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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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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Effectively sobering. Suffice it to say that Pop Warner parents will want to armor their kids from head to toe upon reading...

CONCUSSION

A maddening, well-constructed tale of medical discovery and corporate coverup, set in morgues, laboratories, courtrooms, and football fields.

Nigeria-born Bennet Omalu is perhaps an unlikely hero, a medical doctor board-certified in four areas of pathology, “anatomic, clinical, forensic, and neuropathology,” and a well-rounded specialist in death. When his boss, celebrity examiner Cyril Wecht (“in the autopsy business, Wecht was a rock star”), got into trouble for various specimens of publicity-hound overreach, Omalu was there to offer patient, stoical support. The student did not surpass the teacher in flashiness, but Omalu was a rock star all his own in studying the brain to determine a cause of death. Laskas’ (Creative Writing/Univ. of Pittsburgh; Hidden America, 2012, etc.) main topic is the horrific injuries wrought to the brains and bodies of football players on the field. Omalu’s study of the unfortunate brain of Pittsburgh Steeler Mike Webster, who died in 2002 at 50 of a supposed heart attack, brought new attention to the trauma of concussion. Laskas trades in sportwriter-ese, all staccato delivery full of tough guyisms and sports clichés: “He had played for fifteen seasons, a warrior’s warrior; he played in more games—two hundred twenty—than any other player in Steelers history. Undersized, tough, a big, burly white guy—a Pittsburgh kind of guy—the heart of the best team in history.” A little of that goes a long way, but Laskas, a Pittsburgher who first wrote of Omalu and his studies in a story in GQ, does sturdy work in keeping up with a grim story that the NFL most definitely did not want to see aired—not in Omalu’s professional publications in medical journals, nor, reportedly, on the big screen in the Will Smith vehicle based on this book.

Effectively sobering. Suffice it to say that Pop Warner parents will want to armor their kids from head to toe upon reading it.

Pub Date: Nov. 24, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8129-8757-7

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2015

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