Yes Please by Amy Poehler

BLOG“You have to be where you are to get where you need to go.”

In her memoir Yes Please, Amy Poehler shares stories from childhood, her career in comedy, along with stories and advice on different subjects such as divorce and self-confidence.  The book is a collection of essays with inserts from friends and family.  Amy uses her experiences to inspire and share what she has learned.  It reads like a love letter to all the important and special people in her life.

I was pleasantly surprised with Amy’s openness and sincerity about her experiences, and that she uses this book to address issues we all deal with at some point in our lives, such as insecurity and fear.  Her level of honesty is quite touching. Thank you, Amy Poehler.  The first part of Yes Please is engaging and enjoyable, however it does slow down in the middle and towards the end.  I feel it could have been edited down a bit as at a certain point it does seem to become laboured with too many different things thrown together.  I love the overall message of Yes Please, and it is definitely a worthy read for Amy Poehler fans along with anyone looking for a little bit of advice and inspiration.

On a side-note, the book itself is surprisingly heavy.  Be warned:  your arm strength will be tested.

Favourite quote: “I didn’t know if I had the talent or drive, I just had a tiny little voice whispering inside of me.  That same voice would tell me I would meet Carol Burnett someday, I would find love, I would be okay.  We all have a tiny whispery voice inside of us, but the bad ones are usually at a lower register and come through a little clearer.”

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

BLOG“This book will take you two days to read.  Did you even see the cover?  It’s mostly pink.  If you’re reading this book every night for months, something is not right.”

With her signature humour and delivery, Mindy Kaling takes us through her childhood experiences, her career evolution, all the way to the fashionable, fabulous and famous person she is today.  She includes stories about childhood bullying and friendship, her love of comedy, the highs and lows of starting out in NY, as well as her time working on The Office.  Throughout the book she also provides various lists (Best Friend Rights and Responsibilities) and random observations/thoughts (In Defense of Chest Hair).

Is Everyone Hanging out Without Me? is funny and highly enjoyable.  It’s been said many times but it’s true, Mindy is simply the best friend you want to have.  All her stories/observations are told in a conversational way and with such humour that it feels like she’s speaking directly to you.  I feel a lot of what she talks about and the points she makes is very relatable.  It’s also one of those rare times I want to listen to the audio version as well because it’s likely hilarious.  If you’re looking for a fun, light and entertaining read that will make you laugh, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? is a great option.

P.S.  It did take two days to read.

Favourite quote: “This section is about my attempts to get day jobs.  At first I called this chapter “Mama’s Gots to Pay da Bills,” but I thought that title made it sound like maybe I had been a stripper or had a brood of illegitimate children.”

Yoga Girl by Rachel Brathen

BLOG“Begin where you are.  Use what you have.  Do what you can.”

Rachel Brathen is a yoga teacher and motivational speaker who shares daily messages of inspiration through social media.  In Yoga Girl she takes us through her rebellious teen years, her struggles, how she came to embrace meditation and yoga, and how she was able to make a positive change in her life.  Throughout each chapter are healthy recipes, step by step yoga sequences as well as beautiful photos.

Yoga Girl is an inspirational and uplifting book.  Rachel not only shares her personal story but provides encouragement for others to move past their own struggles.  The main points being to be kind to yourself, find balance in life, trust your journey, and to not let fear hold you back.  The book is engaging, relatable and a really nice read.  The recipes, yoga postures and photos are a great addition and add to the overall message.  The structure of the book was a little awkward in spots where the “loving insights” section was inserted in the middle of the story section, which interrupted the flow of the book.  However, it does not take away from the content in any way.  Yoga Girl is inspirational and visually beautiful.

Favourite quote:  “The thing about life is, you get what you need.  Not what you want.  And everything happens at the right time.”