Yes Please by Amy Poehler

Yes Please

In Amy Poehler’s highly anticipated first book, Yes Please, she offers up a big juicy stew of personal stories, funny bits on sex and love and friendship and parenthood and real life advice (some useful, some not so much), like when to be funny and when to be serious. Powered by Amy’s charming and hilarious, biting yet wise voice, Yes Please is a book full of words to live...

Title:Yes Please
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:0062268341
Edition Language:English
Number of Pages:329 pages

Yes Please Reviews

  • Emily

    YES REALLY. I almost gave this two stars, except it includes George Clooney and that would be a crime.

    This book is

    . It didn't charm me. It actually took me about three or four days to read 288 pages, which is funny because a lot of those pages don't include any actual words (she's got a ton of photocopies and inspirational signs intermixed with the text). It just wasn't as fun to read as I anticipated.

    The problem is that she spends most of the book talking about how hard it is to write a

    YES REALLY. I almost gave this two stars, except it includes George Clooney and that would be a crime.

    This book is

    . It didn't charm me. It actually took me about three or four days to read 288 pages, which is funny because a lot of those pages don't include any actual words (she's got a ton of photocopies and inspirational signs intermixed with the text). It just wasn't as fun to read as I anticipated.

    The problem is that she spends most of the book talking about how hard it is to write a book, or how she struggles with her self perception, or how she doesn’t like people knowing her business. (Incidentally, I think self-perception is an extremely valuable topic for women and teenagers, but perhaps not what I was interested in reading when I picked this up.) Sometimes she’s able to turn the “I don’t actually want to tell you anything about myself” into a pretty funny chapter, like when she writes out the descriptions of divorce self-help books she’d like to write. (Spoiler alert: she doesn’t want to talk about her relationship with Will Arnett at all, which is certainly her right.)

    But this means that she skips over many of the periods of her life that I was most interested in, like the founding of UCB and her subsequent success. She goes through a lot of, “Then we got a bigger theater, and then a bigger one, and then I was hired at SNL." For most of the book, I felt like she was skipping over the truly interesting side stories. There are some anecdotes from SNL and Parks and Rec, but there are surprisingly few given how much time she's spent on both shows.

    Then again, back to George Clooney:

    Perhaps if I’d listened to this as an audiobook, I might have enjoyed it more. When I went back to read some sentences over and consciously tried to hear her voice, I definitely thought some of it was funnier. But overall, I vacillated between two and three stars, and landed on three only because this is Amy Poehler’s book. YES, REALLY.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Jason

    It breaks my heart to give this book one star.

    I love Amy Poehler. In fact I love every member of that early two-thousands (the decade, not the century) female

    cast ensemble: Poehler, Fey, Rudolph, Dratch.

    I often mentally include Kristen Wiig in the mix, too, because she’s fantastic, but she was sort of late to the party, having joined

    a year before Dratch and Fey left.

    But as I was saying, I think highly of Poehler. I enjoy her comedy, her intelligence, her personality ov

    It breaks my heart to give this book one star.

    I love Amy Poehler. In fact I love every member of that early two-thousands (the decade, not the century) female

    cast ensemble: Poehler, Fey, Rudolph, Dratch.

    I often mentally include Kristen Wiig in the mix, too, because she’s fantastic, but she was sort of late to the party, having joined

    a year before Dratch and Fey left.

    But as I was saying, I think highly of Poehler. I enjoy her comedy, her intelligence, her personality overall. But I didn’t like this book.

    To me,

    reads more like a scatterbrained diary than the well-crafted memoir I had been hoping for. Very little of the book seems to have been composed with any forethought; it’s as though Poehler were performing improv in “lit” form. Except while she may be a master of the art on a stage, her improvisational talent doesn’t really migrate to the written page. Her stories meander along without any real segue between them, each having a very “oh and by the way” aspect to it. Maybe it was meant to be random and incoherent but it just didn’t work for me.

    At one point in the book Poehler mentions her addiction to self-googling, so in many ways I am hoping she doesn’t stumble across this review because I’d hate to imagine her feelings being hurt by it, so maybe it’s best that no one votes for it.

    In other words, do what you guys normally do.

  • Sarah

    No, thank you.

    I was supposed to love this book and as I always do when I find myself super disappointed, I looked back through other reviews to see if I was alone. I don't think I am alone, but no one is expressing my disappointment quite how I need it to be expressed, so I get to do that myself this time around.

    I just kept waiting... and waiting... and waiting. The moment it was going to get good and awesome had to be right around the corner! Soon I would get past all the filler and all the flu

    No, thank you.

    I was supposed to love this book and as I always do when I find myself super disappointed, I looked back through other reviews to see if I was alone. I don't think I am alone, but no one is expressing my disappointment quite how I need it to be expressed, so I get to do that myself this time around.

    I just kept waiting... and waiting... and waiting. The moment it was going to get good and awesome had to be right around the corner! Soon I would get past all the filler and all the fluff and dig into the heart of the book! It would be so great! I was so excited!

    And then I realized I had under fifty pages left.

    In the book, I waded through:

    A lot of celebrity name droppingI never figured out if it was supposed to be ironic, sarcastic, cute... I'm not sure. There is no way to do this that isn't obnoxious. Even with a disclaimer about it being obnoxious, it is still obnoxious. If you genuinely, really need to tell a story about your friend who happens to be a famous celebrity person, and they are really a part of the story, by all means, please tell it. But if there is no story, or one that is only half-told or glossed over.... There is no point.

    A lot of filler. Her parents wrote parts of it. And then some other dude wrote part of it. And then there was a chapter of footnotes as a joke, which was super funny back in 1990 something, but which really just take up space and make reading difficult. Lists! Copy pasted emails! There was a lot of writing about writing a book. Hey, Amy? JUST DO THE THING.

    A lot of confusion: Stories started and stopped. Kindergarten, mid-twenties, what? Are we going back to kindergarten? Did I miss something? Is that thread going to be picked up again? How does this connect? TRANSITION SENTENCES WOULD HELP.

    A lot of trying to be funny... and not being funny. Which is weird because I think Amy is a very funny person. But the book comes off as cloying, it's too much "THIS IS FUNNY" and not enough content. It feels like trying (and also not trying at the same time. Maybe this book is better than I thought because that really is a momentous feat). Maybe it just didn't translate well to print. I don't know.

    The highlight of the book for me was the mention of Gavin de Becker's

    Because that book is fantastic and true. I like that Amy pointed out exactly why it is awesome and why the situation with the producer was uncomfortable (she said no, he kept asking). De Becker has helped me to identify these little things that feel "off" to me and allowed me to pinpoint why, so I appreciate this type of thing. But now, I'm reviewing

    instead of this book. And if that's my main takeaway, something is wrong.

  • Madeline

    This is not a comedy book.

    I mean, it's funny. Amy Poehler can't write a book and not be funny, because she's Amy fuckin' Poehler. But (and this is not the first time I'm going to compare the two memoirs) where Tina Fey's

    contained humorous essays written specifically for the purpose of being funny, Poehler's does not. Everything is presented in a straightforward, matter-of-fact, fashion, and although a lot of the book is very, very funny, it never seems like this was the specific goa

    This is not a comedy book.

    I mean, it's funny. Amy Poehler can't write a book and not be funny, because she's Amy fuckin' Poehler. But (and this is not the first time I'm going to compare the two memoirs) where Tina Fey's

    contained humorous essays written specifically for the purpose of being funny, Poehler's does not. Everything is presented in a straightforward, matter-of-fact, fashion, and although a lot of the book is very, very funny, it never seems like this was the specific goal behind the essays.

    This is also not a book

    comedy.

    Although Amy Poehler discusses her time on improv groups in Chicago and New York,

    , and

    , she never gets more in-depth than "then we moved to New York and started working at this theater." Her time on

    is reduced to a chapter of brief (but fantastic) anecdotes. Amy Poehler is renowned for her ability to play vastly different characters - somewhere on the internet is a photo gallery of all her Second City characters - but she never discusses what goes into each character. The closest we get is this description of her preparing her Hillary Clinton imitation and finally getting a bead on the character by playing her as someone who is tired of always being the smartest person in the room.

    Okay, so it's not a comedy book, and it's not a book about comedy, and it's really not even much of a memoir - Poehler does not discuss her divorce because "it is too sad and too personal. I also don't like people knowing my shit." So what, exactly, is

    ?

    It feels weird to classify this book as a self-help book. But that's what I got out of it. Maybe your experience with Poehler's book will be different, but as I was reading it, the parts that left the greatest impressions on me are the ones where she is demonstrating how to be a good person. The title itself references this - Poehler spends some time discussing how the improv rule of always replying with "yes, and..." is also a good rule for life, and how she tacks "please" onto that because Amy Poehler is truly, genuinely, wonderfully

    , and that's always refreshing. But lest you think she's some kind of pushover, rest assured that Amy Poehler is also a badass who gets what she wants, and if you pay attention, she can teach you how to do that:

    "When someone is being rude, abusing their power, or not respecting you, just call them out in a really obvious way. Say, 'I can't understand why you are being rude because you are the concierge and this is the part of the evening where the concierge helps me.' Act like they are an actor who has forgotten what part they are playing. It brings the attention back to them and gives you a minute to calm down so you don't do something silly like burst into tears or break their stupid fucking glasses."

    She also teaches you how to be good at what you do, in a very good essay called "Treat Your Career Like a Bad Boyfriend":

    "Now, before I extend this metaphor, let me make a distinction between career and creativity. Creativity is connected to your passion, that light inside you that drives you. That joy that comes when you do something you love. That small voice that tells you, 'I like this. Do this again. You are good at it. Keep going.' That is the juicy stuff that lubricates our lives and helps us feel less alone in the world. Your creativity is not a bad boyfriend.

    ...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."

    I don't want to imply that this is all heavy, here's-how-to-be-a-successful-person stuff. There's lightness in this book, and like I said, it's funny and fluffy, but there's a solid gold center deep within this seemingly light read that makes it stand out from other comedy memoirs I've read. I treated this book as a manual on how to become Amy Poehler, and there are worse things we could be.

    Have I mentioned that Amy Poehler is nice? She's so nice. She does the same thing Tina Fey did in her book where she lists a lot of the people who work on her TV show with her and it's basically an excuse for her to gush over how much she likes the people she works with (she calls Aubrey Plaze "a big-hearted warrior"). She spends a long chapter talking about her sons and how much she loves them. Tiny Fey's book featured a chapter called "We Don't Care if You Like It (One in a Series of Love Letters to Amy Poehler)." Amy Poehler's book returns the favor by including an acrostic poem about Tina Fey, which might seem disingenuous, but it's clear on every page how much these two great people love each other:

    "Sometimes Tina is like a very talented bungee-jumping expert. All it takes is for Tina to softly say, 'We can do this, right?' and I suddenly feel like I can jump off a bridge."

    I don't know how you guys reacted to that line, but when I read it I had to put the book down and immediately send a text to my best friend telling her I loved her. That's the effect Amy Poehler's book had on me: it taught me how to do what I wanted, how to feel good about myself, how to deal with whatever terrible things life throws at you, and it reminded me to be kind.

    And it's pretty fucking funny, so there's that.

  • Kat O'Keeffe

    Fantastic! Amy Poehler is so funny and relatable and inspirational. I especially loved learning about how she got into comedy and improv (as that's something I'm interested in myself) and just her general attitude and perspective is so refreshing and positive. I actually listened to the audiobook for half of this and it was brilliant--Amy's narration just makes this extra fun and hilarious. Overall, this was an awesome memoir! (And the Parks and Rec bit at the end just gave me so many FEELINGS,

    Fantastic! Amy Poehler is so funny and relatable and inspirational. I especially loved learning about how she got into comedy and improv (as that's something I'm interested in myself) and just her general attitude and perspective is so refreshing and positive. I actually listened to the audiobook for half of this and it was brilliant--Amy's narration just makes this extra fun and hilarious. Overall, this was an awesome memoir! (And the Parks and Rec bit at the end just gave me so many FEELINGS, ugh it was painfully beautiful.)


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