Friday, November 27, 2015

A Review of 'Yes Please' by Amy Poehler (Audio Book)

"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."

This was delightful to listen to, at least most of the time.  On my mom's and my brief trip to Iowa (you can see that post HERE), we put this in the car stereo and it was excellent to sit and laugh until our bellies hurt.  I love listening to autobiographies of well-known people because then, at least in my eyes, celebrities become people.  I think it can be easy to think that if someone is funny or a comedian, they're happy people with happy lives, and that's not always the 100% truth.  So listening to Amy Poehler was a nice reminder of that.  Amy doesn't live a life filled with hardship, but she's had her experiences.  But this isn't the main thing that I will take away from Amy Poehler's "Yes Please."

She does have some good nuggets in this book.  Her advice "Good for you, not for me" resonated with me because it reminds me that we as people are not exactly the same.  She mentioned the phrase while talking about the birth of her first child, but since I'm not at that point in my life right now, I've interpreted this a little differently.  I think you can apply this phrase to anything.  For example: my career aspirations.  I know full well that many, many people are looking for those who studied and majored in some kind of science in college.  Physics, biology, chemistry... whatever it is.  But 1) I suck at science, even if I find it fascinating at times and 2) I tend to get bored while studying science of most kinds, even though I find science interesting outside of an academic setting.  Good for you, those who love and enjoy science and have prospects in one of those fields of work, but not for me.  I've got some English teaching to do.

She had some creative ways to talk about difficult parts of her life that she still wasn't totally comfortable sharing with the world.  For example, her divorce.  I think the only reason she felt she needed to mention her divorce at all was because both she and her ex-husband are public figures.  You know it happened, but you don't necessarily know the details.  And that's okay.  We shouldn't need the details.  But I think Amy handled it as maturely as possible.  She up with book titles related to her divorce if she were ever to write a book  about it (but she probably won't, because as she said, writing a book is hard).  The reason why I say she did this maturely is because the book titles she came up with reflected her feeling about going through divorce without pointing fingers or airing their dirty laundry.  Amy was in control of her story and her situation.

One of the more moving parts that I read, and unfortunately it was towards the end, was when she talked about her outreach trip to Haiti after they experienced an earthquake shattering their already fragile infrastructure.  Even when she was just observing, my heartstrings were being tugged repeatedly because she was observing with the eye of a mother.  When she visited the Haitian orphanage and saw child after child who desperately needed someone-- literally anyone-- to love and care for them.  It' devastating to listen to, although not as devastating as if we were to experience that ourselves in person.

The ending got a little bit preachy when she talked about how phones and modern technology we use daily (smart phones, laptops, etc.) are taking over the world.  In an autobiography about Amy Poehler, I would have liked to hear about another part of her life, not hear Amy get up on her soap box, if that makes sense.

Overall, this was enjoyable to listen to, but after a certain point, the order of the chapters felt strange and I think that contributed to the feeling of this book dragging on.  And this isn't a super long book to begin with.

I give 'Yes Please':
Thanks for Reading!


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