nonfiction

Nonfiction Friday: Yes, Please! by Amy Poehler

Amy Poehler had flown under my radar for years but she has my full attention now. I actually finished this book in 2019 (which is a measly four years after it was published) but it has stuck with me. Mostly because Amy has flawless diction. Being able to understand each and every word without undercutting a joke is a true gift. Especially for audiobook listeners who can’t resist speeding up the books to at least 1.25 (me). But also because Amy is the kind of woman we should all want to be – one who is just as comfortable with themselves as they are with vastly different women.


SYNOPSIS

GRAMMY NOMINEE

Audie Award, Humor, 2015

Amy Poehler is hosting a dinner party and you’re invited! Welcome to the audiobook edition of Amy Poehler’s Yes Please. The guest list is star-studded with vocal appearances from Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers, Michael Schur, Patrick Stewart, Kathleen Turner, and even Amy’s parents – Yes Please is the ultimate audiobook extravaganza.

Also included? A one-night-only live performance at Poehler’s Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. Hear Amy read a chapter live in front of a young and attractive Los Angeles audience.

While listening to Yes Please, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll become convinced that your phone is trying to kill you. Don’t miss this collection of stories, thoughts, ideas, lists, and haikus from the mind of one of our most beloved entertainers. Offering Amy’s thoughts on everything from her “too safe” childhood outside of Boston to her early days in New York City, her ideas about Hollywood and “the biz”, the demon that looks back at all of us in the mirror, and her joy at being told she has a “face for wigs” – Yes Please is chock-full of words, and wisdom, to live by. from Amazon.


REVIEW

“Good for her, not for me.” Amy Poehler.

This is the quote that won me over. When Amy see another women doing something differently than she does, she doesn’t think a series of negative thoughts about herself or the other women. Instead, she just says, “Good for her, not for me.” When her friend Maya Rudolph chose to have a drug-free home birth she though, “Good for her, not for me,” as she plotted precisely how early she could get her epidural. I try not tojudge other women but I am terrible at assuming they are judging me.

Maybe its because I’m a nerd and I’ve been a nerd since long before that was cool. I know judgment! And, as a nerd, my eyes always gravitated to the person next to Amy’s blond effervescence. Whether that was Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph, or even Aubrey Plaza, there was always someone next to Amy that I found more easy to identify with than this petite, perky, blond, hilarious woman.

Just look at the cover of her book. It still doesn’t appeal to me. She looks like the confident woman telling us all she is number one. I love that the title is one of her life mantras but I still don’t entirely understand why they posed her this way. Maybe I’m intimidated by her confidence? Actually, you know what, I think I’m going to practice this pose in front of the mirror because she looks boss. 

I’m back. I tried it. It was a stupid look for me. I’m too tall. Good for her, not for me.

yes,please
The neon pink all caps sign saying “Yes Please” sits above a blond woman holding her hand high in the air with her index finger extended.

Amy’s book gave us what all great autobiographies do: an insight into where the person came from, what it was like to experience things we have only seen on television, and tidbits that surprise the listener. But this book is also filled with reflections on choices she made and how she has managed her career in a male dominated field. I especially love the bit where she advises we treat rude and overbearing people as though they are actors that have forgotten their lines.

In the audiobook, she has guests and it is freaking awesome. I will admit, I put the book on regular speed for Patrick Stewart because his voice is glorious and should never be rushed. All of these stories from guests and from Amy herself are tightly woven and I was left with a deep desire to spend more time with this person. In fact, I powered my way through all of Parks and Rec after this book and came out the other side more in love with Amy. Perhaps not quite as much as I grew to love Ron but who doesn’t love Ron?

The book really won me over when she exposed her weaknesses, her mistakes, and all the things she did wrong. Whether it was mocking a child with disabilities (a cardinal sin in my book), drinking and driving, or living off her parents for years, Amy talked about it. More importantly, she talked about the regrets she had about her actions and what she has done to amend those she hurt. Much like Elton John’s Me, I felt in Amy a person focused on being just a little bit better tomorrow than she was yesterday. And what is more lovable than that?

It didn’t bother me that Amy refused to give details about her divorce. Or that she has a boyfriend while writing the book but doesn’t name him. I didn’t pick up the audiobook to listen to her read her Wikipedia page. I just wanted to understand her more. In the end, I think this book is less autobiography, and more listening to a hilarious friend give you advice. Do I think you should read it? Yes, please.


Tell me, please!

Do you enjoy celebrity autobiographies?


 

3 thoughts on “Nonfiction Friday: Yes, Please! by Amy Poehler

  1. I love how you wrote about this one! You’re actually making me reconsider it, because when I first read it I liked it a lot but didn’t connect with it quite as much as I wanted to, I guess? Despite being as blonde as they come I tend to gravitate towards the person next to the (intimidating?) blonde too, and Tina Fey has always hit all the right notes with me. Amy Poehler always feels so relentlessly positive and I have trouble keeping up with that. But the way you describe it is so helpful, really, and I love that “Good for her, not for me” too. I need another read of this one, thanks for such a great take on it! (PS I’m way too tall for that pose too.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!! I must say, I listened to this audiobook and, from what I can tell, the book and the audiobook have completely different feels. I’m not kidding about her diction – there is something about her voice that really won me over. Plus, the guests (Kathleen Turner playing her negative thoughts….oh my goodness).

      If you do give it a chance again, let me know what you think will you? From one tall blonde to another – thanks again!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not really an audiobook listener (I have no idea why I can’t get into them, especially considering I’m podcast-obsessed) but Kathleen Turner playing her negative thoughts made me laugh out just to think about, so I can only imagine how funny it actually is. I’m going to see if I can get the audio from the library. I feel like I could really use it right now. Thank YOU!!

        Liked by 1 person

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