I love Amy Poehler, so with the end of Parks and Rec (I may have cried during Leslie and Ron’s scene at the lake), I choose Yes Please as the book club’s January Book. Amy Poehler’s Kaitlin is one of my favorite SNL skits.
I have to confess, I read some reviews prior to reading and I was a little worried that it was going to be a stinker. There were quite a few who thought she wrote a lot about how hard writing is. And a few who didn’t like her storytelling style or she jumped around a lot. (We’re all entitled to our opinions) I was a little worried that it wasn’t a good as I heard it was from friends. I didn’t expect it to be Hemingway, Austen, or Tolstoy, and that’s OK not everything has to be deep. but I thought the book was enjoyable.
To them I say: a) writing is hard! There are times I sit at my computer (after sitting at a computer for 8 hours in my regular job) and I’m blank, or I try to sound (smart/funny/charming/etc) but end up sounding the complete opposite. Sometimes you have to write when you can, a few minutes here, a few there. I didn’t feel like she was constantly talking about the how hard it is to write, I think when you start out on a writing project (or blogging), you have these grandiose ideas as to how the writing process will be, but it can get knocked down pretty quickly. My schedule isn’t nearly as busy has her is(or other writers/bloggers) and yet sometimes I have a hard time making myself sit down to write. So in that respect, I was able to relate to Amy.
b) I think she intended it to be more of a scrapbook of her life, not . It wasn’t an in-depth memoir. Her storytelling, didn’t bother me, it’s how I tell stories, I tend to meander my way around, eventually coming to my conclusion. My brother always asks if I have a point…and I just have to remind him that I’m getting there.
When I read the book, I looked at it from the point of view of “Hey these are some things that happened in my life and this is what I found important or the lesson learned. Do with it what you may.”
There were a few specifics that stood out to me. The first was the idea of “Good for you, not for me”. I really think people (myself included) should adopt this mentality. Instead of creating laws to outlaw certain behaviors that aren’t causing actual physical or mental harm to others, people should take a step back and say “you are_________, good for you, not for me.”
“Treat your career like a bad boyfriend” basically she says you have to “care about your work but not the result…care about how good you are and how good you feel, but not about how good people think you are or how good people think you look.” We all like a pat on the back or an “atta boy” (or gal). But this idea makes sense if you think about it. I can only control what I do and the product I put out. I can’t control if a co-worker/team lead/supervisor/department manager sees it and I can’t control what they do when they do see the good work I put out. If I do my work to the best of my abilities and not chase the praise, eventually the praise will come.
Over all, I thought the book was an enjoyable and easy read. I don’t think it’s for everyone, but rather fans of Amy.
Maybe in a google searches of herself, Amy will come across this my little review of her book and we’ll become buddies. I feel a connection! We both have brothers named Greg who are three years younger, we’re like twins! Well not really and we will never meet but a girl can hope, right?
Have you read Yes Please? What did you think? Love it, like it or hate it?