Tag Archives: tina fey

YES PLEASE by Amy Poehler

513gpyqm6bl-_sx324_bo1204203200_My family has been been on a Parks and Recreation binge over the last few months, so I’ve been watching a lot of Amy Poehler. I received an ARC of Yes Please when it came out last fall, but hadn’t gotten to it yet, so I decided to listen to it on audio a few weeks ago. Many hours of Amy Poehler in the car!

Yes Please is Poehler’s memoir about her childhood, her early years in comedy in Chicago, her time on SNL and (thankfully) her experience on Parks and Recreation. Along the way, Poehler shares her insights on being a working mom, her divorce (a little), her children, and some celebrity gossip from SNL and various awards shows. Yes Please is well-written and, if not chronological, at least loosely organized around themes and phases of Poehler’s life.

I read Tina Fey’s Bossypants 5 years ago (review here), and I just re-read my review of it. On the surface it sounds an awful lot like Yes Please. But I liked Poehler’s book better. I think there’s more substance, and more to take away from it. Maybe I identify more with Poehler, with her 80s childhood and her pop culture influences. Maybe it’s because it was narrated for me by Poehler. Regardless, I think it hangs together better as a book. Poehler is relatable and funny and imperfect. She is generous to others and grateful for their roles in her life. And part of her is Leslie Knope, and who doesn’t love Leslie Knope?

I could have done without all the whining about how hard it is to write a book.

Yes Please isn’t the deepest or most satisfying book I’ve read recently, but it was a lot of fun and certainly made my commute go by faster. As for the audio narration – it’s really fun to hear it all in Poehler’s voice. She has a few guest narrators – Seth Meyers, her parents, the creator of Parks and Recreation – but I like her solo sections the best.


BEA week is here! I am headed to NY on Wednesday for 2 days of BEA and one day of Book Blogger Conference this Friday. Can't wait! I am also speaking about social media on Thursday at BlogWorld, which is in the same building as BEA. If you're going to be at BEA, please let me know! I am looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones at BEA. Oh yeah, and the books too.

Bossypants So I am concluding that I really prefer fiction. I bought Tina Fey's Bossypants as an impulse buy last month when I was in San Francisco. If it took me this long to get through a non-fiction book by a very entertaining woman who's my age and talks about being a working mom while dishing about 30 Rock and SNL, then clearly I have a thing about non-fiction. It just doesn't grab me the way fiction does. I need a plot.

But I did finish Bossypants. It's basically a collection of essays about Tina Fey's life, from her childhood and education to her time at Second City, SNL, and 30 Rock.It's not really a memoir, because it's not that thorough, and it's only loosely chronological. There's a lot less in here about parenthood and being a working mom to her daughter Alice than I expected. There is more, though, about working for Lorne Michaels and impersonating Sarah Palin on SNL, which I enjoyed. Fey's writing style is funny and self-deprecating, which is definitely her schtick. I wonder sometimes whether she's really like that in real life, or if she's been so successful in creating that persona that she has stuck with it in her book.

I laughed out loud a lot in this book. Here is my favorite passage. She's talking about being at a photo shoot for a magazine cover, and the kind of music they play in the background:

Sometimes they ask if you want to hook up your iPodfor background music. Do not do this. It's a trap. They will put it on shuffle, and no matter how much Beastie Boys or Velvet Underground you have on there, the following four tracks will play in a row: "We'd Like To Thank You Herbert Hoover" from Annie, "Hold On" by Wilson Philips, "That's What Friends Are For," Various Artists, and "We'd Like To Thank You Herbert Hoover" from Annie.


There are a lot of funny parts like that. Even so, I never really  got totally into Bossypants the way I do with a good novel with a compelling plot. I think that's a sign.

OK, back to fiction. Hope to see a lot of you at BEA this week!

(Hi FTC! Bought this one with my own money, and even paid full price! I know, I can't believe it either.)