Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Great Eight by Scott Hamilton

Scott Hamilton is one of my favorite skaters, he always had a smile on his face, a great attitude, and he always seemed to tell it like it was. When I was a teenager he was someone I looked up to and I never missed the opportunity to watch him skate. So when I saw the book, The Great Eight: How to Be Happy (Even When You Have Every Reason to be Miserable) I was intrigued. I could think of no other athlete that had such a "happy" reputation that would be better at writing a book with this title.

The book is filled with basic truths of "how to be happy". As I read the book, I found myself being more drawn to Scott's life rather than the "great eight". Not because the "great eight" aren't important but rather because they are things that we have all heard before but this time they are being said rather with a different twist. Scott relates all eight of them to his life and how he has dealt with the difficulties that he has faced, his illnesses (both as a child as well as an adult), his skating, and his family.

He begins the book by explaining why eight and not some other number. If you remember right skaters used to be judged on how well they did compulsory figures; the figure eight. He gives several other reasons why he likes this number over others as well but the main one that resonates through the book comes back to the compulsory figures.

There are times in the book that I did end up feeling a little left out, like when some of the skating names of old went over my head, people that according to the author have had long and great careers because of how they have handled their own success and the words of wisdom that they gave that attributed to Scott's happiness.

Overall it was an enjoyable read but if you are looking for a self-help book on happiness or a book that encourages Christianity you might be disappointed. I read the book because of the author and enjoyed what I read and even came a way with a fresh look at some tired old strategies. I enjoyed his open and fresh outlook that was told from the heart.


Anonymous said...

Interesting review. I was hoping Scott would have something new and earth shattering to say. I will probably still read this book, mostly because I have always admired his attitude.


Veggiemomof2 said...

I bet this is a good book. I'll have to watch for it. Thanks for sharing your review.