Title: Yes Please
Author: Amy Poehler
Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir
Publisher: Dey St., October 28th 2014
Synopsis: Do you want to get to know the woman we first came to love on Comedy Central’s Upright Citizens Brigade? Do you want to spend some time with the lady who made you howl with laughter on Saturday Night Live, and in movies like Baby Mama, Blades of Glory, and They Came Together? Do you find yourself daydreaming about hanging out with the actor behind the brilliant Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation? Did you wish you were in the audience at the last two Golden Globes ceremonies, so you could bask in the hilarity of Amy’s one-liners?
If your answer to these questions is “Yes Please!” then you are in luck. In her first book, one of our most beloved funny folk delivers a smart, pointed, and ultimately inspirational read. Full of the comedic skill that makes us all love Amy, Yes Please is a rich and varied collection of stories, lists, poetry (Plastic Surgery Haiku, to be specific), photographs, mantras and advice. With chapters like “Treat Your Career Like a Bad Boyfriend,” “Plain Girl Versus the Demon” and “The Robots Will Kill Us All” Yes Please will make you think as much as it will make you laugh. Honest, personal, real, and righteous, Yes Please is full of words to live by.
As someone who never watched Saturday Night Live, who had only heard of Parks and Recreation in passing and barely remembered the ending to the movie Baby Mama, I never fully intended on reading Amy Poehler’s new autobiography. I knew that Amy Poehler was witty and inspiring and “an amazingly funny human being,” in the words of my best friend, but memoirs were simply not my forte. I pushed the book out of my mind. I knew I would never get around to reading it, and the thought of it collecting dust on my shelf was depressing. But the book followed me everywhere I went. There is was; peaking at me from behind the paperbacks sold at my local Target, staring boldly from a display case in Barnes & Noble.
In the end, I never did read the book. Just as my attention was turning to something new, I found out that Amy narrated her entire book herself (with quest appearances from a few other select celebrities). There’s something about books narrated by their authors that I cannot resist. So, Amy Poehler’s Yes Please came to me in the form of an audiobook. I listened to it in my car, before I went to sleep at night, and on the rare occasion I was able to drag myself to the gym. It took me just shy of two months to finish the whole thing.
First, I want to address the format itself.
I loved the narration. Story aside, I could have enjoyed this whole autobiography just because of the way the stories and experiences were told. Amy Poehler takes her humor and her down-to-earth advice and reads it like it was meant to be told. Although I did not have the full-color photographs that are included in the physical edition, I felt as though listening to this book was necessary in order to get the full experience of her story.
As far as the story goes, I was a little peeved by the way Amy Poehler skipped around in time. At times, it worked, but I do wish it was more chronological. That being said, I did love Amy’s story-telling. Part memoir, part essay collection, including poems and messages from Amy’s parents, Yes Please ended up not being a book about comedy. It is a book about motherhood, honesty, sex, and the hard work it takes to succeed. Like Amy Poehler herself, the book is full of humor and advice. One my favorite chapters was titled “Treat Your Career Like a Bad Boyfriend” and it had me laughing out loud.
Yes Please was a great audio experience that I highly recommend to all Amy Poehler fans or autobiography readers.