Sunday, February 08, 2009

Scott Hamilton's New Book: The Great Eight

Thomas Nelson Publishers has been kind enough to make copies of selected books available to some of us in exchange for our agreeing to read and review them. The review doesn't have to be glowing or positive. Honest assessment works. Having given you the circumstances under which I obtained this book, here's my succinct opinion about The Great Eight: How To Be Happy When You Have Every Reason To Be Miserable.

In this book, Scott Hamilton (with writer Ken Baker, also a cancer survivor) uses situations from his life to share advice that has helped him find happiness and fulfillment in the midst of struggles with two tumors, professional disappointments, financial reverses, and things that would embitter most of us. Most of us recall Scott as one of the best figure skaters in the world. He went from an Olympic gold medalist to professional stardom, and then his world began to crumble. He developed testicular cancer, and later was diagnosed with a brain (pituitary gland) tumor. He lost his contract with Ice Capades. His interpersonal relationships went south. If anyone had reason to sit in a corner in sackcloth and ashes, it was Scott Hamilton.

In the book, he begins by detailing his hard work to master the compulsory figure 8 (unfortunately, no longer required for figure skaters), and follows this with eight chapters that set forth the things he has learned that have helped him through his own tough times.

The narrative is a bit jumpy and some of the stories and sayings are repeated several times in different chapters, but there is good advice in the book for those who take the time to dig it out and--more important--follow it.

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