April 26, 2011

Practical Wisdom • The Last Lecture

The Last Lecture book cover
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch (with Jeffrey Zaslow)
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Publication Date: April 8, 2008
Source/Format: Bought || Hardcover

Professors are asked to give talks known as "the last lecture" - they contemplate their death and think about what's important to them. When Randy Pausch was asked to give such a lecture, he was already diagnosed with terminal cancer and facing his actual demise. His last lecture - "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" - is one that's served as motivation and inspiration to countless people, and this book condenses it all. 

There are no words for how much I personally enjoyed reading The Last Lecture. Randy Pausch's points in his last lecture were spot on, and the charming anecdotes included for each added a lot more personality on the whole. I felt like the advice and lessons he shared were something I needed to hear at this particular moment in time, so I was extra encouraged as I zipped through the book.

I know there are some people who would argue that the book was a bit too personalized to Pausch's situation in life, as well as basically demonstrating all the luck, good fortune and accomplishments he's managed in his lifetime. I respect their opinions, but, for what it's worth, I think that there is a need for more people to share their life stories, especially if those life stories are inspiring and can give hope to people who are struggling (like me). The Last Lecture was as inspirational as my sister promised it would be and I'm glad I was able to pick up a copy.


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