Yes Please by Amy Poehler

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06/03/15

For my first venture into Audible land, I selected this title. Tooteth my horn I shall, as it was a bloody excellent choice. A little bit on audiobooks to begin. Who knew? They seem to be a fabulous idea, I’ve loved carrying my tablet around with me the past few days like a literary limpet, having Amy’s voice narrate my life as I draw a bath, make a cup of tea or clean the house. I’d probably dismissed the format in the past due to my stubborn love for physical copies, and the immense satisfaction one derives from running ones fingers across the spines of neatly-arranged contemporary fiction. Is there a term for this? Taking bibliophile to new disturbing levels. Anyway, all systems go for my Audible account.

Yes Please is a wonderfully funny collection of stories. I would very much recommend this book to any fans of the woman herself, improvised comedy, Tina Fey, or anybody curious about the surprising amount of genuine life advice that hits home amongst Amy’s stories. A particular shout out to the fans of Parks & Recreation (my pretties.) So let me take this opportunity to express my love for Leslie Knope. She is undoubtedly one of my favourite characters in television. Even in my Season One hesitancies – in her early stages of development she was dramatically ditsier and unrelentingly wide-eyed to the point of ignorance – she grew over the years to become this wonderful, indefatigably positive, determined, funny creature. I wish I shared her strength. Though I do share her unwavering love for breakfast foods. Anytime I have waffles, I think of Leslie. With the spirit of Pawnee, anytime I see some form of investment in my home town, like a new university building or an unusually attractive lamppost, I think of Leslie. Anytime I go to a park, Leslie. Anytime I recreate, boom. Incidentally I am currently living in worrying denial as I continue to postpone my viewing of the final series of Parks & Recreation. Final? Nope.

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This book could be a most effective coping mechanism, in saying that. It’s certainly not an “all-aspects-splayed” kind of autobiography, it’s more of a joyful recollection of the stories Ms Poehler wants to tell, the ones she feels she can derive nuggets of advice from. It’s silly and wildly funny, but also incredibly sensible and thoughtful in its conclusions. “Manners are the secret keys to the universe.” It’s a wonderful balance of self-praise and self-deprecation, one which I aspire to strike at some point in my own life. My particular favourite sections, in no particular order as the hilarity is perfectly unrelenting, are the following: 1) The Parks & Rec Cast. Amy offers a little dedication to each main member of the P&R cast, with adorable fondness. Facts we may not know about them, the times she laughed the hardest, and her favourite memories with them. I nearly wept. Let’s just say I may have been chopping onions at the time. Sweet, poignant onions. 2) Sex tips (for all, but aimed primarily at the over 80s). Concise and brutal, she is not afraid to truth-bomb the hell out of a chapter. 3) Discussing Leslie Knope’s ‘ridiculous alternative surnames’ with Michael Schur. Leslie Knobody, anyone? 4) Abel & Archie Arnett. Fairly side-stepping the details of her divorce, Amy talks of her pregnancies and motherhood so intimately and adorably. Extremely touching.

As if her honeyed-apple-pie slightly-Bostonian twang weren’t enough to delight your narrative senses (I sincerely think she should narrate children’s books) we have some guest stars in the midst of Yes Please. Including – I jest not – Carol Burnett, Kathleen Turner, Patrick Stewart, Seth Meyers, and even Amy’s parents. Pay particular attention to the advice of William and Eileen Poehler, you won’t regret it. And as is expected, there are anecdotes-aplenty, including vodka-related ageing advice with Betty White, and a chance encounter with Robert Downey Junior in a small café, where Amy pitched to him her idea for a small indie film named Iron Man

I cannot recommend this audiobook enough. I haven’t laughed so hard at a book in a long time, and I’ve read the finest erotic fiction that English pounds can buy. In all sincerity, I’ll leave you with a section on demons, and I’ll be damned if you don’t take any new sense of inner-happiness from this:

“Hopefully as you get older, you start to learn how to live with your demon. It’s hard at first. Some people give their demon so much room that there is no space in their head or bed for love. They feed their demon and it gets really strong and then it makes them stay in abusive relationships or starve their beautiful bodies. But sometimes, you get a little older and get a little bored of the demon. Through good therapy and friends and self-love you can practice treating the demon like a hacky, annoying cousin. Maybe a day even comes when you are getting dressed for a fancy event and it whispers, “You aren’t pretty,” and you go, “I know, I know, now let me find my earrings.” Sometimes you say, “Demon, I promise you I will let you remind me of my ugliness, but right now I am having hot sex so I will check in later.”

Rosie’s Review: 9 Audibles of 10.

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