Wednesday 22 July 2020

Book ~ "The Answer Is ... Reflections on My Life" (2020) Alex Trebek

From Goodreads ~ Since debuting as the host of "Jeopardy!" in 1984, Alex Trebek has been something like a family member to millions of television viewers, bringing entertainment and education into their homes five nights a week. Last year, he made the stunning announcement that he had been diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. What followed was an incredible outpouring of love and kindness. Social media was flooded with messages of support, and the "Jeopardy!" studio received boxes of cards and letters offering guidance, encouragement, and prayers.

For over three decades, Trebek had resisted countless appeals to write a book about his life. Yet he was moved so much by all the goodwill, he felt compelled to finally share his story. “I want people to know a little more about the person they have been cheering on for the past year,” he writes in "The Answer Is ... Reflections on My Life".

The book combines illuminating personal anecdotes with Trebek’s thoughts on a range of topics, including marriage, parenthood, education, success, spirituality and philanthropy. Trebek also addresses the questions he gets asked most often by "Jeopardy!" fans, such as what prompted him to shave his signature mustache, his insights on legendary players like Ken Jennings and James Holzhauer, and his opinion of Will Ferrell’s "Saturday Night Live" impersonation. The book uses a novel structure inspired by "Jeopardy!", with each chapter title in the form of a question, and features dozens of never-before-seen photos that candidly capture Trebek over the years.

This wise, charming, and inspiring book is further evidence why Trebek has long been considered one of the most beloved and respected figures in entertainment. 

Alex Trebek was born in Sudbury, ON, in 1940 to a Ukrainian father and Franco-Ontarian mother, who broke up when he was young.  He went to boarding school and university in Ottawa.  He got a job at CBC and that was the start of his career.  After spending about 12 years with CBC, he headed to the U.S. and ended up hosting many game/quiz shows, including Jeopardy! since 1984.

Alex married his second wife, Jean, in 1990 and at the age of fifty, became a father for the first time (they now have two children) ... it's obvious that family is important to him.  He and Jean have supported many causes over the years, both financially and with their time.  In March 2019, he had been diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer and started chemo treatments.

Who hasn't heard of or watched Jeopardy!?  I like the show and Alex seems like a nice guy so I thought it would be interesting to learn more about him in a book written by him.  Last week I read a book about him written by someone else that recently came out so knew a lot of the stories he told.  But Alex told them at a higher level in his own voice and didn't give as many details.  I liked the writing style.  And it seemed like he picked and chose the stories he wanted to tell.  As a head's up, there is some swearing (he doesn't drink or smoke so said he needed to have one vice to make him "cool").

It was interesting to read about Jeopardy! ... how the show works, how he feels about it, the contestants that stand out for him, etc.

There were lots of pictures.  I read the ebook and the pictures were really small, though, regardless of my efforts to make them bigger.

It was nice to hear his story in his words.

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