Friday, September 3, 2010

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow~★★★★

Author: Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow
Title: The Last Lecture
Publisher: Hyperunion Audio, Unabridged edition, read by Erik Singer
Release Date: April 10th, 2008
Genre: Non-Fiction

Audiobook Cover: "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 audiobook, Randy Pausch has combined the humor, inspiration, and intelligence that made his lecture such a phenomenon and given it an indelible form. It is an audiobook that will be shared for generations to come."

Taryn's Review: I enjoy listening to audiobooks while I commute, especially now that I'm in school and my  reading selections are now books that I have to read for class. However, I probably shouldn't have listened to this book while driving. Why? Because a few times I teared up or had tears streaming down my cheeks as I was listening to this book. Probably not the safest way to drive!

Randy Pausch seemed like he was a very cool guy. Passionate about his work, his family, his wife, and his life, Pausch gave a great example of someone who tried to live a rich, fulfilled life. I loved some of his stories and how they shaped him. Some of the computer science stuff was a bit over my head, but nonetheless, his accomplishments were great.

Pausch was very candid about things, but was also able to find humor where he could. When he and his wife discovered that his cancer was back and was terminal, he noted the irony that the doctor's office had no tissues in the room and even in such a dark moment, his fixation on the lack of tissues brought a smile to my face.

I teared up the most when Pausch was writing directly to his children and his wife. I can't imagine the pain and horror of the situation, but Pausch left behind a beautiful legacy for his family, and many great lessons for the readers to take along in life. He claimed he loved cliches and highlighted stories to go along with many of his favorites. It's a great book to pick up and read (or listen to, as in my case). Make sure afterward you go and give your loved ones a great big hug. Time is short, he reminds us, so make sure you live your life the best way you can.

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