I decided to add Yes Please by Amy Poehler to my to be read list a while ago and I am not really sure why. I am not a huge fan of celebrity autobiographies or Amy Poehler. I like her in Parks and Recreation but apart from that I thought I hadn’t actually seen her in much (I was wrong. Turns out I have seen loads of her stuff but just hadn’t actually known it was her!) Anyway I think I decided to read this book after coming across a Buzzfeed “20 books to read in your 20s” list and you know what, I am glad I read that list because otherwise I would not have picked up this book. This book brought me so much pleasure. I laughed, I got angry, I felt thankful and I, on a few occasions I shouted out “On yursel hen” whilst driving through rush hour traffic. I listened to the audiobook for this book and I can not imagine any better way to have consumed this book. This book is an example of how audiobooks should be done!
I am not to sure what to call this book. Autobiography doesn’t really work. While I learned a great deal about Amy Poehler’s early career you don’t really get to hear a lot of the nitty details of her life. I cant retell you many stories from her childhood or a large number of stories linked to her experience as a mother. An element of distance remains between the reader and Poehler and I liked this. Instead what the reader is given is a selection of lessons Poehler has learned throughout her life. Naturally these lessons are accompanied by a life experience that help to give the lesson context, but the story is not why your invested, her life lesson is what draws you in. This book is split in to a series of essays each with a different theme. I found this a wonderful way to absorb this book. Each essay is short and packed full of information. Its hard to draft away. Although this book isn’t about comedy, this book is funny and heart warming. Every day when I got into my car and turned Audible on I felt like I was sitting on the couch having a cup of tea and a catch up with a friend. This book is so approachable and welcoming and I think a large amount of this is down to the humour that emanates from every page.
Yes Please makes for an absolutely fantastic listen and there are a few reasons for this. Amy Poehler herself reads the audiobook and a lot of work has gone into making sure she is able to engage with the listener. This feels a lot more like a podcast rather than an audio book. The last chapter is read live, which is nice. Elements of the book have defiantly been rewritten for the audio recording. Poehler repeatedly refers to her “home made Audio studio” and interacts with the listener in a way I just cant imagine working in print. There are also a number of guest stars that appear in the book these include Patrick Stewart, Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers, Michael Schur, Kathleen Turner, and most importantly Poehler’s parents. This, somewhat short audio book, definitely packs a lot in. This audio book is more than just a reading, it is a performance. (I hope at some point to write about the performativity of audio books, I just need to find time to sit down and do it!)
I am so glad I added this book to my woman’s month. It brought a wonderful spark of life into my daily commutes and I will defiantly re listen to this book time and time again. In fact I would go as far to say, after The King Killer Chronicles this may be one of my all time favourite audio books. I have also finished Caitlin Moran’s How to Build a Gril more about that in the next few days.