Look, if you're going to write an autobiography, you need to have lived a pretty fascinating life. Politicians or high-up members of government, or people that have had a huge impact on the world, they tend to have really great autobiographies. So, who are you Amy Poehler? You were on a few TV shows and you had some kids? Doesn't it seem a bit pompous to write a book about oneself?
Tina Fey was in the same camp, just someone who was on television and had some kids, then decided to regale an audience with her various life experiences. And remember, Fey and Poehler are not people who even lived long lives and can thus offer wisdom of the ages. They're in their forties.
So when it comes down to it, these are both authors who really don't have much reason to publish an autobiography, and the cards are stacked against them in that it's almost impossible not to come off self-important. But Fey gets away with it, whereas, in my opinion, Poehler does not. Why?
The answer is simply, Fey's book is funnier. I'm not saying Yes Please is some kind of boring slog or that it's overly serious. It's a funny book, with lots of interesting little tidbits about Amy's life and career. I enjoyed a lot of it, but I think when all is said and done, if you're a 40-year-old comedian whose contributions to the world can be collected on a DVD shelf, you have to reach a particular threshold in hilariousness, and Fey just barely passes that threshold whole Poehler just barely does not.
So, overall, it's fine. If you really like Bossypants, there's a good chance you'll enjoy this. If you're a fan of Poehler in general, you'll definitely like it. Personally, I struggled to get through it a bit, and it didn't help that Poehler basically begins the book complaining about how hard it was to write and how unpleasant she found the whole experience - a fact that not only is brought up repeatedly through the book, but honestly just shows in the writing anyway.
Fey and Poehler are kind of joined at the hip - they hosted Weekend Update together, a lot of their movies star both of them, they host awards shows together, and so on. But I've always gotten this weird sense that Amy is the Funshine Bear to Tina's Grumpy Bear. Poehler seems to counterbalance Fey's dry sarcasm with a more earnest positivity. I could see preferring this book to Bossypants if you're generally a more positive person, but I like Fey's style and edge a bit more, and thus her book more as well.
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!