video, you will still be touched by the book. Though the book doesn't quote the lecture verbatim, Mr. Pausch has taken his lecture and expounded with more details and memories.
Having gone to university in Pittsburgh, I am very familiar with Carnegie Mellon University. When I first heard about the book and famous talk upon the death of Mr. Pausch, it was the mention of CMU that first caught my attention. I proceeded to get my hands on the book and read it in one quiet evening.
Mr. Pausch doesn't preach about his cancer, nor philosophize on death. Instead, he tells of his childhood dreams and how others can achieve their dreams. He speaks often of hitting a brick wall. He tells all that if you want something badly enough, then you will find a way around that brick wall. He shares with the reader his rejections by Brown University, Carnegie Mellon University, and even the Disney Imagineers. But he fought for what he wanted, and found a way to achieve his dreams.
He fondly thanks his parents for his wonderful childhood. He thanks his tough college mentor Andy van Dam. He tells about one of his students, whose dream was to work on the next Star Wars films. This coming in the early 1990s when no one anticipated there would be an additional three.
I believe all who pick up this book will be touched in some small way. It might not make you a better person for reading it, but I believe it will make you think. He offers simple suggestions for getting more out of life. It may be the simple truth of how to offer a sincere apology. It may be that you should put others first. Whatever it is, read the book with an open mind and be thankful that you are still alive and have the chance to live each day.
I have watched the video of Mr. Pausch's last lecture. The book is inspiring and motivational in the face of death. What a wonderful tribute to his family and a testimonial of his love of his wife and children. Lessons learned from this book would serve anyone well in life at any stage!
This book was used as a textbook for my English Composition class. I LOVED IT!!!! When they say never judge a book by its cover, this is definitely the book that is being referred to. The chapters are short and to the point.
I think it is a beautiful legacy to leave not only to the author's family, but to the world.
Not only WOULD I recommend this book to others, I DO recommend it to everyone.