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Heidi Hart

By day, I'm a domestic violence prosecutor. By night, I read romance to restore my faith in love, relationships, and humanity in general. 

Relatable, Funny, and More Useful than I Anticipated

Yes Please - Amy Poehler

I don't own a TV. I saw a few of Amy Poehler's Hilary Clinton impersonations online during the 2008 election season, but I never saw a full episode of Saturday Night Live during her tenure. I've never seen Parks and Recreation. I saw Baby Mama but didn't love it. The reason I like Amy Poehler -- the reason I picked up this book -- is because of her Smart Girls at the Party website, which encourages young people (especially girls) to "change the world by being yourself."

 

Given that somewhat tenuous connection, and the fact that Amy is a famous comedienne and extrovert and I am a bookworm lawyer introvert, I was not expecting Yes Please to resonate with me as strongly as it did. In addition to being really very funny, this book is just full of nuggets of wisdom and advice to provoke thought and inspire action.

 

Some examples:

 

On Grasping Opportunity (This is sort of the book's thesis):

 

Say no to an opportunity that may be slightly out of our comfort zone? Quiet our voice because we are worried it is not perfect? I believe great people do things before they are ready. (Foreword)

 

On Choosing a Career (or life) Path:

 

In three short years [doing Improv in] Chicago had taught me that I could decide who I was. My only job was to surround myself with people who respected and supported that choice. (Page 117)

 

On Work-Life Balance:

 

I am introducing a new idea. Try to care less. Practice ambivalence. Learn to let go of wanting it. Treat your career like a bad boyfriend. (Page 222)

 

You have to care about your work but not about the result. You have to 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. (Page 224)

 

These little sound-bite quotes don't do Amy justice, but trust me, they're backed up with vignettes and examples that illustrate her point in a way that is both very funny and very relatable.