"If you can write, that's great. If you can tell a story, that's even greater. But if you can work a resilient premise into both, you're worth digging to find."

Friday, July 20, 2018

Confessions of a Comedian by Kip Addotta

Synopsis:  Memoir of an American professional comedian.

Writing Style: Straightforward, Unadorned, Quiet.

Pacing: Moderate.

Personal Highlights: The pacing of Kip’s memoir, reminding me much of Steve Martin’s humor, picks up pacing around page 50 with the chapter, ‘Out On My Own.’ Although his accomplishments didn't jump off right away I enjoyed reading about the many celebrities he’s met and befriended; Michael Richards who played Kramer on Seinfeld to name one. Really got a kick out of the rendezvous, hanging out with Elvis Presley, Diana Ross and I think it was Tina Turner, just naming a few of the many notables he’s observed, to include Bill Cosby and a number of hip-hop artists. I as well applaud his work on The Tonight Show and the hundreds of stages he’s worked all over the world. The professional advice he lends as a result of his observations and lessons learned therein were a personal favorite. Points raised, from running a club, to stage set-up, to performing, made for an overall respectable confession.

Friday, June 8, 2018

And Still I Rise by Doreen Lawrence

Synopsis:  Memoir of Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon, OBE, a British Jamaican and mother who seeks justice for her son.

Writing Style: British memoirish lit

Pacing: Moderate.

Personal Highlights: This was a very tough read, for a number of reasons. Interesting enough, what drew me to read this memoir was happening to catch Baroness Lawrence being one of many interviewed during the Duke and Duchess of Sussex televised wedding. Fleetingly I overheard a woman mention how she wished people would stop focusing on race. The woman was speaking about the 'race' of the Duchess of Sussex being mentioned more than once. The woman, who at this point I glanced up to notice was a black woman, referenced England's 18th century Black Queen, Sophie Charlotte; the next line that caught my attention. Out of everyone interviewed, this woman was the first person I heard point out such a relevant historical reference. Perhaps, I thought, this woman had written a book where I might find more relevant references, which I ended up having to watch the whole televised royal nuptials, at least twice more, and not at all a bad thing, before learning the name of that woman.

That woman turned out to be Baroness Lawrence. And what grabbed me most about her story was picking up on what gives birth to keen types of insight and perspectives.

Friday, May 25, 2018

I Can’t Make This Up by Kevin Hart

Synopsis:  Memoir of an American Celebrity Comedian & Entertainer

Writing Style: Well Structured, Organized & Loquacious 

Pacing: Fast.

Personal Highlights:  The page count of this memoir almost jaded me except, entertainer style, this is one relatable, passionate, inspiring, poignant and genuinely loquacious culmination of life lessons from start to finish. What I'm expressing here is, this memoir was moving in more ways than one!

I was wholly touched by his mom, and brother. I respected the regard he held for his father. Picked up on Eddie Murphy’s advice, and even a few of the lessons Kevin himself picked up on. “Don’t invite them to the conversation.” I liked that. I also liked his attitude, particularly the way he handled that last minute cancellation; unveiling the TV sitcom The Big House.

As far as high entertainment AND funny as YKW; the way he spelled out that incident ‘setting the clock forward on his mom,’ Oh.My.Gosh, my sides hurt I laughed so hard. And his brother’s reaction walking in on the ‘G-string’ sting,’ Gigs up I howled! Liked to stop breathing. And then him and Snoop Dogg, “...I can’t see...” On that one, it was over! I was done! Hahahaha! I agree. Laughter is the sweetest antidote, what makes this memoir unforgettable and an all around mood enhancer for sure. Aspiring entertainers read up. Highly recommended.