Sunday, January 18, 2015

#2 [2015/CBR7] "Yes Please" by Amy Poehler

"The only way we will survive is by being kind. The only way we can get by in this world is through the help we receive from others. No one can do it alone, no matter how great the machines are." (329)

There was never any doubt that I would read Yes Please (2014) by Amy Poehler; the only question was how long I'd have to wait for it to become available at the library. I've always enjoyed Poehler. I like her jokes, and I like her attitude, and these come across well in her book. I read the real book for this one [because the wait list was shorter] and I'm glad I did. The pages are thick and glossy and there's bright color interspersed throughout, making it both fun and tactile.

Poehler discusses her childhood in the suburbs of Boston, her early career in Chicago, Upright Citizens Brigade, Saturday Night Live, her friendship with Tina Fey and Seth Meyer, Parks and Recreation, and her kids. These stories are all in the context of advice of how she's learned to live her life and what she feels is important. Although Poehler could probably dish on a number of celebrities, she holds back on personal details, both on others and herself. Sometimes I feel cheated when I feel authors are deliberately holding back, but this fits so clearly with Poehler's beliefs on keeping a part of life private, and she is so honest in discussing the things she's learned, that I didn't mind. Instead I appreciated that she didn't sell out her beliefs in order to sell a book.

Since I am most familiar with Poehler's work on SNL and Parks and Rec, I probably enjoyed these parts of the book the most. I also appreciated Poehler's positive and caring attitude. It is obvious that she treats people well and sincerely feels for them. It is refreshing to be around. It's also refreshing to read about a strong, successful woman in a career dominated by men--especially because Poehler talked about crying and feeling anxious about her life and work. Poehler is human, after all, even as she remains a fantastic role model for pretty much everyone, but especially younger women.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes Amy Poehler, so pretty much everyone I know.

"You have to care about your work but not about the result. You have to care about how good you are and how good you feel, but not about how good people think you are or how good people think you look." (224-225)

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