Book review: Yes Please

I don’t often read this kind of thing. I’ve never read an autobiography before and I’ve only ever read one biography (The Strangest Man, Graham Farmelo’s biography of the physicist Paul Dirac). However, when my friend M presented this to me for my birthday I knew instantly that I’d love it.

Yes Please by Amy Poehler. Something about reading this made me want coffee and muffins a lot. Could be a coincidence, mind.

Amy Poehler is not actually a comedian I’m very familiar with. I know she does Parks and Recreation but while it’s something I’ve always meant to watch I’ve never yet got around to it (if you read this blog much you’ll know I really struggle with watching TV). So, although I suspected I’d like her work I couldn’t really call myself a fan. Perhaps that’s a good position to be in when judging an autobiography.

I was right to suspect that I’d like her work, though. At one point I was in a coffee shop reading (see above) and a section made me laugh loudly. I texted M:

Me: I just laughed really loudly in a coffee shop and two old women turned round and glared at me. It’s all your fault because you got me that book. I hope you’re happy (Thank you) xx

M: Hahah! Yes! Glad you’re enjoying it 🙂 and laughing out loud in public might make one person glare but make another person smile! Not to sound too much like a quote photoshopped on a landscape.. X

I never laugh loudly in public. I pretty much have full control over my emotional expressions. There’s a slim chance I’ll giggle quietly to myself, but never loudly enough that someone else might notice. This is a rare event. Amy Poehler is one funny lady.

It also turns out that she’s had quite an interesting life and has met and worked with some incredible people. The things she talked about made me want to go back and dig out all her work, not just the Parks and Recreation stuff, to catch up, because I felt like I’d missed out on it.

Whilst it’s mostly her biography it’s also interspersed with thoughts on life and bits of advice. It’s not preachy and doesn’t take itself too seriously, but there’s plenty in there that made me think. I very rarely found myself disagreeing with her. There are one or two bits of her lifestyle that are based on questionable science with I’m not crazy about, but honestly, maybe she was joking about that? She is a comedian after all, she’s allowed.

In any case, it was a refreshingly positive read and one that I read surprisingly quickly, especially given that I groaned a bit when I saw the font size and realised it was actually a longer book than it was pretending to be. I have a bit of a thing against long books at the moment because I am busy and don’t have as much time as I want. Poehler got away with it for being extremely readble.

I’d recommend this to any fan of Amy Poehler, or even anyone who, like me, scarcely knew of her. I’d also recommend it to any fan of comedy in general. It will make you laugh.

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