First things first: 2014 has been a crazy year. Amidst writing my dissertation, teaching, facing health issues that (thankfully) have been resolved, and unexpectedly having to buy a new car, it’s been hard to believe that I could fit in 52 books this year. And yet I have managed to double that number. I credit pretending that Netflix does not exist in order to spend more time reading in bed, as well as discovering that I *do* like audiobooks on my 90-mile drive to work/school. I am deeply grateful to this community for pushing me to read and to write about reading. You all are so very, very kind.
Now: let’s talk about what you all came to read. Ever since I read Bossypants and Is Everyone Hanging Out without Me?, I’ve been waiting eagerly for Amy Poehler’s memoir. And then I waited on a list while my library cycled through everyone ahead of me. And then I got the magical email on Monday. I forced myself not to tear into the book right away and read all night, because I wanted to savor it.
And savor it I did. Every word. Amy Poehler is not as fluid a writer as Tina Fey, but there’s something so real about her, that it feels as if she’s actually talking to you. Much as I love Fey, I get the sense that Bossypants presents a very carefully-selected side of her. Yes Please, however, feels like Amy is telling you about her, warts and all. I give her credit for discussing the SNL skit that made fun of cognitively disabled individuals and the guilt and shame that prevented her from apologizing for five years. You can tell that she found catharsis and grace in sharing this story. Plus, her anecdotes of growing up, improv, SNL, and beyond have shown what a rich and fortunate life she has created for herself.
I give this five stars, because I enjoyed it so much. It’s not as cohesive as Bossypants, but it’s a great time, and it makes me love Amy Poehler as a celebrity and a person. I think the anecdotes work, because her writerly voice is engaged and energetic. May she carry off Parks and Recreation into a glorious sunset and bring us something equally wonderful.