Sunday, March 1, 2015

Be Your Own Book Club: Yes, Please by Amy Poehler

The February Be Your Own Book Club selection was Yes, Please by Amy Poehler.  I waited for longer than I thought I would to read this book.  The timing never seemed right.  I'm glad I saved it, because I really loved reading it during the month that held a star studded SNL reunion and the Parks and Recreation finale, because I would literally watch those things with the book held open on my lap.  It felt like a backstage pass.

I found the book to be lovely and dishy and I heard Amy Poehler's voice the entire time.  As I read through, I realized that I really liked the parts about career more than family.  Even though I loved her chapter about insecurity with your physical appearance and also her owning up to mistakes she had made, I was more invested when she was talking about being friends Maya Rudolph and hungover with Keenan Thompson. I also live in Massachusetts and one of my best friends is from Burlington, so I got really excited with all the local mentions.  My high school theater teacher has always insisted that he lived in a house with Amy Poehler when they both went to Boston College, and when she mentioned "Kara and I moved with with a bunch of men and women off campus..." I almost jumped out of the bathtub.

I read the Parks and Rec chapter laying on the couch, tearful, waiting for the finale of my favorite television show.  Most of my favorites I find later, after the run, and I was so proud to be watching this show in real time, and celebrate the finale with other people on Twitter who were also calling everyone poetic, noble land mermaids and singing one liners a la Jean Ralphio. Leslie Knope is my favorite thing Amy Poehler has ever done besides Smart Girl At The Party (I feel that particular organization holds her name more than her heart, honestly).  The notes about how the characters and style developed were little gems, particularly on that night.

I lied about liking the career stuff more than the family stuff. I read the chapter about Amy taking her children on moon hunts while my own two were rolling all over me and I cried.  THAT was my favorite.  I love how she talks about her love splitting her open and wanting to eat her kids.  I KNOW! Additionally, I have a few mother wives of my own, and they keep me alive.

The book had a few drawbacks for me personally.   I found it disjointed.  Nothing moves in the chronological order of her life, which is in no way necessary for this style of memoir, but I felt like we were jumping around a lot.  There was also a lot of stream of consciousness writing, which made it hard to quote the book.  I kept wanting to pull a quote for social media, but then I would realize that the awesome feeling I was getting was cumulative.  Each chapter was like a sketch, and you needed what came before to understand the punchline.  Again, the style sounded like Amy Poehler, worked perfectly for the book, and screw me if it doesn't work for my Facebook status.

I know a lot of you lovely ladies were following along this month, and I loved seeing you post your pictures and quotes!  I'm going to pose some questions that I would love for you to answer in the comments.  If you followed along this month or are planning to in the future, please drop me a line so I can see what kind of interest we have.  

1. What was your favorite chapter in this book and why?  Did you lean more towards her career or personal discussions?

2. Were you familiar with a lot of Amy Poehler's work before you read this?  Do you have a favorite performance or character?

3. DID YOU KNOW SHE WAS DATING NICK KROLL?  Do I live under a rock or something?

4. If you could be one of the following celebrities mentioned in the book, which one would you be and why?  Choices: Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph, Louis CK, Chris Pratt, Seth Myers, Aziz Ansari.  IT HAS TO BE ONE OF THESE.  Or someone else, if you have a good reason.  (I think I would be Maya Rudolph.  She's hilarious and gorgeous and married to Paul Thomas Anderson and I really like that she can split the difference between hilarity and dramatic roles.)

5. What do you want to read in March?  Or any other month of the year?  More book recs, please!

I'll announce the March selection and have a decent start to a reading list later this week! Thank you for reading with me, you beautiful, rule breaking moths. xo

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At March 4, 2015 at 10:19 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

Hi! Since I haven't read this book yet I skipped most of this post heehe, but I wanted to mention before I forget that I've been meaning to read Never Let Me Go but have never really found an excuse to. So far that's my only suggestion but I'll keep thinking :)

At March 11, 2015 at 6:20 AM , Blogger ashlie said...

YES! This is perfect. I'm in desperate need of suggestions. And I think you'll like Yes Please as a beach read :)


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