Monday, June 18, 2012

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

I almost read this book last year. Almost. I saw it in the ACS(I) library and started reading it, but then decided to wait to borrow it (and clearly, forgot to do so). So when I saw it going for 300yen at BookOff, I really had to buy it. And I'm glad I did.

The Last Lecture is based off the viral hit "Last Lecture" video that I've never watched. I would say that I want to watch the video, but seeing as how I can barely make time to watch the dramas I want to watch, and that the book covers what's in the lecture and more, I can't think of any compelling reason as to why I should go and search it out.

But the book itself is excellent. It introduces the book (why it even exists), and then divides into five sections of "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" (The title of his speech), "Adventures... and Lessons Learned", "Enabling the Dreams of Others", "It's about How to Live Your Life" and "Final Remarks". Each section is divided into small chapters, each covering one episode of his life and what he learnt from it.

And what I liked about the book is the narrative voice. If the book was really written by Randy (it says "with Jeffrey Zaslow" so I'm not sure), then I'd really have liked to be able to meet him. He sounds like a great teacher, and a nice person (and anyone who can admit he's a jerk has my respect).

In the book, he talks about, well, his whole life really. And I felt as though that his life was very eventful. He got to work for Disney (a childhood dream), married the woman he loved (and very honestly dealt with how she copes with him), did something called The Alice Project that sounds absolutely fun, experience weightlessness, etc. Individually, they seem like small experiences, but when put together, they make his life seem eventful and meaningful.

If you're going to get this book, I would recommend buying it rather than borrowing it. It's the kind of book that after the first reading, you'll pick up again and again and read your favourite chapters. Or when you're in a slump, you'll read something about achieving your dreams and get the energy to carry on ( for me, these books tend to be non-fiction, although they're mostly about books rather than self-help).

I have no regrets about buying this book.

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