The star of Parks and Recreation shares stories from her adolescence, her star-making tenure at Saturday Night Live and her abiding love of improvisation.
In her debut book, comedian Poehler credits her approach to work to Carol Burnett, who was "funny and versatile and up for anything" and "a benevolent captain" on her eponymous variety show. The author’s successful career proves that collaboration, good manners and gratitude are assets in both business and life. She has written a happy, angst-free memoir with stories told without regret or shame; rather, Poehler provides a series of lessons learned about achieving success through ambition and a resolute spirit. She affectionately recounts her perfect-seeming childhood and adolescence, including making lifelong friends, waiting tables, and living and working in the rough, pre-gentrified Greenwich Village. Poehler is especially grateful to her proud, comical parents and shares their wisdom with readers: "Make sure he's grateful to be with you," "Ask for what you want" and "Always overtip." With benevolent humor, she shares "Obligatory Drug Stories, or Lessons I Learned on Mushrooms" (“I’ve tried most drugs but avoided the BIG BAD ONES”) and explores why ambivalence is an important component of success in a chapter titled “Treat Your Career Like a Bad Boyfriend.” Along with Meredith Walker and Amy Miles, Poehler has created a Web series, "Smart Girls at the Party," to empower and celebrate women and girls who "chang[e] the world by being themselves." The author conveys the ethos of this project in pithy statements and reassurances sprinkled throughout the book in large type—e.g., "If It's Not Funny, You Don't Have To Laugh" and "Everybody Is Scared Most Of The Time." This is not a treacly self-help book or spiritual guide but rather motivation from a hilarious and kindhearted champion.
A wise and winning—and polite—memoir and manifesto.