I joined the Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers and the first book I requested to read and review was The Great Eight by Scott Hamilton. I have a love/hate relationship with celebrity self-help books and with lists of great ways to transform your life. I opted for this book because it promised to share more about Scott Hamilton’s life and the world of skating. I must admit, every 4 years I become a huge fan of ice skating. I also love to see what works for other people and wonder how they take the mess that is real life and get it to fit into a nice little round number like 8.
In the introduction, as he is describing his brain cancer diagnosis and treatment, he describes the lesson he quickly learned this way: “Facing death yet again, I realized I was no longer living to win. Rather, I was living to not lose.” (p xix) The rest of the book is this same practical and honest voice. He presents good advice, with good examples of how he learned the lesson and why each is an important step in being happy. He doesn’t mean a sappy, gooey happy. He aims for a real contentment and joy in life. His Christian message is present and incorporated in a very meaningful way. This is not a gospel tract, but a real story about real life and what has been important in his journey.
I enjoyed this book. It was great way to learn more about the man and his world view. It was also a good Christian book discussing some practical points for working on ourselves to be happy, while not ignoring the fact that a faith in God is a requirement.