Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Although I usually prefer to read fiction, once in a while a non-fiction book comes along that I adore. This was the case with The Girls From Ames: A Story of Women and a Forty Year Friendship. Written by Jeffrey Zazlow, a Wall Street Journal columnist, who was also the co-author of The Last Lecture with Randy Pausch, it was the wonderful showcase of the enduring friendship these women had and, for some reason, really resonated with me.

Jeffrey Zazlow was killed in a car crash a few weeks ago on the way home from a book signing, his death overshadowed by Whitney Houston, who passed away the same weekend.

Yesterday, I was doing my usual on-line morning news reading and I stumbled across this column about Jeffrey Zazlow. It talked about his incredible work ethic and how he could often settle for phoning it in, but rarely did--he always went the extra mile, sometimes literally as when he drove 5 hours each way to hear Randy Pausch's Last Lecture at Carnegie-Mellon.

Writing is about talent, but it's also about persistence--about going that extra mile. The world lost a terrific voice, when it lost Jeffrey Zazlow, but I hope that his spirit, determination and commitment to putting in maximum effort inspires others to do the same. I know it did for me.

Here's a link to the column about Jeffrey Zazlow: "Jeff Zazlow's last lesson"



  1. I read this book last year for a book club. You have to get used to the author's reporter style of narrating (of course, makes sense since he's a journalist). But once you get past it sounding like it's been plucked from a newspaper, you get suckered into these woman's lives and their friendships with each other.

    1. I read it some time ago, too. They were/are an interesting group of ladies. If you've ever been part of a group of friends, I think there's an Ames girl who represents someone you already know. I referred to the "key" as to who was who countless times.