Decide what your currency is early. Let go of what you will never have. People who do this are happier and sexier.
3.5 stars. I adore Amy Poehler’s sense of humor. Having listened to Yes Please as an audiobook, I am not sure if the physical book includes things like her chat and introduction of Seth Meyers (who narrated one chapter) or her discussions with her parents, so I highly suggest the audiobook format. Poehler’s personality brought the words to life and her tone was so wonderfully soothing and captivating; her deadpan approach to jokes and serious topics alike forced me to pay more attention than I would typically give an audiobook. This memoir covered a rambling slew of topics, including (but definitely not limited to) Poehler’s life story, the importance of self-image, the aging process, motherhood, Hollywood’s lack of female superheroes, and her days at SNL and Parks and Rec.
Yes Please did an excellent job of mixing humor with encouragement and self-empowerment. This theme ran solidly from the preface (Poehler lamenting the terrible writing process, while telling the reader to “just get sh*t done” without the need for it to be perfect) through to the end (we will only survive by being nice, no matter how great the machines become). I particularly loved Poehler’s chapter discussing our inner “demon” voice of negativity and the importance of accepting who you are. Many self-help books discuss this, but her honest depiction of her own experiences and her approach to “fighting off the demon” were humorously persuasive.
Being only in my late 20s, I want to come back to this down the road for a few specific parts. Her haikus to plastic surgery (literal haikus) and her discussions of childbirth (“I have the Angelina Jolie of vaginas.”) had me laughing out loud, and I imagine their relevance and relatability only increases with age. Mixed in with this hilarity is some genuine motivational discussions of childbirth and the aging process. I distinctly identified with her objections to asking young people “what are you going to do?”, which she insists only makes them feel as if they have yet to accomplish anything at all. In fact, her assertion that you are only just discovering who you are when you reach your 40s was incredibly comforting.
I listened to this in bits and pieces as I found I began to lose focus if I tried to listen to more than a chapter at a time. She goes into a great deal of detail on her memories of SNL and Parks and Rec, and while I both love and have watched an excessive amount both shows, I found it to drag a tad. There was however such a drastic difference between chapters that it was easy to pick up and jump right back in. For anyone who finds Poehler funny, wants to know more about her life, or wants some honestly good advice about life and its challenges, this is an excellent audiobook.