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Hunger's mate
Arthur, Artist C.

Full tilt
Mofina, Rick

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Henderson, Ella

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Chris Potter Underground Orchestra


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Staff Picks

February 23, 2015

Yes Please

Yes Please
by Poehler, Amy
792.7028 Poehler POE

Amy Poehler is a master sketch comedian (comedienne). Her book is like her skits – it's funny, topical, and bounces around with great energy. She tells of her family, her many comedy experiences before her well known ones in Saturday Night Live, Parks and Recreation, and her friendship of many years with fellow improv alum, writer, actress, and co-Golden Globes host Tina Fey.

Poehler’s reaction to a childhood comment that she was funny-looking meant she didn’t focus on her looks – she focused on her talent. There’s a great lesson in that for people of any gender. (Of course, Poehler is actually very attractive, but focus on hard work and willingness to be a character chameleon serve her well.) No wonder Poehler is involved with the organization Smart Girls at the Party (which, according to http://amysmartgirls.com/about-us/, “is dedicated to helping young people cultivate their authentic selves.”)

Readers of screwball authors David Sedaris, Jenny Lawson, and others who enjoy tales of funny family life are likely to enjoy some of Poehler’s over-the-top recountings. But remember, her Boston-area upbringing wasn’t for sissies. Some of the language is strong, and so is some of the drinking and use of other substances. Poehler’s book isn’t always flattering, but it has the ring of candor. It’s heartening to hear that some of the things that irritate her; sadly, some of what irritated this reader was her repetition that it’s hard to write a book, and that she’s sleep deprived. One or two mentions of each would have been just fine.

Readers who like a linear, chronological narrative will probably find Yes Please choppy. I hadn’t known much about Upright Citizens Brigade, and would have enjoyed reading more about its New York era.

Poehler devotes some space in her book to love, marriage, and divorce, but there is more musing than meanness in the tidbits. Tales of her sons will make other parents smile in recognition. Parts that don’t appeal to some readers can be skimmed. Like a buffet – or an evening of improv - there’s a lot of choice stuff to nibble on.

 Yes Please is also available as a downloadable e-book, a downloadable audiobook, and an audiobook on CD.

                  --Recommended by Diane Palguta, College Avenue Library

 

 

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