Yes Please (Discussion)

Yes pleaseNot to pat myself on the back too much here, but, guys, this was a great book to end on for 2014. Didn't you think so? It was funny, touching, and (as promised) totally affirming. It made me love Amy Poehler even more than I already did, which is way too much for someone I don't know personally. 

So now that you know I loved the book (big spoiler, I'm sure) let me back up. Trey can tell you that at first, I wasn't that into it. I was initially surprised by this as I've read a number of books by comedians this year, and I pretty much liked them all. But then I realized that I didn't actually read them, read them. I had listened to them. And part of me wishes I had listened to this book instead of reading it. So if you haven't read it yet, you might consider getting the audiobook instead. The other thing was Poehler spends a bit too much time talking about how hard it is to write a book at first. Which, I appreciate the honesty, but that's not exactly a vote of confidence from an author. I mean, is this book going to be any good if the author is out of the gate saying how difficult this was to write and how long it took, etc. But ultimately I think Poehler was just warming up. She obviously can write, she's made a career out of it (as well as performing), so I think I was just ready to jump into it.

I honestly feel like I learned a lot and laughed a ton during this read, but here's a few things that stand out to me (let's use these to springboard into our discussion):

1. I appreciate Poehler's willingness to admit and talk about a time when she handled a situation poorly.

None of us are perfect. We all put our foot in our mouth sometimes, or just do something that we regret and need to apologize for later. Poehler explained one of these moments from her own life when she performed in an SNL skit where she played Dakota Fanning and (as Fanning, with a deformed doll as a prop) references her upcoming film Hurricane Mary, "Where my sister and I play severely disabled twins." She didn't realize this was a real movie, based on real events. The film was written by Marianne Cooper who had a special interest in the project as her own son was also born with special needs, like the sisters the film is based on. The Coopers wrote to Poehler about the skit, which she immediately regretted, but she didn't apologize to them until five years later.

2. I love how she handles the subject of her divorce and how she talks about her former husband.

Poehler is a celebrity. So we all know about her divorce. I personally didn't want to read all about her divorce, and I didn't necessarily expect to in this book. So when she chose to gloss over that event in her life, simply acknowledging it but saying it's too sad and personal to talk about, I get it. She also references Will Arnett in the book often, usually in a very positive way, highlighting that he's a great father and was a supportive husband. She also thanked him in the acknowledgements at the end of the book. I think choosing to focus on the positive, even when a situation clearly isn't how you wanted it to turn out or isn't ideal in some way, is a very graceful way to live life. And if you can tell a great fart joke AND navigate a public divorce with class, well, you're just a cool lady in my book. 

3. I love Poehler's alternative title, Surf Through Life. I also love the title Yes Please

The first thing you ever learn in improv is to say yes. You always say yes to your partner and yes to whatever situation is happening. And Poehler shows throughout the book that this life lesson has served her well. Obviously she's also an extremely talented and hardworking individual as well. So, that makes a big difference in life. But I also think she clearly shows over and over that trying to go with the flow of life (instead of against it) has gotten her to where she is. And I think that's SO encouraging. None of us can control our life 100% of the time. Waves happen, sometimes suddenly and unexpectedly. And Poehler says to surf! Don't swim against it, go with it and see where it takes you.

4. The most unexpected thing from this book for me was her chapter on her trip to Haiti. 

First, I didn't realize she had volunteered in Haiti, so I just wasn't expecting that chapter. But then to read about her experience there, seeing all those orphans from her perspective (a mother as well as just Amy Poehler) was heart-breaking. I'm sort of tearing up as I just type this little bit about it right now. I was not expecting this book to remind me to give back and be thankful for all I have, but it certainly did just that. Poehler shows how grounded and "normal" she is for a famous person (a faux award she won while in Haiti), and this was especially showcased in that chapter. It reminded me that I should strive to do more for others in whatever opportunities come my way in my own life. And I appreciate that reminder. 

5. So. Many. Famous. People. 

I meant to count how many famous people show up throughout the book, but I lost track. Poehler admits and jokes about her name dropping throughout the book, but man, she's earned it. She seems to know EVERYONE. I guess that's partly from being on SNL for so long. Anyway, if you like reading about famous people, then you probably loved this book. :) 

So, what did you all think? Loved it? Thought it was "just OK?" Lost the cord to charge your kindle halfway through? What—what happened, what did you think? xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman.

  • I loved it. I love Amy Poehler, been a fan for year, and this book made me realize she’s such a strong woman. Sure, she’s not everybody’s cup of tea, nobody is! And she tells it like it is. I love that she’s a normal person who made it big in her career of choice, I love that she has flaws and knows she can be a bit bitchy and she doesn’t apologize. She’s learned a lot, in life, and you can tell she’s still learning and loves the process. I loved reading all that.

    Also loved the chapter dedicated to her show. I got so teary, eyed.

  • I am glad you wrote this review. I bypassed it thinking it was going to be all about the comedy and kinda played out but I will give it a read now.

  • i seriously loved this book.
    other than TFIOS, this was the only book that i read along this year with you guys and this was a great book to end on.

    i love her outlook on life.
    the chapter on time travel, she was so right!

    im not one to re-read a book once its been read but i will for sure be going back to this one.
    i liked her before but i love her more now.
    the honesty in her book, i liked a lot.
    out of all the “comics” books i have read, this one by far was my favorite followed by Mindy’s.

    good pick!
    cant wait to see what 2015 has! (wait are you guys doing this in 2015!?)

  • I enjoyed the book enough, but I found it to be a half hearted memoir. She had some funny stories, some cool experiences to share but the book seemed so full of her talking about the difficulty of writing the book, her comedy troop’s travels (we went here, rented here, then here, bigger here, etc.). I have always felt a warm bond with A.P. and the characters she plays.. but I felt like this was such a disconnect.

    I *did* enjoy the book enough, and liked it, but it was not something I would expect from her. I felt like I wanted more. 🙂

  • I really recommend this on audiobook! I loved it! It wouldn’t be the same without her reading it to you, but i’m sure still a great book.

  • That’s exactly what I thought about the book. I wanted to love it because I love Amy Poehler, but it seemed it was the wrong time in her life for her to write this book. It seemed incredibly half-hearted as you said. I found there to be passages that were off-putting (especially about how much she would rather be doing anything other than writing the book and a whole host of other examples).

    Perhaps it’s not fair to compare it to “Bossy Pants” and “Is Everyone Hanging out Without Me” but it just fell so flat compared to those two books.

    It honestly felt like she got pressured into writing a book and that it wasn’t necessarily the right time in her life to look back and put this together.

    I think she is just happy that she is done writing it. And honestly, I was happy to do be done reading it. It brought me down. Which I totally was not expecting. I wish I could say I liked it more 🙁

  • I feel the exact same way. I am such a huge fan of Amy’s but this book just didn’t cut it for me. It kind of felt like she was forced to write the book, and that she didn’t enjoy it, herself. I wanted more.

  • “Good for her! Not for me.” That line keeps coming back to me after reading this book a few months ago. You can and should be supportive of other women but ultimately do what’s best for you.

  • Thanks! And yes, it’s not ALL about the comedy/career side of her life. Which I bet would actually disappoint some readers but I felt like I did get to see another side of her I hadn’t seen before.

    -Emma

  • Amy Poehler is my girl. That being said, I honestly was pretty disappointed in the book. It felt half hearted to me. If I’m reading a book about Amy Poehler by Amy Poehler, I expect a little more about Amy Poehler. I feel like she used the “advice” sections as a way out of talking about herself. and that’s fine. it really is. but if you don’t really want people to know about your life, then don’t write a book.

    I did love when she talked about screwing up though in that sketch. When I do something I’m embarrassed of, I avoid talking or even thinking about it. It takes some major guts to write about something like that.

    I do love Amy Poehler. A whole lot. I think she’s hilarious. Maybe my expectations were too high for this book.

  • Yeah, I see what you mean for sure. I did feel at times that she just wasn’t really that into this project. And I think when you can kind of tell when an artist (writer, comedian, painter, musician, whatever) isn’t that into what they’re doing it’s just not as good.

    -Emma

  • I was disappointed too.

    The book felt forced and scatterbrained. I don’t think it was very funny. I feel like she name dropped a little so it seemed more interesting.

    I agree she wasn’t vulnerable enough to really write about herself.

  • I listened to the audiobook which is so good and she has guest readers come in, and a great bit with Seth Myers. I listened to it on my computer which was great as I would pause the book and go straight to youtube to watch the sketches she was talking about.

  • i’m glad people spoke up about being disappointed. i’ve read it twice, and the first time i was a little disappointed, and the second time – i had a whole new appreciation for it. i think it has to do with what YOU have personally gone through in your life – if you “get her” or not… the first time i didn’t “get it”… the second time i read it – i had been through a lot of stuff in a very short period of time and it changed me… and suddenly i “got it”. she’s wonderful either way, and her and tina’s diehard support of other women is REALLY important- women don’t stick together enough! we need to be each other’s champions instead of always tearing each other down, and i’m always excited to read about women fighting for that, and for raising awareness for “everyday people” (like us) to DO OUR PART in giving back. making a difference isn’t just for celebrities <3

  • I liked it for the most part, but I did feel a little let down by parts of it as well, like the complaining about how hard it is to write a book, as well as the way she sort of seemed to be bragging about her past drug use. That was totally alienating to me.

    This isn’t fair at all but I also sort of feel like I might have liked this better if I’d read it before I read Bossypants.

  • This book was amazing. I’m actually going to get the audiobook for a second go. I did the same with Bossypants and did not regret it.
    I laughed out loud so many times while reading it that my husband and mom are both going to read the book based on just that.
    She definitely did it her own way. It’s stylistically very different from other, more traditional memoirs and I think she nailed it. It seemed infinitely vulnerable to me, but still, not gross and over-sharey about the salacious details of her divorce or celebrity stuff.
    I wasn’t a huge fan before this (I liked her, but didn’t particularly love her). I feel totally differently now. I think she’s brilliant for how she chose to write this book and the very cool life she leads.

  • I also listened to the audio book as we traveled for the holidays and would highly recommend it! getting to hear Amy’s voice as well as the voices of Seth Meyer, her parent’s and several others made the book so much more interactive and fun. I loved how honest she was in this book. I do agree she droned on a bit about how difficult writing can be, but I appreciate that insight. She tells it like it is and I think she was just trying to disclose the entire experience and not sugar coat anything. Really enjoyed and love Amy P. more now than ever. I love hearing the voices of these strong female role models that are intelligent and hard working, like Tina Fey (also highly recommend her audio book Bossy Pants).

    Good PIck!

  • We listened to her audio book on the way home from a roadtrip and it was AWESOME. So many extras! Audio from SNL, parks and rec. She jokes to herself, she jokes with Seth Myers, it’s all her extra goodness wrapped up in laughs. I plan on buying the book, but listening to Amy read and joke is the absolute best!

  • I started reading this book recently (about halfway through now) and didn’t even realize it was the ABM book club selection this month! I’ll have to come back and read this post when I’ve finished the book (which shouldn’t take too much longer! I’m addicted to it now.)

  • Of all the comedian books we read this year, this one was definitely my favourite. I personally really liked her time spent on how difficult it was to write a book. I don’t know much about Amy Poehler, but I feel as if I know a side of her now that is so interesting to know. Thanks for the great suggestion!

    Happy New Year!

    P.S. Thank you SO MUCH for deciding to continue book club into 2015. I love this part of ABM.

  • You know, I was disappointed too. I enjoyed her unabashed honesty about writing a book, but it was a bit much for me. She is very straightforward, but I’m not sure I liked her writing style.

    I loved the story line, and I enjoyed the pictures, notes, songs, and flyers she included in the book. Plus she’s hilarious, and I laughed out loud several times. Overall, it was an interesting read,and I would recommend it to my friends. I suppose it just wasn’t what I expected.

  • i’m about halfway through the book, and I enjoy it but I’m not in love – and I don’t know why! I want to be (I love her on Parks & Rec & SNL)! But I’m just not loving it. I read Tina Fey’s book right before this & was in love with it, but I think it’s just a different style of writing.

    Anyways, totally agree about the overwhelming talk about how hard it is to write a book. The fact that she totally screwed up once, makes me feel better about my mess ups. And I wish her and Will were still together – I mean have you seen Arrested Development? He’s the best one on the show.

    Alex 🙂

  • I loved it for all the reasons you give but, in particular, because of the positive way she talks about the people in her life – I mean, there must be people she dislikes and there must have been pain around her divorce but her stories never rely on criticising others. As she says herself, she doesn’t like humour which relies on humiliation and I think that shines through the book.

  • I loved Yes Please and how Amy reverts back to Thank You at the same time throughout her book. She is a nice reminder of how lucky most of us are in the US and sometimes she is cocky about it but hey, she deserves to be!

    My favorite parts are when she talks about Tina Fey. I love how close the two of them are and all of their history together. I’m currently reading Bossypants by Tina Fey and I think its interesting how different and similar their lives are. (and is it ‘coincidental’ how the tone in both books are the same?!)

    I honestly had to take a break before reading the chapters on Parks and Rec. I was a late bloomer for the show but once I netflixed all the seasons I was hooked! So Im sad to see it go but I liked how Amy described her best moments with the cast members.

    Anywhoo Im so glad you hosted a discussion on Yes Please! Indeed perfect closing for the end of the year. Happy New Year *cheers

  • Yes, Please is on my reading list for 2015 (which i recently posted on my blog!) and this post made me even more excited to read it! I love Amy Poehler and can’t wait to see how her personality comes through in the writing.

  • I’m glad you reviewed this book and opened it up for discussion! It wasn’t a book I would have picked up, but I am definitely intrigued now.

  • I use my local library’s e-book service to read my favorite titles on my ipad. I put Tina Fey’s Bossypants on my wait list ages ago. Coincidentally, I was able to checkout both Bossypants and Yes Please during the same week. I would never intentionally compare the two. However, I couldn’t help but desire more from Yes Please, because I ended up reading Bossypants immediately before. Poehler’s stories and experiences were hilariously entertaining, but her writing style was lacking (especially after reading Fey).
    A few of the chapters failed to captivate my attention and were a drag to read. This included the Haiti section. I’m surprised by such a positive reaction to this section. I read through the beginning of it and I didn’t understand why Poehler was there – she seemed to be taking a tour of the city to awe in the poverty and broken infrastructure. It didn’t seem she was using the trip to volunteer or service the Haitian citizens. Maybe she described that later in the chapter, but I skipped the entire section because I didn’t need someone describing the well-known state of affairs in that island nation.

  • That quote was highlighted during my read too. It’s a wonderful sentiment that all women should incorporate within their lifestyles.

  • I really loved this book. I found myself using page flags on nearly every page, wanting to take something away from each section. I, too, love the way she approached her ended marriage. I’m sure she doesn’t always feel warm and fuzzy, but she has chose to recognize her former husband as a solid father and a great guy for many years of her life. I admire that. She even talked about a different ex, one of her Upright Citizens Brigade, in an equally positive light.

    The story about her having to apologize was just DAMN GOOD. How often do you see that, especially from a celebrity? And it put a lot into perspective for me. So many times, we apologize with our defenses up, still trying to prove that we are right. But sometimes we just screw up and we have to admit that. It was awesome that she showed us how she approached that AND that the people involved allowed her to share the story, showing that true apologies bring about acceptance.

    I would recommend this book to anyone who loves her work, of course (and I do agree about the audiobook, I think a lot of it would come off better in her voice), but also, any woman who needs a little reminder. Amy Poehler told her story but taught lessons along the way, and I’m glad I can carry that with me.

  • I didn’t read along with you, because I tends towards non fiction learning books, however reading this review made me realize I’d like to read some memoirs this year. There’s something about connecting with others through their experiences isn’t there?
    http://absolutelytara.com

  • I LOVED Yes Please. I think Amy Poehler is brilliant and her book made me want to be her friend more than I already wanted to. I wish she didn’t spoil certain Parks and Rec information (I’m in the middle of the series! I love Ben!) but other than that, I am so happy to have read her book.

  • I read the book after I heard her on a podcast with Norman Lear. The podcast was fabulous and touched on parts of her book. So when I actually read the book, I felt like I already knew bits and pieces. I think the audiobook would be fabulous and help with the first bit of her talking about authoring a book. With that said, I thoroughly enjoyed her book. I love her sarcasm, witty, and real attitude. I felt like what she wrote wasn’t just pen and ink to who she thought she was, but truly how she would come across if she was sitting across from you telling you these stories. I absolutely loved the mantra “everyone’s tired”… So many times we feel like we are the only ones that are going through “it”, and really everyone has their “story”. I would recommend the book. And it made me admire Amy Poehler all the more.

  • Our book club (in Kuwait) chose to read this book after you picked it. It was a great choice for our first book, because it is has so many different ways to connect with it. Thanks for the idea!

    Most of us listened to the audio version, this was a first for me, but I can see how it would make it so much better. There were parts that would have frustrated me as a reader, but made me laugh as a listener. The other awesome thing about listening was it made it feel like Poehler was just hanging out at girls night sharing stories. Loved it.

    By far my favorite chapter was 32, about surfing through life. The very beginning of the chapter totally clicked with me and I felt inspired to stay flexible as I ride the wave into 2015.

    Happy New Year everyone!! Thanks for the discussion prompts, can’t wait to see the book for January… We might steal it too! xo.

  • I was excited to read this book! I didn’t like Lena Dunham’s book too much, and wanted to read a different comedy book to figure out if this genre would be generally interesting for me. We’ll I don’t think books by comedians are for me. I read about 50% of Amy Poehler’s book and then just stopped. I might finish it during the next weeks, but I just didn’t enjoy reading it too much so far. I agree, I liked how she wrote about the embarrassing story and I was happy that her apologies were accepted by the girl. But in general I couldn’t relate to the book and didn’t think that it was super funny … So, maybe comedy just isn’t for me, but I am excited about next month’s selection 🙂

  • I kind of wish I’d had the audiobook now. The book was good… not great but good for a few laughs and I do know a bit more about AP than I did before I read it. Overall though, it could have been so much more.

  • I’m not usually a fan of celebrity memoirs, but I heard Amy Poehler’s interview with Howard Stern about this book and had to read it. As a writer, I loved the brutal honesty about how hard it is to birth a book. As a divorced mother,I loved the honesty about how hard it is too. The book was hilarious and affirming in so many ways. The only criticism I could give it is all the celebrity name dropping. She didn’t need it.

  • I actually purchased this book as an audiobook and “read” it that way. Completely worth it! If you thought the book was funny, wait until you hear AP read them to you herself. Hilarious. (especially the part with the “demon” voice)

    I really liked the part about practicing ambivalence towards your career. As women, we are constantly told to go after what we want and to push push push until we have the 6 figure salary and huge house. AP talks about not putting your career first and just focus on doing what you love and loving where you are in life. Very refreshing.

    Great choice for the book club.

  • I’m glad I listened to the audio book as well, because even listening to the whining about how hard it is to a write a book was annoying, and if I had been reading it, I might have stopped there.
    And that would have been my loss, because there was much that was so good, and that chapter, Sorry, Sorry, Sorry, was one of the best things I read this year.
    Also loved hearing her parents’ voices reading their advice.

    I also loved her perspective on your career as a bad boyfriend, but your creativity being a life line. Two months in a row I just happened to read the same book as ABM—and have really enjoyed seeing other perspectives there.

  • I really liked it! I’ll admitt I haven’t seen much of her work – besides Mean Girls but I had heard great reviews and was keen to give it a read and I am so glad I gave it a chance!!

  • I thought this book was really great! I kept taking pictures on my phone of the passages I liked best. A lot of what she said about working towards your goals and what you want really spoke to me.
    Also I really liked her description of her relationship with her sons which was really sweet. It was like a bookend to her description of her parents. It seemed like she had a really great childhood with caring parents so it was awesome to see her carrying that on with her own kids.
    The part about Parks and Rec and how she is really friends with all those people in real life, especially Rashida, was the best. I loved that chapter. Perhaps because I really love the show.
    And ending with her trip to Haiti was an interesting touch that really makes you grateful for what you have in life.
    I also expected there to be more stories of her friendship with Tina, but there really wasn’t, which disappointed me a bit.

  • I completely agree with you. It felt so disjointed and uninspired. I expected it to be funny and/or insightful – I was disappointed on both accounts.

  • Two things I loved:

    Finding out that I am not alone in my adoration/obsession with tiny fake food! Amy and Rashida Jones love it, too.

    She thanked Dolly Parton – just because it’s DOLLY PARTON.

    Those two tiny details made me feel less alone, more connected, and reassured. Dammit, I’m not a weirdo and in fact I am awesome. BLAMMO, HATERS!

  • It was an excellent book.
    I totally cheated and listened to the audio book. But so glad I did!!
    Amy is hilarious and I loved hearing her voice joke around… and the famous people/guest writers participated in the audio book as well!!! Worth a listen.

  • I LOVED it! And I was definitely relieved. Bc Lena Dunham’s book (in my opinion) was awful and so disappointing and painful to read. Yet, Amy’s was great. And you’re right, the way she mentioned her ex husband was so darn classy, it totally blew me away. What an amazing woman. And when she talked about that awful sketch that she didn’t mean to do and how she felt guilty and scared for YEARS trying to apologize, I could totally relate.
    I felt like I got to know her without her saying “this is who I am and a detailed account of the days up till now” because each story was an account to her character. That was very sly and interesting of her.

  • I’m currently listening to the audiobook, which is fantastic!
    I find I am overly critical of writing styles when I READ a book, so when I’ve got a book I’m interested in, when I think the writing may be unexceptional, I listen to it instead.
    I did the same thing with Amanda Palmer’s book, The Art of Asking, which was fantastic and should probably be listed as a book club read.

  • I feel so much better now! As an AP fan I felt so guilty that I didn’t enjoy the book. I mean, I finished it but felt like it was just “meh”. Glad I’m not alone. 🙂

  • After reading some of the other comments, I’m relieved that I’m not the only one who was disappointed by the book. I had been hearing so many great things about it, plus *It’s Amy Poehler!* but the book felt really clinical to me, and I definitely felt like she was holding back a lot. It was like getting a peek into someone’s life, but only on an acquaintance level. I think I expected it to go deeper than it did. I also felt like there was really excessive name dropping, though that may not be entirely fair to comment on because she made friends with so many other celebrities through her own rise to fame, so most of them still felt important to the story. Overall, it felt like the longest “Thank You” speech I’ve ever listened to in most places, and not as comical as I had expected from one of the funniest and most powerful females around. I agree with the others who said this may not have been the best time for her to write a book, but I certaily applaud her effort and the messages that she did manage to get through. There were a heaping handful of really poignant pieces of advice, I just felt like I had to read through pages and pages of slightly dry and half-hearted material to get to them. I would still definitely give a second book a shot!

  • Okay, I am gonna give this book another shot. I am about 37% through (so says my Kindle) and I’m feeling rather “meh” about it. I didn’t expect SO MANY ANECDOTES of her life in improv and how she got to where she is (felt a tad braggy at points). Granted, I figured there would be SOME of that in here, but with a nice balance of inspiration, punctuated by her signature sense of humor. Not really feelin’ that so far. I was almost resigned to giving up on this, but I’ll power through and give it a fair shot, since it appears as though things perk up (haven’t hit the Haiti chapter yet, for example).

    Maybe the problem is that I read this right after #GIRLBOSS which just kicks so much female CEO @$$ I can’t even stand it. 🙂

  • I’m a little late to this party, but had to chime in anyway! I blazed through this book in like 36 hours. It was a fast read and wow, nothing makes me feel more accomplished in life than finishing a book so quickly. Thanks, Amy.

    I loved the book. It’s just as quotable as Bossypants, and I highlighted/dogeared quite a bit. Probably my favorite parts were about her too-late apology to Marianne Cooper (all that transparency! Wow!) and then ALL the behind-the-scenes SNL stuff. I could read a book just about all of that. I started watching SNL at a really young age (thanks to my grandmother) and was familiar with everyone she was talking about.

    Least favorite part: the Parks and Recreation spoilers! Ugh. I recently just started watching and am just now on season 3, so needless to say, accidentally reading some major plot points (that I was honestly trying to skim over!) was a major bummer. Sigh.

    Would I read again? Yes please.

    Sarah Alves

  • I LOVED this book! Not as laugh-out-loud funny as Tina Fey’s or Mindy Kaling’s, but it was so good and I think Amy Poehler came off as the wise, funny aunt you always wanted.

    This is completely random, but my favorite part/part that really made me laugh was when she talked about her little brother Greg waking her up on Christmas morning when they were kids and she said, “Let’s go wake up Greg and see what Santa brought us,” and he gets all scared and wide-eyed and says, “I AM Greg!” And now her family uses that line whenever they are going through an existential crisis. Is it just me that thought that was hilarious??

  • I was able to listen to the audio version and I loved it. The parts on the difficulty of writing a book came across more as a running joke than a whining discord. There were so many people in the audio book that made it seem like a party. I’ve listened to a lot of audio books and this was the most creatively put together.

    One of my favorite sections was “Treat your job like a bad boyfriend”. I love hearing from successful people on how they do what they do and the tips they can pass one. It was the most inspiring and helpful.

    I’m really glad I read it.

  • I wasn’t a big fan of this book, though I do agree there are some redeeming qualities. Comedy is such a personal preference type of thing, and I appreciate Poehler’s ability to bring funny and painful life experiences togther in one book. Still, I would recommend _Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me_ by Mindy Kaling over _Yes Please_. Kaling is a great writer and had me cracking up with this book.

    Just found this blog and ran out and got the January book club selection from the library right away! Thanks for creating a place to discuss books among internet friends. =)

  • While I enjoyed reading the book, I actually feel like I like Amy Poehler a little less since I read it.
    In my opinion – the book itself had highs and lows; parts I loved and parts I will skim over if I pick it up again. It felt quite half-hearted. She made no secret of often saying how hard it was to write a book and basically, how she didn’t even want to do it. There were some wonderful passages and pieces – including my favourite, “Good for her, not for me” and the pieces about how divorce is like “throwing a blanket up in the air”, and how “every mother needs a wife”. The rest of the book was a bit bland and disjointed. Personally, I would have loved to hear more about her life. The book relied heavily… HEAVILY… on recalling episodes of SNL, her career in improv, and very heavy-handed (and at times, unnecessary) sprinkle of name dropping. While mentioning her start in improv was fairly essential to an accurate biography, I’d estimate it accounted for at least 30% of the book, and I grew quite bored with it.
    There were two points where my opinion on Poehler soured a bit. The first was her story about the Hurricane Mary apology. While I think it took guts to share the story and admit fault, her apology was rather half-assed and basically just blamed the SNL writers and continued to brush it off as “not her fault”. It seems like she just extended the apology because Spike Jonze (name dropping…) made her feel guilty, and she included it in her book as some attempt at garnering head-pats. Additionally, it could have done without the reply from Anastasia – it only made Poehler look self-congratulatory. The second point was when she took out a lengthy tirade regarding the script a man dropped in her lap on the subway, and how she has no desire to help people who don’t work hard. I felt this was very unnecessary, condescending, and totally out of place. Although I do agree that it’s not appropriate to peddle scripts onto celebrities and expect instant fame to quickly follow, Poehler has absolutely no right to judge this man’s ambitions, goals, and whether or not he “has been working hard enough” to get where he wants to go. Especially considering Poehler ended up making it big via her own connections… isn’t this how most people crack into the industry? Word of mouth? Connections? A chance? He was a complete stranger, but she instantly deemed him talentless and worthless and she didn’t even crack open the pages. The most ironic part is that she freely judged this man for trying to “get a connection” to get a step closer to achieving a dream, and here she is, writing a book out of spite when she didn’t even want to, but was given the opportunity because of status, connections, etc. – some would say she is a “undeserving” author, but I guess it’s acceptable because she’s famous now, and not a lowly subway dweller? It seems like she has grown a little too far from her roots and is quick to forget where she came from, and all the people who helped her along the way.

  • Love love LOVED the book!! I opted for the audiobook, and was totally engrossed from beginning to end. Several guest readers, too.

    Until your post I had never stopped to consider whether I would’ve liked the book any less had I been reading it. Hmm..