Published by Dey St. on October 28, 2014
Length: 7 hours, 31 minutes
Source: I listened to this audiobook via my TuneIn Premium subscription.
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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.
Even though I’ve always enjoyed Amy Poehler’s work, I’m not such a super huge fan where Yes Please was on my “absolutely must read/cannot miss” list. I’m so glad I finally got around to it, though, and I’m even more happy that I chose to listen to the audiobook, which Poehler narrates.
The audiobook is an experience. It has this part memoir, part podcast feel to it, and the final chapter was recorded live at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in Los Angeles. Throughout the audiobook, there are cameo voice appearances by her parents, her friends, colleagues, and stars such as Seth Myers, Kathleen Turner, Carol Burnett, and…PATRICK STEWART!!! (Need I say more?!)
I love that Poehler mentions politicians who came on Saturday Night Live and speaks about them in a fond, neutral way, no matter their political affiliations. So many memoirists take that as an opportunity to sneak in a jab, but Poehler truly seems to set any differences aside and just enjoy the encounter. Classy.
She is wise. She’s level-headed and kind-hearted. She’s empowering. As evidence, here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:
“I believe great people do things before they are ready.”
“You don’t have to treat people badly to be on top.”
“Decide what your currency is going to be, let go of what you’ll never have.”
“Your career and your passion don’t always have to match up.”
“Stick up for yourself like you would for your friends.”
And most importantly, regarding women-on-women crime (like mommy wars):
“Good for her, not for me.”
Poehler talks about the importance of apologizing without trying to
make excuses explain yourself. She suggests when you know you’re wrong, just apologize, even though that can be scary and painful. She offers herself up as an example, and includes two sample apology letters: one from the brain, one from the heart. It’s beautiful. Poehler also discusses “tragedy porn” and looks into the reasons we seek it out. That section was insightful, and I love that she gave some positive alternate suggestions.
I found her comments on improv surprisingly relevant to me as a musician and music teacher. It sounds very similar to playing chamber music: “Leave no man behind!”
Speaking of music, there’s a lovely section where she talks about inheriting her grandfather’s organ. Then she sings to her readers while playing the organ!
Poehler has a wonderfully clear speaking voice; I wish she would narrate more audiobooks. If you’re thinking about reading Yes Please, I can’t recommend the audiobook highly enough. I laughed a lot. I thought a lot. It was simply fantastic.
PS: If you haven’t watched all of Parks & Recreation, there are some spoilers in Part 3.