I have admired Amy Poehler for years. I watched her on Saturday Night Live, in movies like Baby Mama, and now I am introducing my boys to Parks and Recreation (one of them LOVES it, the other is indifferent). I follow her Smart Girls group. So, I am ashamed that it took me so long to listen to this book. I really wish I had gotten to it sooner.
Listening to Yes Please was an exercise of compare and contrast. Like Amy, I grew up in the 70s and 80s, I’m in my 40s, and I am the mother of two boys. I laughed and nodded my head to her talk of her childhood memories and of raising boys. I strongly related to those things. But unlike Amy, I was not so bold in striking out on my own and establishing a career. The way she forged her career and the Upright Citizens Brigade, first in Chicago and then in New York, was both brave and naive. As someone who, up until now, has always followed a safer path, I admire that fearless action.
And yet, she also talks of embracing herself and her uniqueness as she became a mother and reached her 40s. She talks about the importance of friends and relationships. I can also relate to this. I have felt such a breaking of chains and a willingness to fly (and to love myself) as I have reached my 40s. And this has allowed me to build strong friendships. It can be a liberating time. I appreciate how she is passing this on to women and girls of all ages through her work and Amy’s Smart Girls. Another reason I admire her.
I highly recommend Yes Please as an audio book instead of the print version. I am sure the print version is also very good, but listening to Amy adds to the experience. Also, the little bits of Patrick Stewart reading haikus are worth the price of admission. There is some vulgarity, so if that offends you, consider this a warning. But, if you are looking for a funny and brutally honest commentary on life, this is book you will enjoy.
Book: Yes Please
Author: Amy Poehler
Publisher: Harper Audio
Date Published: October 28, 2014
Narrator: Amy Poehler (with special guests)
Source: Audible (my own collection)