Book Talk: The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

Book Talk: The Last Lecture by Randy PauschThe Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
Publisher/Year: Hyperion- 2008
Genres: Memoir, Non-fiction
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
Other Books From Author: None aside from some textbook kind of books.
AmazonGoodreads

 

 

Want an “at a glance” look at what I thought? Check out my Review On A Post-It or my “Final Thought”

 

A1
.Simply put, The Last Lecture is the last lecture from Randy Pausch — a computer science professor. He is diagnosed with cancer and comes to a place where he finds out it is terminal. He offers up his final lecture to a room full of students and colleagues and talks about achieving your childhood dreams, helping others to dream and achieve and thoughts on what it means to live.

a2I NEED TO LIVE BETTER.

a4I’ve been in a not so good place and honestly I kind of needed such a sobering read to make me think about life and the current status of things. Randy’s story touched my heart immensely and I sobbed quite a few times. Though sometimes it seems a little all over the place, I loved the wisdom of this man who was facing certain death and loved learning about him as person. I loved learning how he achieved his childhood dreams, the lessons he’s learned about LIVING in the face of death, what he wants for his family when he’s gone, etc.  He’s a stranger to me yet he bared so much of himself in this short little book. I wept for him, for his wife and for his kids. It wasn’t at all about dying but really about living. It was inspiring to be honest and just full of so much truth!

I dogearred so many pages because certain bits of his lesson resonated more where I’m at right now than others. And I think that everyone who reads this book will have lessons that will shake them up more than others. So much wisdom poured out of this one and I smiled a lot, too. I really want to take to heart some of the things that hit me.

I couldn’t help but think of my mom when I read this. Randy is a father and his children are very young and only one will probably ever have real memories of him. My heart broke because the fears that Randy had of dying were more about his children growing up without him…not about the actual dying part. It hit me really hard seeing it from the perspective of the person who knows they are going to die. It was actually really a gift to me and maybe kind of let me see my mom in a different light.

Some quotes I loved (so hard to pick from ALLL my dog-ears):

1. “The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”

2. “Too many people go through life complaining about their problems. I’ve always believed that if you took one-tenth of the energy you put into complaining and applied it to solving the problem, you’d be surprised by how well things can work out.” Then later on in that section: “Complaining does not work as a strategy. We all have finite time and energy. Any time we spend whining is unlikely to help us achieve our goals. And it won’t make us happier.”

3. “Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted. And experience is often the most valuable thing you have to offer.”

4. “The key question to keep asking is, Are you spending your time on the right things? Because time is all you have. ”

 5. “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand. If I don’t seem as depressed or morose as I should be, sorry to disappoint you.”

a6RATING-reallyliked

factors+ honestly it’s mostly just HOW IT HIT ME kind of thing. Wise, wise man.
- Nothing really. Sometimes it was all over the place but it was worth it for what I did get out of it.

Re-readability: Maybe not in its entirety but definitely the dogears.
Would I buy a copy for my collection? I have a copy that I had bought and it will stay on my shelf!

a5fans of memoirs, people who feel like they are in a rut and want to be inspired, readers looking for short non-fiction

a8The Last Lecture is a short little book packed with so much stripped down wisdom and lessons from a man who doesn’t have much time left because he has terminal cancer. I wish I could photocopy it into my brain to have it there every day to remember these lessons when I’m letting the unimportant things of life get in the way and distract me from what it really is to live. Honest, made me sob and one of those books that has something everybody needs to hear.

review-on-post-it

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

a8j* Have you read this one? What did you think? Similar or different from me? I would LOVE to hear regardless!
*If you haven’t read it, does it feel like something you’d be into?
*

 


The Perpetual Page-Turner

Before I Blogged I Read: Love Is A Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield

There’s a lot of books I read before I started this blog in June of 2010 and I figured it might be fun to spotlight those! They won’t be an actual review because OMG YOU GUYS THAT WAS SO LONG AGO but I’ll just note a few things about it, if I enjoyed it and what my Goodreads rating was. So thus “Before I Blogged I Read…” was born. Because you know…I’m so original with my names for things. Check out PAST “Before I Blogged I Read” posts.

Love Is A Mix Tape

Love Is A Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield

(Amazon | Goodreads )
Rating: I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads
Date I Read it: September 21, 2008

1. It’s a memoir written by Rob Sheffield who writes for Rolling Stone magazine and tells the story of his love story and his loss when his wife suddenly passed away after only 5 years of being married.

2. Music plays a huge part in this book — he talks about his discovery of music, how music brought he and his wife together, their shared love of music and how music helped him through it. Their is a mix tape at the beginning of each chapter and, as someone who appreciates the power of a mix tape and music in general, I loved this. If you know the power of a song or a good mix, you’ll really love this.

3. I cried like a baby for him and thought about my own loss in my life with my mom and how music played such a powerful role be it in memories of certain songs, words that spoke to my soul and how, in my life, music has carried me through the good and the bad.

4. It was a beautifully sad, yet hopeful, true story to read and I really connected to how he spoke of love and loss and music. There were so many lines that I remember writing down in my quote notebook.

5. I also got to meet him and we talked about our own losses and I told him how I can never listen to Meatloaf without immediately thinking of my mom and he wrote me an incredibly awesome message in my book because of that that will always be special to me. He’s honestly a fabulous person and that made me feel so much more of a connection to his story getting the chance to have talked to him after I read it.

DSCN2338

Favorite Quotes:

“The times you lived through, the people you shared those times with — nothing brings it all to life like an old mix tape. It does a better job of storing up memories than actual brain tissue can do. Every mix tape tells a story. Put them together, and they can add up to the story of a life.”

 

“Tonight, I feel like my whole body is made out of memories. I’m a mix-tape, a cassette that’s been rewound so many times you can hear the fingerprints smudged on the tape.”

 

“Our lives were just beginning, our favorite moment was right now, our favorite songs were unwritten.”

 

Have any of you read this one? Did you like it/not like it? Can you recommend any other memoirs  or great books for music lovers?

I Love Everybody (And Other Atrocious Lies)

This was my first encounter with Laurie Notaro and I’ve concluded that we should be best friends.

Aside from Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty (which has made me laugh more than any other book ever), this is THE funniest book I have ever read so far in my life. Just know I don’t throw bold statements out there like that very often. I have to really mean it.  I am not the type of person who laughs out loud too often while reading a book. However, this book had me laughing out loud several times and managed to get me nasty looks at the library. I decided it would be best to read this in the comfort of my own room after that.

Why did Laurie Notaro resonate so well with me?

I think this is basically due to the fact that I felt like everything she was saying was all the things that I think on a daily basis. Her commentary surrounding people and situations were eerily similar to what goes on in my own head when things happen in my life. The difference is between our thoughts is that she is alot more hilarious than I am and can write a heck of alot better than I can!

She takes simple things that happen in daily life–things that irk you or make you upset–and turns them into this hilarious story that has you nodding your head and thinking “Oh my gosh, something so similar happened to me” or “I do that do!” etc. She literally creates these images from a simple interaction with a person or a situation and brings to life this comic event that you can’t help but laugh about.

In general, I just love when someone can make something ordinary/boring/uneventful and turn it into something hilarious, meaningful, or beautiful. Laurie has it down to a science. She can make any seemingly common encounter into one that has you snorting and giggling. Even the things I couldn’t necessarily relate to per se were still incredibly funny. That’s the beauty of Laurie Notaro. She can take things that we has woman go through (dieting, money, relationships, etc.) and delicately let us see the humor in ourselves as we face similar situations, emotions, or events.

I have to share my favorite line of the book: (maybe because my best friend thinks it describes me perfectly.):

In this particular part, she is talking about how she is not a people person and how she is labeled as “mean” sometimes.

Now, I really need to point out that I am not indiscriminately mean; I am not mean to people whenever the mean mood strikes me. I feel that I must be provoked first, although my husband disagrees. In all honesty, I really wouldn’t even identify myself as a mean person; rather, I would classify myself as a Pointer-Outer of Extraordinary Acts of Incredible Foolishness and, on Occasion, Rudeness. Some people, including my husband, would call these experiences meltdowns, but I would rather consider them Opportunities to Enlighten.

I will read every book written by Laurie. I will!

Final Thought: Laurie Notaro will be my go-to girl for a humorous read that always seems to have me going “OMG! I’ve thought that/been through that/feel that” the whole time. She is able to see the humor in the mundane and in the times we take ourselves to seriously and retell it with her wit, snark & keen insights. I highly recommend this for people who are looking for a short, quick funny read that brings a lot of truth packaged in a highly snort-inducing package! You don’t need to read straight through as they are just short stories from her life.

My Review On A Post- It:

I Love Everybody And Other Atrocious Lies

You May Also Like: Jen Lancaster

Anyone else know of any good humor books/authors similar to this??

Review: Loud in the House of Myself by Stacey Pershall

*Also posted at my other blog– The Broke and the Bookish*

Loud in the House of Myself: Memoir of a Strange GirlTitle/Author: Loud in the House of Myself by Stacey Pershall

Publisher/Year: W.W. Norton 2011

How I Got This Book: I received this book from the publisher for an honest review.

I used to read memoirs a lot–memoirs from famous people, memoirs from people who lead extraordinary lives, or memoirs from your average Joe. Anything. I just really enjoy getting another perspective on life no matter if it’s life shattering or just something to contemplate about my life. For whatever reason, I strayed from reading memoirs, so this is my first memoir in about a year and it reaffirms my love for meandering around someone else’s memories as they look at some critical juncture in their life and explore the things that shaped their life and discover pieces of who they are.

Anyways, I want to hug Stacy Pershall in this book. I want to be her friend because she goes through some pretty crazy things! She grew up as one of those genuinely precocious children who is just so misunderstood and was ostracized and thus begins her windy road through “Jesus freakdom,” bulimia, anorexia, manic episodes, messed up relationship and a suicide attempt that will just leave you speechless.

I know what I just described sounds like one crazy depressing memoir but, while it is completely heartwrenching at times, I assure you it’s not like that at all. Stacey is beyond hilarious and witty and I found myself laughing out loud. You know, a real hearty LOL. She writes in such a compelling way that I found myself sometimes shielded from the heaviness of the subject matter, yet at the same time, so incredibly shaken to the core. I felt as though I was on this crazy roller coaster with her and gained perspective into illnesses that I’ve never dealt with before. Another thing I really appreciated was the depth of her introspection. She wasn’t shallow or cliche or blaming circumstances or making excuses or even pretending like she is magically cured now. Instead she gives an honest portrayal of the things that shaped her and really created something quite raw and inspirational that really reflects all those things she’s gleaned from some really dark days in her life and how she’s moved forward.

I will mention that at some times, for someone who really isn’t too familiar with bipolar disorder and many of the other illnesses mentioned, it got a little bit too medical on me. I didn’t feel that it detracted from the memoir at all but sometimes it slowed up my reading even though I was genuinely interested in learning about these illnesses.

My Final Thought: If you enjoy incredibly quirky memoirs that will make you laugh while simultaneously forcing you to grapple with some incredible serious issues (eating disorders, depression, suicide), then this book is for you. I think if you enjoyed any of Marya Hornbacher’s books that you might be interested in picking this one up. I personally enjoyed this one more than any other memoirs dealing with these types of issues. Something about it felt so genuine and I have a feeling that it was very cathartic for Pershall to write. That story needed to come out and I feel as though I could feel the burden she bared become a little bit lesser for her.

What are some other memoirs you’ve enjoyed recently? Similar to this one or otherwise..I’d like to read more memoirs again.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...