The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

The Last Lecture
Author: Randy Pausch,
Genre: Nonfiction
Year: 2008  
Acquired: Library
Rating: 4.5/5

Book Description from Barnes and Noble:
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. It is a book that will be shared for generations to come.

Book Review:

This is a book I think that everyone should read sometime in their lifetime.In the book Randy Paush is diagnosed with 10 tumors in his pancreas and has only months to live. If this happened to you what would you do? There are many people that would feel sorry and be down on themselves. Randy displays that is not what he did. He lived life to fullest and in the moment even after he found out about his condition.

I did identify with him every so often throughout this book. I am I huge sports nut, a complete geek as well as father of a daughter. If I were to go now, Aqua Girl would have little memory of me as well. This is what was hard for me throughout this book. I like that he made DVDs of messages to his children as well as videos of them spending time together.

The Last Lecture shows people to enjoy life and will the little things really matter in the end. To me this book changed me of how I look at life and put so many things in perceptive. 

I am glad that I left early for work a week or so ago and went to my local library and took a look at the audiobooks. I saw this book and figured i will give it a try. Now looking back on it I am glad that I made the choice to read this breathtaking book.


  1. My wife and I listened to the audio version of this a couple of years back as we drove through beautiful, scenic winding roads in Missouri wine country. Such a powerful, sad and inspiring book, especially to listen to. The knowledge that his children wouldn't know him because of their young ages at his death was agonizing. I think the DVD idea was great as well.

    I completely agree with you, this one is a must read. I always pay extra attention to the beginning of the newest Star Trek movie whenever I watch it, to catch that fleeing glimpse of him on the bridge.

  2. Same here with looking for him on the Bridge. Since reading this book, I have been exploring the ALICE Language. It sure is fascinating what you do.:)

  3. Speaking of Star Trek, it was re-released in IMAX at our local theater this week and I went and saw it (again) with a friend last night. Looked for and saw Randy. :)


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