Essay collections have never really been my thing, but I am an entertainment news junkie so when I found out Ellie Kemper, also known as Kimmy Schimdt, had an essay collection coming out, I immediately worked to get an ARC. Now that I’ve read it, I can assure you that the Kimmy-ness comes through on every page and it’s a fun read.
Told in essays titled after well, titles, that Kemper has held, identities she’d had, etc, which all tie into a story about her life or her career. Some of these chapters include Author, Gossip, Squirrel, Daughter, Hulk, Bridesmaid, Warrior, Mom, and Kimmy. She has several essays that touch on her time as an improvisational actress, both in college and in the real world (especially Chicago and NYC) and also about her time on The Office. I’ve never seen a single episode of the Office, I know I’m probably missing out,but even with that in mind I could still appreciate those essays. I have seen The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt but found the insight in these essays fresh. They included reflections on pink pants and early wake up calls and all that jazz.
There are some really funny essays about becoming hangry, being an overprotective mother when you thought you wouldn’t be, letting art become life as a bridesmaid, and putting on theatrical productions in your childhood living room. As with any essay collection, there are some hits and misses, not every page is stuffed with laughs or relatable content, and I did feel like she was trying a smidge too hard on some pages, but overall, I enjoyed this collection. I didn’t know much about her outside of her role as Kimmy Schmidt so it was a fun foray. Because I have seen Unbreakable, I read this ARC (provided by Netgalley, thx guys) with Kemper’s Kimmy Schmidt voice in my head. I’m sure the audiobook, which she is narrating herself, will also be a hit.
Check out My Squirrel Days by Ellie Kemper, on sale everywhere October 9th.