New York Times Bestselling Author

Book Review: Nonfiction

Posted on Jun 21, 2017 |

I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons by Kevin Hart


Nonfiction > Memoir > Humor

This is a surprisingly inspiring book. Yes, it was inspiring to read about how he overcame a challenging childhood to become the only comedian in history to sell out an NFL stadium, but it was also jam-packed with motivational passages for anyone who is working toward a dream.

I read it the whole time from the perspective of my sister and myself—we’re both published novelists. Also, because of my sister, I know more than the average nonperformer about the world of stand-up, sketch, and improv comedy and what it takes to make it in these careers. But I think if your goal is to move up the corporate ladder, become a chef, have more success in relationships—including the relationship with yourself—you’ll also find much to keep you going through difficult times.

There were some very funny bits to the book, which should surprise no one. I already knew some of Hart’s biography from his own stand-up specials and from reading an article in Rolling Stone magazine. To write this memoir, Hart had the help of Rolling Stone writer Neil Strauss, who is also the author of eight New York Times bestsellers.

The highlights of Hart’s making-it-big story began with him growing up in a rough neighborhood with a drug-addicted father who would literally steal from his own son (Hart’s older brother Kenneth). Hart’s brother briefly veered into selling street drugs before joining the Army and cleaning up his act. Hart’s mother was so strict that no matter what your issues with your mom might be, you should probably go ahead and forgive her right now.

It was fascinating hearing how hard he worked for so long and all the mistakes he made along the way. Persistence is how he ultimately made it. “It’s okay to fail, but it’s not okay to quit.”

As I mentioned, what made this book worth the money was all of the inspirational bits I took away from it. I could quote a million passages, but I leave you with this.

Your dream is a huge boulder. It takes a lot of effort to get it moving. But if you can budge it just a few inches in the right terrain, then it starts picking up speed all by itself.”


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