Friday, August 12, 2016

Book Reviews: 'Yes Please' by Amy Poehler and 'Naked' by David Sedaris

1. Yes Please, by Amy Poehler (a.k.a. My First [And Probably Last] Audiobook Experience)
I listened the audiobook of Yes Please, having found it at my library and deciding to finally try listening to one after a long period of curiosity. Here were my 5 stages of listening to an audiobook:

1) Huh, this is kind of interesting. *listens intently*
2) *discretely yawns while trying to stay focused*
3) I'm BORED.
4) I wanna jump ship. LET ME JUMP SHIP.
5) Alright, I'm gonna finish it just to say that I did.

Yeah. So I guess you could say audiobooks aren't for me. It was definitely an interesting experience to have Poehler read her memoir to me through my radio, but after awhile I just had trouble retaining any of the information. It's like that friend who just rambles on and you secretly tune out while nodding along with commonplace comments. The book itself was enjoyable. Poehler talks a lot about her family and her outlook on life, work and how to manage the two without driving a wedge between yourself and the things you care about, which was uplifting to hear. There were parts that I could have taken or left, like where she talks about her experiences with different comedy groups she toured with before joining Saturday Night Live in 2001. I just didn't find them to have anything interesting other than the fact that they happened and now she's telling us about them. There were a few parts that made me laugh out loud, like how her water broke moments before Saturday Night Live went live and she had to be rushed to the hospital, or her descriptions of the shady apartment building where she lived in the East Village in the late 90s. Yes Please is as good a memoir as anyone who has enough of a comedic voice to make us laugh. We see their movies, we stay up on Saturdays to see them be nutty, and we watch their television shows (well, some do, I haven't watched Parks and Recreation so I did feel quite disconnected from the chapters where she talks about the show, but that one's on me). If you like Amy Poehler and her work, there's a high chance you'll enjoy Yes Please. It was just one of those books that I wanted to check out but because I'm not overly in love with Poehler or the premise of her memoir, I knew it would also become one of those books I would never get to. Hence why I checked out the audiobook, so I could kill two birds with one stone. The medium isn't for me, but hey, at least I can say I tried it. 4/5 stars.

2. Naked, by David Sedaris:
I read a personal essay by Sedaris in a few of my college classes which I thoroughly enjoyed; "Go Carolina", from one of his other books. So when I found Naked at a used book sale a few months back, I figured I'd check it out (it was also $1, so I wasn't too worried about spending money on a book I might not like). It has a few interesting stories that I enjoyed more or less, but I failed to feel any emotional investment in them whatsoever, which is rare for me when I'm reading a memoir or collection of essays/stories. However, my issue with Naked is that I fail to see the moral or general point of literally any of Sedaris' stories, You tell a story because it needs to be told for a wide range of possible reasons, right? I finished every story saying, "Okay, cool. Why am I supposed to care again?" I just didn't see a point to any of his stories in this book, but I felt like I was supposed to, which bothers me even more. Sedaris, you are a mystery to me, and I think your work is written in such a way that you want me to think that. 2.5/5 stars.

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