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A little guide to life.by Randy Pausch

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Actual Advice to Live By

  • May 19, 2010

Randy Pausch was a professor and a father of three when diagnosed with terminal cancer. Invited to give "a last lecture," he threw himself into the project and realized he was leaving a legacy for his children as they grew up without him.

Life lessons are woven into the book, enhanced by details from Pausch's own life - tales about his parents, how he met his wife, the discovery of his cancer and the progression of the disease, and other snapshots of people in America.

One story that stuck with me was a quick chapter on a friend who was stressed out because she was deep in debt and having trouble getting out from under it. She takes a Tuesday night yoga class to relieve her stress, and it helped a bit, but the debt and tension were still there. Pausch suggests dropping the yoga and picking up a part-time job on Tuesday nights instead - soon her debt was paid off, the stress was gone, and she was able to move on in life.

Sometimes we just don't think the right way about solving problems,  and there are some great ideas in this book.

It's a small book, divided into tiny, bite-sized chapters, and I suspect it will be on the "Gift Ideas for Graduates" for years to come.


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More The Last Lecture reviews
Quick Tip by . July 15, 2010
This book is great and it forces you to look at your own life and ask whether you are really appreciating life the way you should. Pausch is a great writer. So grateful for this book and my prayers are with his family.
Quick Tip by . July 13, 2010
What an amazing man and a amazing book. One of my favorites.
Quick Tip by . July 07, 2010
Really puts the "big stuff" and "little stuff" into perspective. Organizes how one views life in its entirety.
Quick Tip by . July 06, 2010
This is a true story from someone dying of cancer..
review by . June 23, 2010
This book is a perfect read for people who take their lives for granted. This is written by a beloved college professor before he died. It talks about the bridges we gross, the walls that stop us, and the people that guide us. It is a truely inspirational book that i think every adult should read in their lifetime. it talks about how to go for your dreams no matter how impossible they seem. Life is too short so you have to take advantage of the time that you have becasue it goes by way to fast. …
Quick Tip by . July 01, 2010
Yes, the book has some great moments, but it is overrated. If it weren't for the author's struggle with cancer and sad death, the book would never have become such a highly respected bestseller. Don't get me wrong – it's worth the read. Just don't expect to be fully transformed over the course of a short book.
Quick Tip by . June 23, 2010
Inspiring piece of writing.
Quick Tip by . June 22, 2010
i think everyone should read this book. its a true inspiration
Quick Tip by . June 21, 2010
loved it
Quick Tip by . June 20, 2010
About the reviewer
Carol Shay Hornung ()
Ranked #1532
Hi. I'm Carol. I'm a writer, so be careful what you say otherwise you could wind up in my next novel! I live in Madison, WI, one of the oddest cities around, and when I die I want to come back as my dog, … more
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About this book


"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand."
--Randy Pausch

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.

Questions for Randy Pausch

We were shy about barging in on Randy Pausch's valuable time to ask him a few questions about his expansion of his famous Last Lecture into the book by the same name, but he was ...

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ISBN-10: 1401323251
ISBN-13: 978-1401323257
Author: Randy Pausch
Genre: Biographies & Memoirs, Entertainment
Publisher: Hyperion
Date Published: April 8, 2008
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