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Dream New Dreams: Reimagining My Life After Loss Hardcover – May 15, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A brave and beautiful book. Dream New Dreams grabbed my heart from the opening page and didn't let go until its uplifting end.  Jai Pausch is a stirring example of the power of life to triumph over any challenge. Bravo.”
--Bruce Feiler, bestselling author of Walking the Bible and The Council of Dads

About the Author

JAI PAUSCH became an impassioned advocate promoting pancreatic cancer research following the death of her husband. Previously, Jai led the Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science Web team as the director of electronic publications. She lives with her family in Virginia.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; First Edition edition (May 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307888509
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307888501
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #544,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey D. Kenyon on May 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I was among those who watched Randy Pausch's last lecture on YouTube and bought the book when it came out. It was the story of an inspirational man who loved the life he built for himself, learned things along the way, and died too soon.

Jai Pausch's book provides another angle on the story. Her tale of being a caregiver is heartbreaking, and inspiring in its own way: taking a role you never wanted and would have done anything to avoid, but doing it to the best of your ability, trying to repair your life afterwards, and making the most of the opportunity in tragedy.

I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who has fallen into the caregiver role for a loved one, especially a loved one living with, or dying of, cancer.

The promotional materials compare this book to Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking. Trust me, Dream New Dreams is a far, far better book. I found it to be not better written, but more affecting, more emotionally resonant, and more likely to be helpful to those in similar straits.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By E. Bukowsky HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Randy and Jai Pausch were married in 2000 and had three children, Dylan, Logan, and Chloe. In 2006, Randy was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer "just shy of his forty-sixth birthday." He had surgery and aggressive follow-up treatment that left him gaunt and debilitated. In July 2008, Randy passed away. "Dream New Dreams" is Jai's poignant account of her relationship with Randy (whose book, "The Last Lecture," was a phenomenon), his two-year battle with the disease, and Jai's dedicated work on behalf of organizations such as the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

The author would like health professionals and society as a whole to be more "concerned about the people who struggle to carry the medical burden while also meeting everyday demands." She sees the need for a "network at every oncology clinic" to assist those who are trying to manage complicated cancer care at home. Jai and Randy were lucky to have concerned family and friends, a good income, and access to the excellent physicians. However, not everyone is so fortunate. There are too many relatives of cancer sufferers who feel isolated, bewildered, and overwhelmed with responsibility. Jai asks, "Who will care for the caregiver?"

Jai writes touchingly about her romance with a man who was "a serious [computer] scientist and an intellectual, but not a snob." Randy had a sense of fun and playfulness and swept Jai off her feet with his kindness and sincerity. After their wedding, the couple settled in Pittsburgh, where Randy was a popular professor and researcher at Carnegie Mellon. Jai was 34 and Randy forty when they started their family. Little did they know that they would have less than a decade together.

"Dream New Dreams" is eloquent, candid, and gracefully written.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Raychel on October 16, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Yes ouch.

This book is difficult emotionally to read. Most of the book is very raw, and not surprisingly based on the subject matter, depressing. When I picked up this book and decided to read it, I guess I was hoping for something a little more positive than this ended up being. Not that I blame the author for this, this was her memoir chronicling her husband's illness.. however I didn't expect most of the book to be about that. With the title and description I thought this book would be more about picking up the pieces after the tragic too soon loss. In reality, only a few end chapters focus on dreaming those new dreams.

I appreciate her honesty through out the book though. It must have been extremely difficult to tell the story of Randy suggesting they put their youngest child up for adoption or reliving moments when she felt her control over life slipping away before having to regain footing as a caretaker of a sick husband and mother of three young children. This seems like a book that must have been extremely healing for her to write, to finally be able to tell her side of the story.

At the end of the book it is comforting to see that she is a survivor and that in spite of everything, she was determined to find her own path in life again. After going through such a horrible ordeal it is difficult to imagine how you can come back from that and is always inspiring to read the stories of those who do. However it is worth noting that Jai lived a life that is very different than the grand majority of people facing similar circumstances... she has the privilege of money behind her to deal/not deal with aspects of this type of loss that would leave many women in an even more vulnerable state.

A quick read, but this book falls very short from being inspiring and is extremely depressing.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By jydweston on May 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read Randy's last lecture and watched his video on Youtube. He was an amazing man. I cannot imagine losing him.
Jai was kind to share her story - it really resonated with me after my son lost his father to cancer. There is "the person on the other side of the fence" and her best advice is that you may think you are doing a great job at juggling so many things or making so many important decisions on your own but you are doing the best you can and you have to give yourself a break. It was truly encouraging to hear how she and her family emerged from their grief to find their own magic. Thank you for sharing!
This book is a wonderful read - you won't be able to put it down!
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