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review 2017-06-02 19:45
A funny book about a funny person
Yes Please - Amy Poehler

I must confess that I'm a latecomer to appreciating the talent of Amy Poehler. I first saw her during her stint on Saturday Night Live, though she was on during a time when I pretty much never watched the show, so much of it was filtered through clips of her "Weekend Update" performances and her (amazingly perceptive) Hillary Clinton impersonation. I've also enjoyed her voice work (especially as Joy in Inside Out), but  this alone wasn't necessarily enough. It was only when I finally discovered Parks and Recreation for myself earlier this year that I realized how gifted she is as an actress and writer, and once I was done watching the series I felt that I wanted more of her brand of humor.

 

This is what brought me to this book. I remember reading some less-than-glowing reviews of it when it was first published, and to be fair some of their points are valid. The text consists of a choppy and episodic collection of chapters about Poehler's experiences as a daughter, student, comedienne, actress, mother, and celebrity. The structure is a little disjointed, and the text is padded out with visual jokes that can be cute but seem to be more about filling space. At the start of the book she comments that writing one is hard, and this exercise seems to be proof of the sincerity of that statement.

 

It's especially unfortunate given how funny she is as an author. Her book is a great read, one that had me laughing at nearly every page. As an author she is wry, self-deprecating, and has a good sense of the absurd. She is also incredibly generous, with only praise for the many people she mentions throughout its pages. It's the kind of thing that makes me happy for the success that she earned over many years of grinding effort, much of which she describes in very funny detail. In many ways it's a typical story of working in the service industry (she is refreshingly proud of her skills as a waitress) while learning the craft of comedy performance from some of the best teachers around, followed by unpaid performances in whatever spaces could be found for staging them. Fame in her case was not the matter of a big discovery but of friends who used their own success to open up opportunities for her. In this respect her gratitude is both understandable and a testament to her values, as I suspect not every star is as willing to acknowledge the help they received along the way.

 

Yet Poehler describes more than just her path to fame and fortune. Her book is leavened with the lessons she has drawn from her experiences, which she conveys though anecdotes that are among the best parts of the text. Though it is impossible to establish their veracity, whether we get the "real" or "complete" Poehler in its pages, I certainly want to believe that we get a reasonably accurate approximation. Life just seems better knowing that someone like her is around.

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review 2016-11-19 22:45
Yes Please - Amy Poehler

Listen to Amy Poehler read her memoir?  Yes Please!  Amy Poehler is hilarious but also at times poignant and deep.  I listened to the memoir during my runs (as is my wont), and once again, people were probably wondering about my laughing like a crazy person.  The hazard of listening to the funny out in public!

 

Recommended to people who enjoyed Tina Fey's Bossypants and Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

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review 2016-11-08 16:21
Yes Please - Amy Poehler

I fell in Love with Leslie Knope character from Parks and Recreations and this book is just as good! 

 

 

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review 2016-11-02 17:10
Yes Please
Yes Please - Amy Poehler

Honestly, I just skimmed this. I wasn't feeling it like I do a lot of nonfiction. It had some funny quotes, but eh, just seemed mediocre to me. Maybe if I was a bigger Amy fan. Oh well.

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text 2016-10-29 02:09
Nonfiction November
Jeannie Out of the Bottle - Wendy Leigh;Barbara Eden
Yes Please - Amy Poehler
Dad is Fat - Jim Gaffigan
Out of Sync: A Memoir - Lance Bass,Marc Eliot
I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban - Christina Lamb,Malala Yousafzai
Bossypants - Tina Fey
A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy - Sue Klebold,Andrew Solomon
The Sound of Gravel: A Memoir - Ruth Wariner
The Girl with Seven Names - Hyeonseo Lee,John David Mann

I know it's a few days early, but I'm kicking off Nonfiction November with Barbara Eden's autobiography. Got it at the library because it just looked too interesting not to check out. I have high hopes for this month. Lots of good reads lined up. I have noticed most of my 5 star ratings are nonfiction.                  

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