A quick, negative-to-achieve manifesto that initially sounds like a bummer but turns out to be brightly anecdotal.

THE POWER OF NEGATIVE THINKING

AN UNCONVENTIONAL APPROACH TO ACHIEVING POSITIVE RESULTS

With the assistance of co-author Hammel (The Bill Cook Story: Ready, Fire, Aim!, 2008, etc.), legendary college-basketball coach Knight (Knight: My Story, 2002), known for his anger management issues, sings the praises of negativity.

Well into this book, it feels as though the word “negative” is a little too salty. Yes, there are plenty of negative-sounding commandments, but Knight comes across more as fiercely realistic and attentive. He obviously dislikes Norman Vincent Peale thinking (hence the book’s title) and the irresponsible optimism of finding good everywhere—precisely because it doesn’t involve thinking, but a failure to sensibly, actively engage. Knight writes with considerable bounce, and he relishes poking a sharp stick into the Pollyannaish clichés and platitudes of optimism: In response to that old chestnut, “Every dark cloud has a silver lining,” Knight writes, “The cloud is what you’d better notice.” But under the bluster and prickle is a common-sensical approach that is evidently effective if you are a basketball coach with a nose for winning. Despite the histrionics, the slap and choke, and chair throwing, Knight is the third-winningest coach in college-basketball history (he was just passed by Jim Boeheim). Knight counsels to question, worry, improve, do the research, exercise skepticism, avoid mistakes, talk less than you listen and be open to the new. The author is certainly not breaking any new ground here, but his advice is simple and energetic: Have the will to prepare to win; trust, but verify; if it looks too easy, you have a problem.

A quick, negative-to-achieve manifesto that initially sounds like a bummer but turns out to be brightly anecdotal.

Pub Date: March 5, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-544-02771-8

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Amazon/New Harvest

Review Posted Online: Jan. 30, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2013

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One of the NBA’s 50 greatest players scores another basket—a deeply personal one.

BACK FROM THE DEAD

A basketball legend reflects on his life in the game and a life lived in the “nightmare of endlessly repetitive and constant pain, agony, and guilt.”

Walton (Nothing but Net, 1994, etc.) begins this memoir on the floor—literally: “I have been living on the floor for most of the last two and a half years, unable to move.” In 2008, he suffered a catastrophic spinal collapse. “My spine will no longer hold me,” he writes. Thirty-seven orthopedic injuries, stemming from the fact that he had malformed feet, led to an endless string of stress fractures. As he notes, Walton is “the most injured athlete in the history of sports.” Over the years, he had ground his lower extremities “down to dust.” Walton’s memoir is two interwoven stories. The first is about his lifelong love of basketball, the second, his lifelong battle with injuries and pain. He had his first operation when he was 14, for a knee hurt in a basketball game. As he chronicles his distinguished career in the game, from high school to college to the NBA, he punctuates that story with a parallel one that chronicles at each juncture the injuries he suffered and overcame until he could no longer play, eventually turning to a successful broadcasting career (which helped his stuttering problem). Thanks to successful experimental spinal fusion surgery, he’s now pain-free. And then there’s the music he loves, especially the Grateful Dead’s; it accompanies both stories like a soundtrack playing off in the distance. Walton tends to get long-winded at times, but that won’t be news to anyone who watches his broadcasts, and those who have been afflicted with lifelong injuries will find the book uplifting and inspirational. Basketball fans will relish Walton’s acumen and insights into the game as well as his stories about players, coaches (especially John Wooden), and games, all told in Walton’s fervent, witty style.

One of the NBA’s 50 greatest players scores another basket—a deeply personal one.

Pub Date: March 8, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4767-1686-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Dec. 19, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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BEATING THE STREET

More uncommonly sensible investment guidance from a master of the game. Drawing on his experience at Fidelity's Magellan Fund, a high- profile vehicle he quit at age 46 in 1990 after a spectacularly successful 13-year tenure as managing director, Lynch (One Up on Wall Street, 1988) makes a strong case for common stocks over bonds, CDs, or other forms of debt. In breezy, anecdotal fashion, the author also encourages individuals to go it alone in the market rather than to bank on money managers whose performance seldom justifies their generous compensation. With the caveat that there's as much art as science to picking issues with upside potential, Lynch commends legwork and observation. ``Spending more time at the mall,'' he argues, invariably is a better way to unearth appreciation candidates than relying on technical, timing, or other costly divining services prized by professionals. The author provides detailed briefings on how he researches industries, special situations, and mutual funds. Particularly instructive are his candid discussions of where he went wrong as well as right in his search for undervalued securities. Throughout the genial text, Lynch offers wry, on-target advisories under the rubric of ``Peter's Principles.'' Commenting on the profits that have accrued to those acquiring shares in enterprises privatized by the British government, he notes: ``Whatever the Queen is selling, buy it.'' In praise of corporate parsimony, the author suggests that, ``all else being equal, invest in the company with the fewest photos in the annual report.'' Another bull's-eye for a consummate pro, with appeal for market veterans and rookies alike. (Charts and tabular material— not seen.)

Pub Date: March 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-671-75915-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1993

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