Books: The Last Lecture

Randy Pausch writes this book along with Jeffrey Zaslow as a follow-up to his "The Last Lecture" at Carnegie-Mellon University. "The Last Lecture" series, although renamed by the time Randy was the speaker, is where professors are given an opportunity to speak on a subject as if this is the last lecture before the speaker's death. In Randy's case, it was aptly called his last lecture. Randy was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and had a very little time left to live.

The book resonates the theme of Randy's last lecture. How can you achieve your dreams? He provides himself as an example and demonstrates how he overcame the various brick walls encountered in his life. His perseverance is also attributed to the humble upbringing by his parents and the influence of his mentors. In fact, the book and the lecture is also a way to overcome the final brick wall in his life. Being in the book form, Randy is able to dedicate more words and anecdotes about his close family than a lecture of 1 hour duration.

How can a man on a death sentence inspire us to dream and to achieve the dream? It may sound impossible. But that is what Randy achieves with this book. It takes courage to accept the inevitable and do the possible best for the remainder of his short life. I believe people react in the best optimized manner when faced with constraints. Randy demonstrates it. Faced with the biggest constraint in his life, he has come out with this book (and the lecture) for inspiring people to overcome constraints.

After reading the book, you end up asking yourself many questions. What would you do if you had only limited time to live? Are you going to give up too soon whenever you find a brick wall?

This is different from the usual inspirational books. You must read this.


  1. It should be an inspiring read.. Will try it for sure

  2. Yeah its a great book.. I have had featured it on my blog long time back and I keep sending this to friends, specially your kids around my friends and family....

    Read my feature about the book here... where i have posted some of the thoughts from the book..

    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya
    At Twitter @VerseEveryDay

  3. your blog is nice..

    Thank you

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  4. @Everlost - :) Thanks for recommending it. I loved it.

    @Shashidhar Sharma - I agree. I checked your article too.

    @Anurag - Thank you.

  5. Nice review... :)
    Will definitely give this book a try :)

  6. @Madhulika - Thanks. Enjoy reading this book if you decide to pick it up.

  7. had seen the video & it truly did spark a lot of bulbs in me ... get the book when u come down ...

  8. @Laks - di... I use Kindle (for iPhone). No more using traditional books.

    They have a web version too which works only on Chrome and Firefox. Need to find if I can share books using this interface.

    Remember I switched to this mode middle of 2010. That is one of the reason why I carry my iPhone "everywhere" ( ! ;) ).

  9. It's a book I read quite some time ago, just after the death of Randy. I liked it though it seemed very hastily written or dictated, understandably so...

  10. @Matheikal - Understandably so. The idea of the book would have germinated after the "Last Lecture"! They didn't have the luxury of time!

  11. I've heard about the book so many times, Have to read it. And yes, we might find it weird that a person who knows that he just has some more time left to live, inspires us to achieve our dreams. When we look at people like Randy Pausch, I tell myself "That is courage, Not what I've been professing".


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