I think that I’ve reached the point in my life where I have to admit that I just don’t like memoirs (or books of essays) written by comedians.
Part of me thinks that I just prefer my comedy writing in small doses because I’m some sort of grinch, but I suspect the real reason is that I don’t enjoy having joke after joke lobbed at me over 200+ pages.
And don’t get me wrong! I really like Amy Poehler the person. She’s absolutely delightful (as she tells you over and over again in Yes Please, that and that she’s omgsoTINY). Amy herself is fine. Amy the writer…kind of annoyed me.
In between nuggets of wisdom – there were quite a few! – and genuinely endearing anecdotes or interjections by her friends I found myself rushing through the pages, just wanting to finish the book rather than savor it. And I hate that. When I feel my eyes slipping and skipping sentences just to get to the end of the page I feel a lump of regret that either the book is wasted on me or that I’m wasting my time on the book. Neither of those are an outcome that I want when I settle into a book that I was really excited to read.
But! I’ll take a page from Leslie Knope and look at the bright side. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book!
Decide what your currency is early. Let go of what you will never have.
Shame is difficult. It’s a weapon and a signal. It can paralyze and motivate. My friend Louis CK likes to say that “guilt is an intersection.” Getting out of it means making a choice and moving forward.
(Also great advice! And a reminder that I’ve had some Brené Brown on my to-read list for about a thousand years.)
Remember, the talking about the thing isn’t the thing. The doing of the thing is the thing.
In the end…I’m super indifferent about the book. The casual racism was offputting, as was the constant (and I know, I know, deliberate) complaining about how hard writing a book is. I almost would have preferred if she had just complained that her diamond shoes were too tight and just called it a day.
Anyway! Amy = awesome. Yes Please = meh. Have you read it? What did you think?
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