Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Book Challenge: Meh

An Amy Poehler quote from her Smart Girls channel on YouTube. See more quotes here.
Amy Poehler is a very funny and wise woman. Unfortunately, I feel that her wit and wisdom are better suited to short segments than to the long form of an autobiography.

Title: Yes Please
Author: Amy Poehler
Pages: 329
My rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆  ☆

Category for the challenge: memoir for the three-genre section

Yes Please, Amy's autobiography, has received rave reviews and has a waiting list at most public libraries. That doesn't mean that it will be everyone's cup of tea, and it was not mine.

Actually, let me amend that: in the end, it was not my cup of tea. I say that because at first I loved the book. I even shared this status on our Facebook.

I still do want her to play me in the biopic of my life.

I enjoyed her pithy wisdom, such as this tidbit from her "how to use this book" section:
It's called "Yes Please" because it is the constant struggle and often the right answer. Can we figure out what we want, ask for it, and stop talking? Yes please [sic]. Is being vulnerable a power position? Yes please [sic]. Am I allowed to take up space? Yes please. Would you like to be left alone? Yes please [sic].
See that saucy, sarcastic finale? Those were my favourite parts of the book, when her saucy, sarcastic, foul-mouthed self shone through, or when she "broke through the fourth wall" (a theater metaphor for when actors address the audience or camera directly).
Maybe I should have called this book "Surf Your Life." The cover could feature a picture of me on a giant wave wearing a wizard hat. I wonder if it's too late. I'll make a call.
Maybe she should have. Because it really bothered me that there was no comma between the "yes" and the "please" as any Grammar Ninja can assure you ought to be there. It bothers me every time I write about the book and every time she refers to it. As you can tell from my liberal sprinkling of "sic" in the first pull quote.

There are lots of good bits in this book that I just didn't relate to because I haven't actually seen a lot of her work. I've only seen Saturday Night Live sporadically and I've only watched one episode of Parks and Recreation, so I frequently felt like I should be reviewing excerpts on YouTube. In fact, I might really have enjoyed the book more if I'd done so.

Even without the context, though, Amy is a good writer and there is plenty of sage insight in the book. Best consumed in small doses, I think.

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