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Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

I was not expecting much, but it got to me in a big way. I laughed, I cried, I told my wife she should read it.

Everyone said The Last Lecture was fantastic. There were news programs about Randy Pausch and his Last Lecture. There's a billboard sponsored by the Foundation for a Better Life near my local library that extols his positive virtues ("Wrote a book on living while he was dying").

But, I refused to read the book. Why? I guess I am just stubborn. A friend of mine had the book on her table and I asked her if it was any good. Yes - she plowed through it in no time and she's really not a reader. She lent it to me and I was off.

Even then, I let it sit for a couple of weeks. But, once I got into it I was absorbed into it. It is a well-written, laugh-out-loud funny, big-tears-rolling-down-your-face sad, happy, poignant and sweet book. I called my friend when I was done and told her she should have told me that I was going to cry at the end of this book. She said, "I told you!" "Yeah, but I didn't know you meant it!"

Randy Pausch delivering his
last lecture on September 18, 2007
In case you are curious, the title of the book comes from a tradiition at Carnegie Mellon University in which professors give a simulated last lecture - a lecture that would try to impart the wisdom they have gleaned to others if this were the last lecture they were to give in their life. For Pausch, this happened to be true. He makes the most of it.

I cannot recommend this book enough.

You can see his actual last lecture here on youtube: the last lecture.

I rate this book 5 stars out of 5.

Reviewed on August 15, 2010.

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