December 22, 2014

12 days of reading - day 11: 'yes please'

Blogger's Note: With Christmas just around the corner, there's still plenty of time to ask Santa for a few new reads under your tree. Rather than share 12 writing tips (like in 2011 and 2012) or some favorite writers (like last year), this year we are sharing 12 notable (and potentially Christmas list-worthy) books from the past year. I have enlisted the help of my good friend (and voracious reader) Whitney to create this list. Enjoy the 12 Days of Reading.

Day 11: Yes Please
By Amy Poehler
Published October 28
Picked by Laura
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.
Amy Poehler is everything. This is an important fact to establish before gushing about how fabulously enjoyable this read was.

After once seeing an interview where Poehler said she had no plans to write a memoir--that being mentioned in memoirs by Tina Fey and Mindy Kaling was more than enough--I was basically beside myself when I learned Yes Please was coming to a bookseller near me.

As I do with most memoirs, I picked up the audio book for this one to hear the story from Poehler herself. A talented writer as evidenced by her work on Parks and Recreation, it was no surprise that her story was well-told. But more than that, I was struck by the total honesty she shared about her life. She didn't gloss over hardships, like her divorce from Will Arnett, or the great effort and hard work it took for her to achieve the success she has now. And it's a battle that is never over.

At times charming and funny, others emotional and thought-provoking, for me reading Yes Please only solidified how much I admire Poehler as a comedian, writer, actress and human being. I found myself inspired and motivated to work harder to achieve my own goals, which is no small feat for a memoir to achieve.

It also reassured me that I was totally right about dressing up as Poehler's author photo for Halloween.

Rating: 5 of 5

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