Last year, I went to the craziness that was known as BookCon and saw Amy Poehler and Martin Short in a panel talking about their respective books that were coming out. It was a good panel, and they were funny and charming, and though Amy Poehler was not a mainstay in my day to day life, I enjoy SNL and thought her book sounded funny and interesting, so it went onto my mental list.
Cut to last week, when the Ford Audiobook group here on Goodreads offered this up for free, and I snagged a copy. And then I listened to it on my flights to and from San Francisco this week.
So. The book was good, though I wonder how different the experience of listening to this is compared to reading it. The audiobook has a kind of backstage feel that I don't see the print version having. For instance, Amy refers many times to her personal audio studio that she had built, and she talked to the guest readers in a way that felt very... unscripted and organic. If that makes sense. And I just don't see those kinds of conversations originating in print and translating to audio, while still keeping the feel and tone of real honest-to-goodness friends having a good time in the moment while the mics are live.
Some of it, like the bits with Kathleen Turner, I could totally see being scripted and written into the book. There's a sense of whimsy there, which would be cute and fun in print, but is even more so when Kathleen Turner actually participates. Ditto with Patrick Stewart, whose involvement, slight as it was, was muy happymaking for me. I love him.
But the bits with Seth Meyers and Mike Schur felt like they were friends having a good time, with occasional readings. There was a lot of laughter and in-jokes, and it felt real... so I think that the audio of this is likely to be a more engaging and lively experience than just reading it would be. But I don't know for certain, because I haven't read it - only listened.
I also think that Amy reading her own book helped her personality come through, and made the segments of the book where she talked about how hard it is to write one, and her writing process and the almost buyer's remorse-like feelings of "what the hell did I get myself into??" feel charming and relateable to me, rather than feeling like a whine-fest, as it could have. Text is a hard medium, and can be interpreted many ways, so giving it the tone and inflection of audio helps to convey things the way it was intended.
Amy is a skit writer. She writes for performance, and that comes across very clearly here. Her prose was not amazing, and though there were some touching moments, it never felt especially deep or insightful, and it felt sketchy - in the vignette-y way, not the "Who is this man following me down the street at 1am??" kind of way. But I don't know that it was supposed to be deep or insightful, honestly, and I didn't go into it looking for that, but it did jump around quite a bit and feel pretty random and unfocused at times. But in a kind of charming way.
Anyway... I don't think that this book was perfect, by any stretch. But it was enjoyable, and mostly did what it set out to do, which was talk about Amy's career and how she got to be where she is by actively engaging in her life and being willing to take chances and go for it and working hard. So it makes sense that she has little patience for those who want to just drop a script in her lap - or anyone's lap - and wait for the fortune and fame to come rolling in. It reminded me of this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGWxLroGx8Q
A must read. I listened to the audio book, and loved it so much I bought the book. The audio version with star-studded cameos with have you laughing throughout, the hardcover version is a visual treat. Buy both.
Amy Poehler should be every little girl's role model, and Yes Please is the quintessential answer to why. With casual wit, she interlaces delightful anecdotes, universal and personal insights, and the secrets to being successful in pretty much anything. Poehler is approachable and honest, leaving the reader wanting to be her best friend.
Seriously, I think she and I would be the best of friends. She's funny, and smart, and seems like a genuinely good person and a good mom. She has stayed humble despite her fame, and is still a little self-conscious and brave enough to share it in her book. I loved the stories about her time on SNL. I laughed out loud several times throughout and fell even further in love with Parks & Rec, my favorite show. She's a funny, funny woman. I want to hang out with her and listen to more stories. Love you, Amy!
This biography has a little bit of everything of Amy Poehler life experiences. The chapters are written frank and very candidly. If your a fan of Amy you can definitely hear her voice in the writting. You can pick up this book at the Colona Public Library! ~Ashley