A debut book mixes common-sense advice with more than 200 notable quotes from famous figures.
Sounding a lot like dear old Dad (“Nothing in life is free—nothing!”), Pollack doles out practical observations, accompanied by quotes from a variety of personalities—such as President Donald Trump, Oscar Wilde, and hockey player Wayne Gretzky. This eclectic compilation also includes a hodgepodge of themes, including parenting, embracing friends, exercising, and achieving a balance in life. A breeze to browse, the book puts quotes in boldface and provides short chapters that can be read quickly. Often upbeat, Pollack begins with college basketball coach Jimmy Valvano, who, battling a rare cancer, urged: “Don’t give up....Don’t ever give up!” The author also showcases his favorite rocker, Bruce Springsteen, and his take on perseverance: “Well, keep pushin’ till it’s understood and these badlands start treating us good.” Some of the quotes are humorous, like the quip attributed to W.C. Fields: “Warning: The consumption of alcohol may lead you to think people are laughing with you.” Pollack also adds a few poignant personal anecdotes, like the time he held a loved one’s hand as she died. Smooth-flowing and conversational, Pollack’s voice is down-to-earth. On the subject of risk-taking, he describes gambling: “Hell, sometimes it’s worth going to the ponies just to get the blood flowing.” A couple of quote placements are ironic; for example, the rough-and-tumble Gen. George Patton and the soft-mannered TV sitcom character Frasier Crane appear on the same page. Leaping from one thought to the next (the subject of children having too many play dates quickly turns into the importance of taking videos of kids), Pollack offers well-worn conclusions, such as his advice on practice: “It’s not enough to have talent or a gift—it’s how hard you work to enhance your God-given talents that makes the difference.” Several unrelated topics—like the author's opinions on plastic surgery and gun control—seem messily strung together in the conclusion. Nevertheless, this spirited conversation is a pleasant day trip through familiar territory.
Friendly inspiration for toastmasters, speechwriters, and anyone looking for bits of wit.