The Life of Bon: Bon's Book Club: Yes, Please

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Bon's Book Club: Yes, Please


Every month we read a book.  On the selected day, we talk about it. (Generally the last Thursday of the month).

Join in for whatever books you can.  Read what you want and comment on what you want.  Some readers write their own review on their blog and then link up to it, others just write their thoughts in the comments- it's up to you!  If you write your own post and link up, please slap the image above on your post! Grazi!


+ What did you like about the memoir?
+ What did you not like about the memoir?
+ What did you find most interesting/ fascinating in this read?
+ Anything you wished Poehler would have talked more about?  Less about?
+ What was your favorite quote?

I didn't have a lot of expectations going into this book, which is sometimes the very best way to read a book.  There was a lot about Amy Poehler's memoir that I really loved and a few things that I didn't love so much.

+ Anytime Amy talked about her two sons.  I especially liked a description she gave of when her boy was two years old and she was pregnant with baby #2.  She would cuddle baby #1 in the hammock while growing baby #2 in her tummy and they would all nap together.  It's an image that will stick with me.  I want me some summer napping pregnant days.

+ "Your Career is Like a Bad Boyfriend".  This chapter should probably be entitled "Your comedy career is like a bad boyfriend" or "your acting career is like a bad boyfriend" because for anyone in a stable line of work, the commentary in the chapter don't totally apply.  When I read it thinking about Greg as an actor,everything was so spot on.  When I read it thinking about myself as a teacher, I didn't totally connect.  I do think, though, that it has a lot of connection with other parts of life.  The idea basically is that you just can't care too much about things that aren't in your control because they'll just end up disappointing you.  Practice ambivalence.  Try to care less.

"You have to care about your work but not about the result.  You have to care about good you are and how good you feel, but not about how good people think you are or how good people think you look...  

You will never climb Career Mountain and get to the top and shout, "I made it!" You will rarely feel done or complete or even successful.  Most people I know struggled with that complicated soup of feeling slighted on one hand and like a total fraud on the other.  Our ego is a monster that loves to sit at the head of the table...

"We controlled the only thing we could, which was the show.  We did the thing.  Because remember, the talking about the thing isn't the thing.  The doing of the thing is the thing."

+ The Parks and Rec chapter.  I could have read it a million times.  I LOVED all the insight into all the actors, the way they filmed the show (love how much freedom they gave actors to make their own choices).  I especially loved all the nice things Amy said about everyone she worked with and what great people they all are.  It made me think she loves them all as much as Leslie Knope loves them.

+The last chapter, "The Robots Will Kill Us All"  WAS SO SO GOOD.  Basically all about how we are going to unknowingly let cell phones take over the world and I laughed and laughed because I love my cell phone and my computer and I also hate my cell phone and my computer .

+Her chapters on sleep.  Greg can relate because he sleeps like a soldier in a fox hole about to be bombed by the enemy.  In other word he sleeps like total crap.

+Amy tells a story about totally offending someone in an SNL sketch and then later having the opportunity to apologize to that person.  I really appreciated that chapter and Amy's effort to make things right and show the value of saying sorry.  I got the overall impression from the book that she really does try hard to just be a kind and thoughtful person.

+ My personal opinion is that Amy wrote this book at the wrong time.  I know that's when the book deal was offered to her and you gotta carpe diem and all that, but it just felt very much so like someone telling me a story when they don't know the end of the story.  She was not done filming Parks and Rec when she wrote the book and she is just barely recovering from her divorce with Will Arnett.  I would have loved to hear more about her marriage to Arnett, how they met, fell and love, and about the years they shared together.  But I could tell that all of that was way too raw for her and so basically Poehler hardly talks about Arnett at all except to say that he is the father of her children and a good father at that.  I can understand the difficulty of writing about a marriage right after it has ended, but I felt a little sad that in her "memoir" she talked so so much about career, SNL, TV, comedy, yada yada yada and so little about her family life.  I also understand that you have to protect family and those you love, but I just really missed that.

+ "Obligatory drug stories" chapter.  I hate it when people start talking about all their drug and alcohol stories.  It might be because I don't do either, but I usually am just pretty unimpressed when people go on and on about their drug use and everything that happened while they were high or drunk.  It just kind of feels like 17 year olds trying to show off and anytime behavior reminds me of 17 year olds, I know that's a bad sign.

+ Organization of chapters was horrible.  Poehler is all over the place.  One second she's talking about giving birth to her first baby and then she's talking about how sweet Chris Pratt is and then all of a sudden she's telling you what her high school was like.  It was just so scattered.  I guess I'm real boring, but when people write about their lives I like it to be in chronological order.  Her second to last chapter is about a trip she went on to Haiti and connecting with so many people and realizing our importance (or unimportance) in the world.  It's really beautiful and then the last chapter is this totally funny, weird thing about how cell phones are going to kill us all.  I loved the cell phone chapter, but its placement just felt so off.  Don't editors usually fix stuff like that?

+The SNL chapters.  Oh, gosh, these were such a chore to get through.  Stop talking about SNL.  It might just be me, but I felt like she was talking about SNL forever.  Again, it kind of reminded me of 17 year olds, trying to prove to each other how cool they are.  I felt like Amy was telling me all these awesome stories of things that happened when I wasn't there.  All these inside jokes she has with Seth Meyers and how much fun they have and how much they love each other.  And I just felt like the friend who sits there and listens to a bunch of people tell stories about stuff that happened while I wasn't there, or a bunch of friends with the same inside jokes day in and day out.  It got old.  

+One person commented about the book on my instagram (@thelifeofbon) that they had a hard time getting into it because they wanted Amy to be Leslie Knope.  I agree completely.  I like Amy and all, but she's not nearly as cool as Leslie.  There were a few things she said in the book that I just thought were really weird or harsh or that just made me not like her as much.  For example, she tells one story about a man being short with her and Tina Fey on an airplane and so Amy followed him off the plane yelling the f word at him.  Just makes her a little less likeable for me.

"I have a stomach for other people not stomaching me."

"Too often we women like to tackle chaos that is not ours to fix."

"Your ability to navigate and tolerate change and its painful uncomfortableness directly correlates to your happiness and general well-being"

"He was the first important person in my life to die, and when he did, it was the first time I realized that life is not fair or safe or even ours to own."

"We were both so happy and so in love.  Nothing brings a couple closer than a baby about to arrive.  Each person needs the other so desperately and in such new and deep ways."

"An important part of apologies is not making excuses."

"It takes years as a woman to unlearn what you have been taught to be sorry for.  It takes years to find your voice and sizer over your real estate."

Gosh I've been writing about this book for way too long.  My eyes are drooping.  Overall I did really enjoy the book and would recommend it to anyone (anyone who can handle Poehler dropping a few f bombs here and there, at least.)

I can't wait to hear from you all.  What did you like about the book?  Not like about the book?  And do you still love Leslie Knope?  Leave your thoughts in the comments or link up your post.  I will be responding to all comments.  Let's get this book talk started!

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