One-Minute Book Reviews

February 25, 2009

Randy Pausch Wins First Delete Key Award for Lifetime Achievement – Author of ‘The Last Lecture’ Is Gone, But His Football Clichés Live

Filed under: Book Awards,Delete Key Awards,News — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 3:32 pm
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You know how the Academy Awards people often give a special award announced before the ceremony? This year the tradition comes to the Delete Key Awards, which recognize authors who don’t use their delete keys enough.

The first Delete Key Award for Lifetime Achievement goes to Randy Pausch (1960–2008), the computer science professor who wrote The Last Lecture after learning that he had pancreatic cancer.

Like many books considered for tomorrow’s Delete Key Awards shortlist, Pausch’s bestseller shows his love of clichés. Unlike the authors of other candidates, Pausch admitted in his book that he loved well-worn phrases. He also explained why: He taught students who didn’t know the clichés and for whom they seemed fresh.

Pausch’s honesty was unique among the authors considered for Delete Key Awards since their inception in 2007. It sets him apart from the many writers who pretend – or really believe – that their clichés offer startling insights. And Pausch used his clichés with enough wit and charm to endear him to legions and make him the star of a YouTube video that more than 9 million people have watched and that led to a book contract.

For these reasons, Randy Pausch receives the first special Delete Key Award for Lifetime Achievement for the line:

“I liked my students to win one for the Gipper, to go out and execute, to keep the drive alive, to march down the field, to avoid costly turnovers and to win games in the trenches even if they were gonna feel it on Monday.”

A review of and reading group guide to The Last Lecture (Hyperion, 224, $21.95) appeared on One-Minute Book Reviews on May 30, 2008.

The finalists for the 2009 Delete Key Awards will be announced tomorrow beginning at 10 a.m. Eastern Time, at roughly 30–minute intervals, that will include samples of their bad writing. The full shortlist will be posted by 5 p.m. and the winners named on March 16.

© 2009 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.

July 25, 2008

Randy Pausch (1960–2008) — Here Are a ‘Last Lecture’ Review, Reading Group Guide and Quotes

Filed under: News — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 2:55 pm
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Randy Pausch has died from complications of pancreatic cancer, the disease that prompted him to give a talk that gained a second life on the Internet and inspired his bestseller, The Last Lecture. He was 47. Here are the links to posts on this site that offered a review of, reading group guide to and quotes from the book:

Reading Group Guide: www.oneminutebookreviews.wordpress/com/2008/05/30
Quotes: (with other quotes in the review and reading group guide)

©2008 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved. and

May 26, 2008

The Last Memorial Day – Quote of the Day (Randy Pausch / ‘The Last Lecture’)

Filed under: Nonfiction,Quotes of the Day — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 12:21 am
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In his bestselling The Last Lecture, Randy Pausch deals briefly with the question: What do you say to someone who is dying and knows it? Pausch says that he heard from thousands of people after he was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer and gave a lecture about it:

“I heard from a man in his early 40s with serious heart problems. He wrote to tell me about Krishnamurti, a spiritual leader in India who died in 1986. Krishnamurti was once asked what is the most appropriate thing to say to a friend who was about to die. He answered: ‘Tell your friend that in his death, a part of you dies and goes with him. Wherever he does, you also go. He will not be alone.’ In his email to me, this man was reassuring: ‘I know you are not alone.’”

From The Last Lecture (Hyperion, 224 pp., $21.95), an essay collection by Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow. Pausch is a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, and his book grew out of a lecture he gave there that became popular on You Tube

© 2008 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.

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