(2nd Floor of Library at the base of the stairs)
Amy Poehler Yes Please (Dey Street Books 2014) LAW-McNaughton Collection (2nd Floor) PN6165.P64 2014
“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.” Kirkus Reviews
Aziz Ansari Modern Romance (Penguin Press 2015) LAW-McNaughton Collection (2nd Floor) PN6231.D3A57 2015
“Long before Ansari was born to his Tamil parents, people got together and married the least offensive prospect in the neighborhood. Sometimes, they looked no further than their own apartment building. Over time, and if they were lucky, they managed to form an enduring bond that grew into something a lot like love. It was crazy by today’s contemporary Western standards, but Ansari’s incredulousness with this anachronistic state of affairs is tempered with such a high level of earnest intelligence and compassion that he immediately establishes himself as a serious investigator. The author has plenty of jokes, for sure, but he also did his homework, teaming up with noted sociologists—including co-author Klinenberg (Sociology/New York Univ.; Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone, 2012, etc.)—assembling focus groups, and even comprehensively exploring the idiosyncratic dating cultures of Tokyo, Paris, and Buenos Aires. Ansari also examines real-time text exchanges between singles in the United States. Is there anything more anxiety-inducing than waiting for a potential partner to return a text? Has texting become the last refuge for weak-kneed dopes too afraid to dial a woman directly? Increasingly sophisticated smartphones and dating apps provide today’s singles with options their 20th-century counterparts could never have imagined. However, as Ansari cleverly demonstrates, those marvelous advances create their own unique headaches, as unlimited choices can leave the lovelorn paralyzed. Ansari’s eminently readable book is successful, in part, because it not only lays out the history, evolution, and pitfalls of dating, it also offers sound advice on how to actually win today’s constantly shifting game of love. Often hilarious, consistently informative, and unusually helpful.” Kirkus Reviews.