I don’t read books often. If you ever see me reading a book, it’s because somebody I really admire wrote it. As an obsessive Amy Poehler fan, you can imagine my excitement when I found out she was writing a book. As a fan of Amy and her work on Parks and Recreation and Saturday Night Live, I had incredibly high expectations for a hilarious and heartwarming book. Amy Poehler took my expectations and shattered them completely.
Amy’s book, Yes Please, is an honest, hilarious, and heartwarming collection of lists, pictures, and short stories about Amy’s life. There are stories from the day she’s born all the way until she’s almost done writing the book. The book itself is so colorful. There are pictures throughout the book that look like they’re taped in, like a scrapbook. It’s divided into three sections, “SAY Whatever You Want”, “DO Whatever You Like”, and “BE Whoever You Are”. In between some chapters, there are big colored pages with pieces of advice. Some of my favorites are –
- Nobody looks stupid when they’re having fun
- Other people are not medicine
- Nothing is anyone’s business
- Like who likes you
- Short people do not like being picked up
Much of the book is dedicated to Amy’s history with improvisation. Improv has had such a large impact on Amy’s life that it’s natural that she would dedicate multiple chapters talking about it. After doing improv in college (which she talks about) and Chicago (which she talks about), Amy and Matt Besser, Matt Walsh, and Ian Roberts moved to New York City and started the Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theatre (which she talks about). Amy’s writing style and passion for improv is enough to convince anyone to go take a class, and enough to make this UCB fan/student/intern get really excited when reading Yes Please in public.
Amy isn’t the only person who writes in the book. Seth Meyers has a guest chapter, Amy’s parents each write their own small chunk, the creator of Parks and Recreation, Mike Schur, writes a little bit in the book, and there’s even a part for you yourself to write something. There also are a couple of fun little mini parts of the book that Amy writes, my favorite being her acrostic poem about Tina Fey.
Reading Yes Please felt like my best friend put together a zine for me that was filled with pictures, funny stories, and really good advice to get me through a rough time. It might seem like a self-help book, but that’s only because Amy is really good at giving advice. Amy’s writing makes it seem like she wrote the book specifically for you to read, enjoy, laugh, and ugly cry at. I cried several times reading the book, and then very quickly started laughing. There’s a part of the book where Amy says that she believes going from laughing to crying and back to laughing very quickly can add years to your life, so I think she did that on purpose.
I cannot possibly recommend this book enough. I don’t care if you’re a huge Amy Poehler fan or you’ve never heard of her until you started reading this, you will enjoy this book. You can buy Yes Please here and then once you finish reading it please come and find me and talk to me about it.