Tag Archives: Amy Poehler

Book Review: Yes Please by Amy Poehler (3/5)

14 Jan

The last book I received from the Ford Audiobook Club was Amy Poehler’s Yes Please. I’d thought about reading this one and a free copy was a great way to get me to take the plunge. I’ve read Tina Fey’s Bossypants and loved it so I was excited about Amy’s book. My husband and I were unable to get a library book for our Christmas and New Years drives, so picking this one worked great.

Cover image via Goodreads

Cover image via Goodreads

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

Summary from Goodreads:

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 by.

It must be really hard to be famous, and I don’t mean that sarcastically. The Amy Poehler I’m most familiar with is Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation though the many-faced actress from SNL is another one I love. I don’t know the Amy who divorced Will Arnett or that struggled to make it in Chicago while waitressing. What we see of famous people is the rosy side of them that they want us to see. Amy’s book showed me the dirtier side as well. She wasn’t afraid to give her readers a look at her low moments (divorce, drug use, delayed apologies) or shift the focus away from herself, normally to other SNL cast members. I guess I wanted Poehler to be a bit more empowering than she was or talk more about Parks and Rec, but it’s not my book. It was funny at times and a good memoir, but honestly, it wasn’t my favorite.

Amy was very honest about everything she wrote about, maybe a little too honest. But it was refreshing. I’ve read a few memoirs where it feels like the main character is leaving something out that he or she is trying to hide while being open about everything else. The only thing Poehler didn’t get into was her divorce from Will Arnett, but I felt that was appropriate. It’s part of Will’s privacy as much as hers. The book wasn’t a platform for her to air her dirty laundry and I appreciate that she didn’t treat it that way.

Amy was easy to relate to. She grew up in a working-class family and the way she recalled her childhood reminded me of mine. She had supportive parents though I don’t think mine would have supported me moving to Chicago to try to get work acting. She has great friends who love and support her. I was surprised how close she is with Seth Meyers but I think SNL would be an experience that brings people together. She was very honest about things she loves (her kids, the moon, her parents) and how she feels about being where she is now. She worked hard to get where she is today and while she doesn’t demand that others respect her for it, she’s not going to let anyone ride her coattails to the top. She believes you have to work hard to get what you want, just like she did.

Amy Poehler Image via OK Magazine

Amy Poehler
Image via OK Magazine

The stories about Amy’s kids touched me the most. So often, I feel that a celebrity’s life takes a back seat to his or her career but Amy made a point of her kids coming first in her life. With her and Will’s busy schedules, I’m sure this isn’t easy, but she made it seem that spending quality time with them doing uniquely mother/son things was a priority and I appreciated that. She always commented on her famous friends relationships with their spouses and children and I liked that a lot. It made her seem very normal.

I didn’t think I’d say this, but my least favorite part of the book was the chapter Amy used to talk about Tina Fey. The media always puts the two together because they both came from Second City, had massive careers on SNL, and have been successful since, but I get the impression they have other friends that mean more in their lives and the sentiments seemed forced. I believed her remarks about Louis CK a lot more than the acrostic poem to Tina Fey.

Having Poehler read her own book aloud was a great touch. There were bits that I’m sure didn’t make the book such as her banter with Seth Meyers and the asides while she read the final chapter in front of an audience. I’m not sure her tone and inflection would have come across in words alone and I think a lot of Poehler’s humor is in the delivery. I’m glad I experienced the book this way.

One of the mantra’s Poehler repeated was “Good for you, not for me” and that was one I could take a lot away from. We don’t have to imitate another person because what they did is worthy of praise and recognition. That’s their thing and my thing can be different. Home birth worked for Maya Rudolph, Amy needed drugs and a hospital. I’m not very good at this mantra. When I see someone do something and I respect it or think it looks cool. I want to do that thing, too. I need to remember to do things for myself and not for the fictional person I could be.

Writer’s Takeaway: Amy’s honesty is admirable. I sometimes feel people hold back and wonder what those who know them personally will think of the memoir. Amy, on the other hand, talks about her favorite kinds of porn and the drugs she’s taken. No smoke and mirrors here! I think those that prepare to write a memoir need to be real with themselves about what is going to need to come out in the story. If you don’t need to write about the time you were in college or the years you did questionable things, that’s great, but don’t skip something important because it’s embarrassing. Tell the whole truth like Amy did.

Fun and funny but not as much of either as I would have liked. Three out of Five stars.

Because it’s my frist book of the year, this book fulfilled the ‘2000-Present’ time period in the When Are You Reading? Challenge. One down, eleven to go!

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
Review: Yes Please | The Literary Omnivore
Yes Please by Amy Poehler | Coven Book Club

WWW Wednesday, 6-January-2016

6 Jan

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


MalalaCurrently reading:  I found a small amount of time to read I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai during some down time through the week. Nothing major and I doubt I’ll finish before it’s due next week. Let’s hope for another renewal.
I finally got to the main adventure in A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. I had a suspicion that it might involve Black London so no real surprise yet, but I’m excited to see what happens to Kell and Lila.
Small progress One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez again. I’m almost 30% through it according to Goodreads and that’s slow progress! I need this one finished by the end of January for the book club discussion that I’m running so fingers crossed I have some time to work on it.
Not much wit Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson again. It’s good, but I haven’t had a lot of time alone in the car to work through it. I’m hoping I find some soon because I can see the sinking coming but can’t wait to hear Lason’s details.

PleaseRecently finished: My first book of 2016 is already complete! On the way home from Columbus, we finished Yes Please by Amy Poehler. It was a good book and it was great to hear Amy narrate, but it didn’t blow me away. I’ll probably have a review up next week.

My book review of Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel went up last week. Expect a lot more from this book and author in the next few months as we get into the programming for the Great Michigan Read! I’m so excited.

PrincipeReading Next: Still planning on Harry Potter y el misterio del príncipe (Half-Blood Prince) by J.K. Rowling. I got my book club picks for one through June and there’s a lot of overlap between my other group and some picks I’ve already read. That means I feel good about finding time for books in the 2016 When Are You Reading? Challenge. It’s the only challenge I do where I have to pick books to be successful so it’s hard to plan around book clubs. I host this challenge and you can read the details on this page. I’d love to have you join.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 30-December-2015

30 Dec

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


PleaseCurrently reading:  I got to check out I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai and I had time to read it during lunch on Thursday, which was really nice. I got to read a bit before mass started on Christmas Eve, but that’s about it for the week. Not a great reading week in general.
I got through very little of A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. I was with my family and friends almost non-stop this past week so it wasn’t a good time for audiobooks.
We all stayed up late talking so there wasn’t much time before bed for One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I’m guessing y’all are feeling like the excuses are in abundance this week. They are.
Minimal progress (again) with Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson. I’m absolutely loving the story now but I have limited drive time. I hope this picked up in the new year.
My husband and I started a new audiobook for our long Christmas drive and New Years drive, Yes Please by Amy Poehler. I got the book through the Ford Audiobook Club before it ended. So far, it’s fun and enjoyable, though I liked Tina Fey’s better (just a bit).

Recently finished: Nothing finished. Poo. That’s what I get for all the traveling and family fun times.

And just one book review, Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee. I gave the book 4 out of 5 stars.

PrincipeReading Next: I put Harry Potter y el misterio del príncipe (Half-Blood Prince) by J.K. Rowling next to my bed. It’s pretty certain to be next. However, I’m hosting the 2016 When Are You Reading? Challenge so I might have to pick up some historical fiction books to fit the time periods. If you’re interested in joining, please let me know! I posted about it Monday and you can read the details on this page.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!