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The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow Books in Review
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The Last Lecture
by Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow
ISBN 978-1-4013-2325-7
Published April 2008 - Hardcover - 207 pages - $21.95

Pancreatic cancer.  It's vicious and rapid.  I recall seeing Randy Pausch on Oprah and shedding buckets of tears at this man's tenacity, bravery, and being able to do what he did before succumbing to this deadly disease.  With a wife and three young children, this computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon delivers his Last Lecture prematurely in his career, but with careful and purposeful forethought.  He had only months to live.  He says about the Lecture, and what was left of his life: "I have a chance here to really think about what matters most to me, to cement how people will remember me, and to do whatever good I can on the way out."  I remember him saying to Oprah that he has to leave something behind for his children, something they could use in life, and this is what the Last Lecture is about.  Something for his children.  He recalls how encouraging his own father was, and knowing he wouldn't be around to encourage creativity and much more in his own kids, this was the next best thing.  A legacy of sorts.  He tells about being allowed to paint on his bedroom walls, the importance of dreaming, learning, and being interested.  He also talks about time management, being in and enjoying the moment, listening (and learning therefrom), and so much good advice it's like lessons on how to live.  His goal, I'm sure.  "Luck is where preparation meets opportunity," is one snippet of advice.  Isn't it perfect?  Another I loved was "Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted." Brilliant!  The lessons I personally came away with?  Never let a brick wall stop you.  Go for your dreams.  Prepare for when the opportunity arrives.
Visit the Last Lecture website.
Conclusion - Everyone should read this book.  It's a way of life we should all strive towards.  A superbly uplifting book.  Have tissues handy.

book cover

Review copy not supplied by publisher - library copy reviewed.

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