Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Book Review: The Great Eight, by Scott Hamilton (with Ken Baker)

I recently signed up to be a book review blogger at Thomas Nelson Publishing, http://www.brb.thomasnelson.com/. Periodically, I will review a selection here on the Aim for Perfection Editing blog. Not every text will apply to the topics of writing or editing, but I hope to help you glean some insight about the writing process from the books I review.

My first choice was The Great Eight, by internationally renowned figure skater Scott Hamilton (with Ken Baker). I ordered this book with my mom in mind. We both enjoyed his skating and his cheerful, upbeat attitude. Mom would call me whenever she noticed a Scott Hamilton television performance in the TV program. Whatever my mood, to see Scott flipping or running across the ice flashing that big grin, would perk me up in no time. His happiness was contagious.

Well, this book arrived in my mailbox the day my mother passed away. Ironically, Scott’s theme is “How to be Happy (even when you have every reason to be miserable)”. Plunged into misery, I set the book aside for a few weeks to finish a Kathi Macias book and to read Don Piper’s 90 Minutes in Heaven. I didn’t really feel like reading a book on happiness.

As I read The Great Eight, I wasn’t real impressed with the writing style. It’s a bit redundant, doesn’t flow chronologically, and is all over the place with point-of-view. As much as I love Scott Hamilton’s bubbly personality and vivacious skating, I must admit I was bored by the book. Until, that is, I realized the message is valid and the advice pertinent. The chapter titles sum up Scott’s happiness strategy: Fall, Get Up, and Land Your First Jumps; Trust Your Almighty Coach; Make Your Losses Your Wins; Keep the Ice Clear; Think Positive, Laugh, and Smile Like Kristi Yamaguchi; Win by Going Last; Learn a New Routine; and Stand in the Spotlight.

Scott explains that we will not find true happiness until we accept our God-given flaws and reminds us that how we deal with our experiences defines our character. We can choose to let life smother us, or we can choose to let our experiences enhance our lives and provide opportunity for growth. Despite what I would consider relatively weak writing, The Great Eight effectively inspires readers to follow Scott’s “great eight” principles, to take charge of their circumstances and commit to goals, so they too may find lasting happiness.


Post a Comment

I'm so glad you stopped by!

This sums it up ;)

This sums it up ;)