Updated on May 24, 2015
11. ‘Yes Please’ by Amy Poehler
Obviously I’m a huge fan of Parks and Recreation, the excellent American comedy show starring (and produced by) Amy Poehler. Then she wrote a book about her life and I leapt on it like Leslie Knope on waffles. Yes Please is that book, and it’s really good.
I’m not a very expressive reader. If you were to watch me reading a book, you usually wouldn’t be able to tell whether I’m enjoying it or not, or even whether the story is happy or sad. I have one fixed expression (although I’ll occasionally express disgust), I’ve never cried at a book (although I did tear up a little at Jane Eyre), and I only very rarely laugh out loud at something I’ve read. So take it as high praise that I let out a couple of amused snorts during Yes Please.
This isn’t so much an autobiography as a collection of life lessons, essays and funny bits. Poehler shares her thoughts on body image (she thinks she’s quite plain looking but is OK with it), childbirth (including her own) and divorce (messy, painful but absolutely the right thing to do). In between these funny and poignant lessons, she describes her early life, how she got into the comedy circuit, and her time at Saturday Night Live and Parks and Recreation. Obviously there’s a chapter about Tina Fey, Poehler’s best friend whose book, Bossypants, I have also read.
Yes Please is a very pleasant book to read. Poehler’s life philosophy is heart-warming and, in general, I agree with it: you have to learn to accept change because it will happen all the time, try to admit your own flaws, and do your best to laugh and be happy.
If you want an honest, occasionally snort-out-loud funny insight into Amy Poehler’s brain, you’ll love it.
“Is there a word for when you are young and pretending to have lived and loved a thousand lives?”
Want to read this? You can buy the book here.