Book Review: Yes Please by Amy Poehler

yesplease

The only thing better than reading a book by a funny person is listening to the funny person read their book to you. I admit that was mostly familiar with her work only via the Tina Fey pipeline. Now, after reading Yes Please, I would definitely consider myself an Amy Poehler fan. And yes, Parks and Recreation has been added to my TV queue.

The book’s content follows the same structure as most books written by comedians: stories of her childhood, how she got into comedy and the long road to “making it big”, fun stories from SNL, Parks and Rec, and the Golden Globes, as well as some personal insights into her recent divorce and raising her two boys. She brings on a slew of guests including her parents, Kathleen Turner, Seth Meyers (who actually wrote one chapter of the book), David Shur, Carol Burnett, and Sir Patrick Stewart. It’s my understanding that the hardcopy of the book includes many pictures, however, I really enjoyed listening to all the guest narrators. I also think she did an incredible job reading her book. The book isn’t as “Ha-Ha” funny as one might expect from a comedian of her caliber. I would actually consider this to be more about a journey in discovering the secrets of life, with comedic relief bits thrown in.

What I was most struck by was her honesty throughout. What makes me believe that this book is a true representation of who she is in real life is that I can’t tout some superficial statement of “Oh wow, I feel like I know her, I know her struggles.” I got the impression that she told stories not to self-aggrandize nor to satisfy society’s gross curiosity about the lives of the rich and famous, but rather to satisfy her own desire or need to share. I really respect her for that. Don’t get me wrong, I still totally want to be her friend now, but I respect that the purpose of this book wasn’t to fish for new fans (even though it did rope me in).

It’s a great book. Amy Poehler fan or no, Yes Please would be a solid addition to your reading list!

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