The Story of My Life by Helen Keller

thestoryofmylifeThis is Helen Keller’s autobiography written while she was attending Radcliffe College. Despite being blind and deaf, she was very lucky to get proper education and use what she learned to help others in the same situation as hers. This is also a tribute to her teacher, Anne Sullivan, who was very devoted to her and made such a big difference in her life.

Since she wrote this book while still attending college, I would like to read more about her later life and somehow know more about her as a person. I’m afraid I didn’t really get that from this book. I would also probably read something about her through another’s viewpoint, say Anne Sullivan’s for example, who contributed greatly to what she has become.

I’m giving this book 3-stars for its inspiring and interesting story though the second part of the book was a bit redundant. I’m giving 5-stars to Helen Keller for her passion, her commitment and eagerness to learn and for her achievements.

Quotable Quotes:

“One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.”

“I wonder what becomes of lost opportunities? Perhaps our guardian angel gathers them up as we drop them, and will give them back to us in the beautiful sometime when we have grown wiser, and learned how to use them rightly.”

“Trying to write is very much like trying to put a Chinese puzzle together. We have a pattern in mind which we wish to work out in words; but the words will not fit the spaces, or, if they do, they will not match the design.”

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

thelastlectureRandy Pausch was a professor at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh where his areas of expertise were computer science and virtual reality. He worked for Disney as an Imagineer. He died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 47.

Overall, the book is inspiring though not mind-blowing. The wisdom within this book makes it an important book to read. It is indeed a good lecture for him to leave to his children and to inspire many others.

While I enjoyed Randy Pausch’s positive attitude during the most difficult time of his life, I also felt that the book was a lot more about him proving how great he and his life had been. I don’t want to speak ill of the dead and I will probably burn in hell to say this but he appeared to be cocky, arrogant and so full of himself. Death is always a tragedy but his was a fairytale having been able to bid goodbye to everyone he loves and leaving a mark in the world. I personally think he should have hired a writer to assist him in writing this book, maybe it would touch more hearts and won’t sound or appear the way it did.

Nevertheless, you’d still have to admire Randy.

Quotable Quotes:

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

“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.”

“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.”

“Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other.”

“Find the best in everybody. Just keep waiting no matter how long it takes. No one is all evil. Everybody has a good side, just keep waiting, it will come out.”

Rating: 3/5 stars