“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.”



Professor Randy Pausch of Carnegie Mellon has managed to describe in his own words, with the help of Jeffrey Zaslow; what true empathy, compassion, kindness and gratefulness mean in times of immense adversity.

Published in 2008, after being diagnosed with cancer, Randy was asked by Carnegie Mellon to give a last lecture, which is customary. Instead of focusing on the typical guidance speeches that are given, Randy chose to not focus on the fact that he had a short time to live, instead, he decided to focus on how TO live every day with the drive to succeed and be happy in whatever you do.

Randy causes the reader to evaluate their existence and what it means to them. He focuses somewhat on his illness but this is not a book about a dying man. This is a book about living.

This most compelling, inspirational and uplifting volume causes one to not only step inside of Randy’s shoes, but to walk in them, become a part of his mind, soul and heart. To travel with him back to his childhood, in turn, to your own. Randy allows the reader to explore their own dreams and if they have not lived them, why? He manages to successfully bring alive the creative childlike spirit many of us have left behind.

This short volume is packed with so much emotion, laughter, extreme hardship and loss, yet mostly, with love and the notion that there is so much more to simply existing.

An international bestseller, published in more than 35 languages, a must read book, and a most treasured perspective of a man who truly lived his purpose and beyond.


Reviewed by:

Susan Marie

Added 15th September 2015


The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch is a book that I have recommended to many of my friends and relatives because of the unique way that it managed to put my life into perspective. His story is uplifting and empowering, and encourages people not to give up on their dreams, because even some of the most childish or far-fetched dreams can be achieved.

This book is great to have on the nightstand after a stressful day to look back on some of the things that Randy did in his times of need and distress.

Personally, I felt like I had another father figure sitting on my desk to open whenever I was feeling small in comparison to the world. Readers feel like they are reliving Randy’s life with him, and his story is very entertaining and worth-while. Even some of the smallest things he did can be related to, and I felt like I could do anything after reading it.

Randy tells stories throughout the book about life lessons that he had learned and that he wanted his children to hear despite the short amount of time that he had left with them. He stayed positive and optimistic throughout his diagnosis and tried his best to leave his wife and kids in a good position for when he had to leave them behind.

I have found that even though he mentions some of his beliefs about life after death, he is not persuasive or biased on the topic, so that his book can apply to a broader range of readers. People of any age can enjoy, laugh, and connect with this book, and may even learn a couple things along the way.

It’s a great book to share with friends and family and I would recommend it as a must read to any reader’s list!


Reviewed by:

Mykenna Ekhoff

Added 24th June 2015