My Squirrel Days
Comedian and star of The Office and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Ellie Kemper delivers a hilarious and uplifting collection of essays about one pale woman’s journey from Midwestern naïf to Hollywood semi-celebrity to outrageously reasonable New Yorker.There comes a time in every sitcom actress’s life when she is faced with the prospect of writing a book. When Ellie Kemper’s number was up, she was ready. Contagiously cheerful, predictably wholesome, and mostly inspiring except for one essay about her husband’s feet, My Squirrel Days is a funny, free-wheeling tour of Ellie’s life—from growing up in suburban St. Louis with a vivid imagination and a crush on David Letterman to moving to Los Angeles and accidentally falling on Doris Kearns Goodwin.But those are not the only famous names dropped in this synopsis. Ellie will also share stories of inadvertently insulting Ricky Gervais at the Emmy Awards, telling Tina Fey that she has “great hair—really strong and thick,” and offering a maxi pad to Steve Carell. She will take you back to her childhood as a nature lover determined to commune with squirrels, to her college career as a benchwarming field hockey player with no assigned position, and to her young professional days writing radio commercials for McDonald’s but never getting paid. Ellie will guide you along her journey through adulthood, from unorganized bride to impatient wife to anxious mother who—as recently observed by a sassy hairstylist—“dresses like a mom.” Well, sassy hairstylist, Ellie Kemper is a mom. And she has been dressing like it since she was four.Ellie has written for GQ, Esquire, The New York Times, McSweeney’s, and The Onion. Her voice is the perfect antidote to the chaos of modern life. In short, she will tell you nothing you need to know about making it in show business, and everything you need to know about discreetly changing a diaper at a Cibo Express.

My Squirrel Days Details

TitleMy Squirrel Days
Author
ReleaseOct 9th, 2018
PublisherScribner
ISBN-139781501163340
Rating
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction

My Squirrel Days Review

  • Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
    January 1, 1970
    Look, I really, really like Ellie Kemper as an actress and a person. I relate to her a lot as I have a similar upbeat, somewhat spastic personality and a tendency to pee when I laugh too much (TMI??). However, and there is no nice way to say this, sometimes you can be a funny, interesting person but not in a fill a book kind of way. My husband asked me why I wasn't in love with this book and I asked him, Would you want to read a book based on my life? He said no. Super quickly, I might add. Elli Look, I really, really like Ellie Kemper as an actress and a person. I relate to her a lot as I have a similar upbeat, somewhat spastic personality and a tendency to pee when I laugh too much (TMI??). However, and there is no nice way to say this, sometimes you can be a funny, interesting person but not in a fill a book kind of way. My husband asked me why I wasn't in love with this book and I asked him, Would you want to read a book based on my life? He said no. Super quickly, I might add. Ellie Kemper is very talented, but she had a lucky, bump-free rise to fame. She is from a very wealthy, cohesive family who supported her financially and emotionally; she went to Princeton where she was free to explore comedy; she got recognized for her talent early on and was cast quickly as an actress and model; and she met and married a great guy and remains happily married. As one white girl from a happy, moderately wealthy family who played mediocre field hockey to another, I say good for you! - but that journey isn't compelling to read about. Some parts of the book were really, really funny. Ellie Kemper is witty and smart, both things I adore, and some of her dialogue cracked me up. I liked the insights into The Office and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and I related to her parenting sections, but I couldn't stop thinking that this book should have been written maybe 10 years from now when Ellie Kemper has more to say. I hate to say this, but the story wasn't funny enough to just be a funny memoir without a really interesting backstory about Ellie Kemper's rise to fame. I found her to be charming, but the book never rose above just okay for me. *Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*goodreads|instagram|twitter|blog
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  • Robin Bonne
    January 1, 1970
    Ellie Kemper writes about her life and acting/comedy career. The parts I enjoyed the most were the ones about her awkward encounters with other people. These felt the most relatable and a few of them made me laugh aloud. While there were plenty of jokes, there were times I wished Ellie had used her platform to dig deeper into emotional content. The stories from her life that she recounted seemed a little shallow at times, and very safe. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free copy of th Ellie Kemper writes about her life and acting/comedy career. The parts I enjoyed the most were the ones about her awkward encounters with other people. These felt the most relatable and a few of them made me laugh aloud. While there were plenty of jokes, there were times I wished Ellie had used her platform to dig deeper into emotional content. The stories from her life that she recounted seemed a little shallow at times, and very safe. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free copy of this ebook in exchange for an unbiased review.
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  • Merry Mercurial
    January 1, 1970
    I’m sure network and Netflix studios are overloaded with whiteboards sporting the same set of adjectives (plucky, charismatic, strong yet sensitive, gritty yet unspoiled by modern living, unglamorous yet cuter than a button on an Easter tux worn by a monkey), meant to describe their next break-out TV heroine. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt works in large part because Ellie Kemper nails those whiteboard qualities in a way that feels authentic, no matter how horrifying her character’s origin story, how I’m sure network and Netflix studios are overloaded with whiteboards sporting the same set of adjectives (plucky, charismatic, strong yet sensitive, gritty yet unspoiled by modern living, unglamorous yet cuter than a button on an Easter tux worn by a monkey), meant to describe their next break-out TV heroine. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt works in large part because Ellie Kemper nails those whiteboard qualities in a way that feels authentic, no matter how horrifying her character’s origin story, how absurd her comrades’ character arcs, how many silverfish rain down on her in her apartment whose origin is a question mark all its own. The show is one of TV’s better recent offerings, and I was sincerely looking forward to reading Ellie’s book.As is orthodox for comedians’ books, this one includes plenty of growing-up and rising-to-prominence stories. To really grab the reader, stories like these need loads of punched-up comedic detail, and we sometimes we get it—as in the chapter “Boss,” when Ellie recounts putting on a holiday play titled Christmas Magic with her sister and friend, the plot of the play involving plot-twist miracles that would fill Days of Our Lives writers with envy. She agilely replicates the high stakes her younger self felt and gives us a peek at the origin of her improv skills. Her comedy-in-the-details aptitude is also at work in the chapter “Hulk,” which shows what happens when Ellie does not receive the lentils Ellie was groomed to expect. At her strongest, she can turn even tripping over a speedbump (in the chapter “Diva”) into straight-up adorkable schtick.One thing I think you look for in a book like this is an answer to the question “Why you?” Why did Ellie Kemper make it when the comedy world is notoriously both sardine-packed and tough for women? The chapter “Improviser” gives readers the nearest thing to a complete answer. In this chapter, she describes life after graduating from Princeton. She took some time to study British literature at Oxford; then her love of improv resurfaced but hard, so she and a friend moved to New York. And . . . did well. They enrolled in classes, they completed the necessary steps to perform with house improv teams, they auditioned, they wrote, etc. While it’s actually nice to hear the story of someone making it through good ol’-fashioned sticktoitiveness, making smart decisions at double or more the frequency of superiorly dumb ones, and (as Ellie herself is sure to credit) a dab of luck, “Improvisor” isn’t a strong point in the book. It doesn’t have the inherent wow factor of a rags-to-riches story, and, hey, that’s certainly nothing to fault Ellie for. My own rainbow-unicorns view of an ideal future has WAY fewer people—across the demographic spectrum—starting from “rags” in the first place; if the mean memoir of tomorrow were a nice-starting-place-to-glitter-bomb-of-career-fulfillment story, for everyone, then yay. All the better.In the meantime, underdogs are easiest to rally behind. Having such a story isn’t enough, of course—you still have to be compelling—but if you don’t have such a story, you really have locate those details about your own history and arc that will connect with readers. And in a comedian’s memoir, the constant has to be humor. "Improviser" doesn't reveal an underdog, doesn't offer any particular insight to readers, and (the real issue) doesn't do enough dowsing for comedy.I liked her tone for the most part. Self-deprecating is an obvious route with comedy, and it can wear thin fast. While Ellie engages in some of this, she also shares flashes of genuine-sounding self-confidence; it's refreshing. While I enjoyed the book overall, I do wonder if waiting a couple more years—when she would conceivably have more projects to talk about—wouldn’t have been a good move. The material, on whole, is enjoyable, but it does sometimes feel stretched.Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this copy in exchange for an unbiased review.
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  • Ellie
    January 1, 1970
    I JUST GOT APPROVED ON NETGALLEY BRB SCREAMING :D
  • Krista
    January 1, 1970
    There comes a time in every sitcom actress's life when she is faced with the prospect of writing a book. When my number was up, I told myself that I would not blink. I would fulfill my duty as an upbeat actress under contract on a television series and serve my country in the only way I knew how. I would cull from my life the very greatest and most memorable of anecdotes, I would draw on formative lessons learned both early on and also not too long ago, I would paint for the reader a portrait of There comes a time in every sitcom actress's life when she is faced with the prospect of writing a book. When my number was up, I told myself that I would not blink. I would fulfill my duty as an upbeat actress under contract on a television series and serve my country in the only way I knew how. I would cull from my life the very greatest and most memorable of anecdotes, I would draw on formative lessons learned both early on and also not too long ago, I would paint for the reader a portrait of the girl, the teenager, the woman I am today, and I would not falter. I would write a book.Although this Author's intro is meant to be gently ironic, it feels like the most truthful passage in My Squirrel Days: Ellie Kemper was asked if she would like to write a book, so she did. What follows is a series of what Kemper calls “essays”, and what I would call “chapters”, in which she tells the story of her life in a tone of light self-deprecation. This reads less HAHAHAAAHAHAHH than an amusing conversation with a friend of a friend – nothing gets too personal and you don't feel any burning desire to probe deeper as you look at your watch and note that time is passing pleasantly enough – and for what it is, this book is fine. (Note: I read an ARC and quotes may not be in their final forms.) My voice has not been described as “warm” or “professional-sounding” as often as it has been described as “please speak more quietly”, so it is a testament to my skill as an actor that I successfully played a receptionist in an office for over four years on NBC. “How did you do it, Ellie?” a lot of people have not asked me. “Were the computers on set actually connected to the internet?” more people wanted to know. (Turns out, although I had never wondered: Yes, the computers on the set of The Office were connected to the internet and Kemper spent a lot of her time online shopping in the background.) Kemper seems to have been born under a lucky star, into a loving and well-off family. After what sounds like a trauma-free childhood, Kemper attended Princeton (where she fortuitously dropped out of field hockey to join the improv club) and then Oxford, and when she then still didn't know what to do with her life, Kemper's parents continued to support her so the budding comedienne could move to Chicago for an unpaid advertising internship (where her first attempt at writing copy was turned into a local McDonald's radio spot) and where she took intensive classes with various famous Chicago improv groups. After moving to NYC, Kemper continued to work on improv with her fellow Chicago alumni, appeared in a number of national TV commercials that allowed her to quit her one menial job, and after not being hired at SNL, she was offered the role on The Office. This bump-free career trajectory – and an acting CV that has two sitcoms, one theatrical movie release, and a turn as the cranky vet tech in a training video for vet techs – doesn't really feel dramatic enough or lengthy enough to merit a memoir at this stage in Kemper's life; but she was offered a book deal and she took it (and who could blame her?) I know that a lot of women wish that they had just a fraction of my tendency to fart from being so nervous ease on the red carpet; I understand that many fashion houses are desperate to forbid me from wearing a dress with their name on it because I will irrefutably lower their cachet for my face. But I value my privacy and I really am a lazy homebody at heart, so for these reasons, it fills me with happiness* to let other ladies rule the red carpet.*rage and envy While on the one hand My Squirrel Days has this persistently chipper and self-deprecating tone, every now and then Kemper tells a story about losing her cool with underlings, confessing that now she channels her “inner Kimmy Schmidt” to remain positive in the face of setbacks (even her mother had to tell her once that yeah, her job sounds hard, but it's a job that plenty of people dream of having.) While reading this book, I got the sense that Kemper was channeling the kind of cheerful and wholesome character that she is known for playing – smiling on the outside while concealing something more interesting at the heart of her – and while a pleasant reading experience, there's nothing really truthy or fascinating or universal to be found here. Still, I am not unhappy to have spent this time with what Kemper put out.
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  • Lindsay
    January 1, 1970
    I like Ellie Kemper. She seems like a nice, fun person. But as far as her storytelling goes, I feel like not enough of the things she's experience in life are all that interesting. That sounds mean, I'm sorry. For me, I don't find improv that interesting, and she did a lot of that before becoming an actress. I didn't know that about her. I also thought her story about the times she's been to Europe & Japan a little dry. There were definitely some funny parts throughout the book and I want to I like Ellie Kemper. She seems like a nice, fun person. But as far as her storytelling goes, I feel like not enough of the things she's experience in life are all that interesting. That sounds mean, I'm sorry. For me, I don't find improv that interesting, and she did a lot of that before becoming an actress. I didn't know that about her. I also thought her story about the times she's been to Europe & Japan a little dry. There were definitely some funny parts throughout the book and I want to check out Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and even rewatch The Office. I did like that it wasn't full of language and she didn't feel the need to talk about her 'first time'. I liked that there were pictures, but there could've been more. People like pictures. But I hated the footnotes, because I just hate footnotes.
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  • Chelsea
    January 1, 1970
    DNF @ 48% - Ellie Kemper seems like a lovely person, but this memoir is just so, so average.
  • Brandon Forsyth
    January 1, 1970
    Like a Norman Rockwell housewife secretly plotting to murder her perfect family (WITH COMEDY), Ellie Kemper deliciously sets up and then undercuts her shucks-golly Midwestern persona in this charming collection of essays, loosely structured around the idea of the different "roles" she's played in her life. I found them totally charming and often laugh-out-loud funny. That's right Internet, I spelled out lol. DEAL WITH IT.
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  • Trianna
    January 1, 1970
    2.5/5Aside from watching her on The Office and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, I knew nothing about Ellie Kemper before reading this collection os essays. I enjoyed some of them, but most of them fell flat. She would relate two parts of her life into a single essay, which did not always work. My favorite of her essays were, Daughter, Hysteric, Bridesmaid, and Kimmy. I wish she would have talked about The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt more because one essay was not enough. Although, maybe she is savin 2.5/5Aside from watching her on The Office and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, I knew nothing about Ellie Kemper before reading this collection os essays. I enjoyed some of them, but most of them fell flat. She would relate two parts of her life into a single essay, which did not always work. My favorite of her essays were, Daughter, Hysteric, Bridesmaid, and Kimmy. I wish she would have talked about The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt more because one essay was not enough. Although, maybe she is saving it for another book. I enjoyed learning more about her, but would have liked more pictures. *Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review*
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  • Vini
    January 1, 1970
    I was sent this book as an advanced copy by the publisher via Edelweiss for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own My Squirrel Days is Ellie Kemper's first memoir. You might know her from The Office or Unbreakable Kimmy Schimdt. Personally, I've never watched The Office but I love Unbreakable Kimmy Schimdt like, it's one of my favorite TV shows of all time, I've probably re-watched it about 6 times now. So when I saw that this ARC was available, I immediately requested it. I don't th I was sent this book as an advanced copy by the publisher via Edelweiss for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own My Squirrel Days is Ellie Kemper's first memoir. You might know her from The Office or Unbreakable Kimmy Schimdt. Personally, I've never watched The Office but I love Unbreakable Kimmy Schimdt like, it's one of my favorite TV shows of all time, I've probably re-watched it about 6 times now. So when I saw that this ARC was available, I immediately requested it. I don't think there was anything wrong with this book, it just felt that there was something missing. I would have enjoyed it more if I read it on audio. But, despite that, I really enjoyed it, there were some hilarious stories that made me laugh out loud.
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  • Justin Brendel
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Netgalley for this advanced copy in exchange for a review.3.5 stars rounded to 4. My Squirrel Days was a nice collection of essays on life, showbiz, relationships, pink pants, bridesmaids, and much more. The stories about the early days of UCB were nice. I enjoyed Ellie's writing style, although I had difficulty with the footnotes. At one point there is a joke pertaining to The Office, and the punchline is in the footnote at the end of the chapter, making it kind of choppy.
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  • Kristyn Kricket
    January 1, 1970
    I was lucky to have gotten an excerpt a few weeks ago and I devoured it greedily, wishing I had more of it to read. Today, my wish was granted as I received an advance reading copy of the entire book from Edelweiss. I raced through My Squirrel Days giggling like a loon and plotting out ways I could be best friends with Ellie. If you're a fan of the essays by Tina Fey, Mindy Kailing and Amy Poehler, you will LOVE this book.
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  • Nicole
    January 1, 1970
    ** I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. ** Let me be honest here for a second.... I wanted to absolutely love this book. I really really did. And I did like it, but did not LOVE it like I wanted to. I thoroughly enjoyed watching The Office and I like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, but this book just wasn't that funny. Kimmy has a normal, carefree (and assuming at least somewhat wealthy) upbringing in St. Louis, attends Princeton to play field hockey and ends up quitti ** I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. ** Let me be honest here for a second.... I wanted to absolutely love this book. I really really did. And I did like it, but did not LOVE it like I wanted to. I thoroughly enjoyed watching The Office and I like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, but this book just wasn't that funny. Kimmy has a normal, carefree (and assuming at least somewhat wealthy) upbringing in St. Louis, attends Princeton to play field hockey and ends up quitting the team at the beginning of her sophomore year. Shortly after, she joins an improv group and lives happily ever after. Not really, but that's what it certainly seems like. After she graduates Princetons, she attends Oxford since she doesn't know what she wants to do with her life and is still being financially supported by her parents. Then she moves to NYC and starts doing more improv..SO MUCH IMPROV (and is still being financially supported by her parents). She eventually gets to audition for The Office and the rest of her career falls into place. It just all seems very happy-go-lucky and like she didn't have any hard times to deal with while trying to become a famous comedic person in NYC/Hollywood. The only bad thing she mentions in the book career wise is the fact that she auditioned for SNL (and got Lorne Michaels' name wrong in the process) and didn't get a callback. I just think I would have enjoyed this book more if there was a little bit more substance behind it. More gritty details. Not a memoir for someone who doesn't seem to have had that much super interesting stuff happen to her. Or if she wrote this book 10 years from now and had more stories to add to it. PS (and these are a little too TMI on her part) The fact that she wrote about how she randomly pees her pants from laughing too hard (and that was before she had a child so she can't even use that as an excuse) and how she doesn't wash her hands after going to the bathroom in her own house is so gross. Gross gross gross!
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  • Julia (jaylamm.reads)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you NetGalley, Scribner books, and Simon & Schuster for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of My Squirrel Days. Oh Ellie Kemper is such a joy! I became a fan while watching her on The Office, and have continued to enjoy her work on The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. My Squirrel Days had me laughing from start to finish. Ellie's charm and wit really shines through this book!As a fellow St. Louisan, I loved hearing the stories of growing up in St.Louis! Her journey to where she is now Thank you NetGalley, Scribner books, and Simon & Schuster for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of My Squirrel Days. Oh Ellie Kemper is such a joy! I became a fan while watching her on The Office, and have continued to enjoy her work on The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. My Squirrel Days had me laughing from start to finish. Ellie's charm and wit really shines through this book!As a fellow St. Louisan, I loved hearing the stories of growing up in St.Louis! Her journey to where she is now is interesting and inspiring.I really enjoyed the way the book was formatted. I loved that she broke down her story into different sides of herself, but still kept everything in order. To often i read memoirs, where the author is all over the place. It makes it difficult to connect with their story. This was very well done!The entire book was lighthearted and funny. I really enjoyed getting to know Ellie Kemper! I cannot wait to see what she does next.
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  • Colleen C
    January 1, 1970
    While I'm a self-professed lover of celebrity memoirs, I wasn't in love with Ellie Kemper's My Squirrel Days. Although there were a couple of entertaining essays, many of the topics were mundane and sometimes boring (e.g. complaining to waiters about a lentil and quinoa salad; joking about telling grandchildren about taking 500 SoulCycle classes). While I think any topic can be interesting in the hands of the good writer, I just didn't care much for style of writing in this collection. I also wi While I'm a self-professed lover of celebrity memoirs, I wasn't in love with Ellie Kemper's My Squirrel Days. Although there were a couple of entertaining essays, many of the topics were mundane and sometimes boring (e.g. complaining to waiters about a lentil and quinoa salad; joking about telling grandchildren about taking 500 SoulCycle classes). While I think any topic can be interesting in the hands of the good writer, I just didn't care much for style of writing in this collection. I also wish that Ellie had provided more detailed insight into working on the sets of The Office and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. (Note: Thank you to NetGalley and Scribner for the opportunity to review this ARC ahead of publication).
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  • Niamh
    January 1, 1970
    I was very kindly given an advanced e-book of this collection through Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton. I think this was an interesting collection of essays. It's not quite a memoir and it's not quite a comedy book with no substance to it. If anything, it sits quaintly in the middle. Much like Tina Fey's 'Bossypants', Kemper's book reads like a more cynical Kimmy Schmidt sat down and tried to reflect on her life as an actress, human and early worrier. Cycling quickly though her work in proje I was very kindly given an advanced e-book of this collection through Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton. I think this was an interesting collection of essays. It's not quite a memoir and it's not quite a comedy book with no substance to it. If anything, it sits quaintly in the middle. Much like Tina Fey's 'Bossypants', Kemper's book reads like a more cynical Kimmy Schmidt sat down and tried to reflect on her life as an actress, human and early worrier. Cycling quickly though her work in projects like 'The Office', 'Bridesmaids' and 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt', Kemper wields wit and genuine silliness to address her life and upbringing, and how that's ultimately affected the way she sees the world. The central issue, as many reviewers have pointed out, is that this book really doesn't offer anything new. A lot of this information you could get from watching interviews or reading a Wikipedia page. There's not much in the way of substance, as something like Amy Poehler's 'Yes Please' offers. I suspect that the lesser number of pages are to blame here. This book has good intentions but really doesn't provide much pay-off in getting to know more about Kemper. In some cases, the collection feels disjointed and unsure of its purpose. Perhaps if Kemper writes more books, there's a greater chance for her to expand on some interesting thoughts. But as a first effort, it's not bad. 'My Squirrel Days' will be released in the UK on October 9th.
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  • Lauren Guhl
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to the publisher and to NetGalley for granting me and ARC of this book. I love Ellie Kemper and I could hear her voice in this book. I was just a little underwhelmed. And honestly it was probably more of a 3.5 than a 3. I love her sarcasm and her positivity. I identified a lot with her references to pop culture as we are almost the same age so that aspect was fun. I thought the part about parenthood was hilarious. I felt like overall the book was not as funny as I expected. There were Thank you to the publisher and to NetGalley for granting me and ARC of this book. I love Ellie Kemper and I could hear her voice in this book. I was just a little underwhelmed. And honestly it was probably more of a 3.5 than a 3. I love her sarcasm and her positivity. I identified a lot with her references to pop culture as we are almost the same age so that aspect was fun. I thought the part about parenthood was hilarious. I felt like overall the book was not as funny as I expected. There were several funny parts, but I would've liked to see more. I also wish there would've been more discussion about working on Kimmy Schmidt. It's one of my favorite shows.
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  • Girl Well Read
    January 1, 1970
    A special thank you to Edelweiss and Simon & Schuster for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.Ellie Kemper is a comedian and star of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and appeared on the US The Office series. Her other written work includes writing for GQ, Esquire, The New York Times, McSweeney’s, and The Onion. In this collection of essays, Kemper delivers some funny bits about her journey from the suburbs to Hollywood, and becoming a full-fledged New Yorker. My Squirrel Days is a heartfelt com A special thank you to Edelweiss and Simon & Schuster for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.Ellie Kemper is a comedian and star of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and appeared on the US The Office series. Her other written work includes writing for GQ, Esquire, The New York Times, McSweeney’s, and The Onion. In this collection of essays, Kemper delivers some funny bits about her journey from the suburbs to Hollywood, and becoming a full-fledged New Yorker. My Squirrel Days is a heartfelt compilation with nods to nature, her upbringing, her career, her short stint in field hockey, and adulting. And because we are all a bit celebrity obsessed, she carefully name drops a few.Let me preface this by saying I did enjoy parts of the book. Ellie is charming and you can't help but associate her with that infectious smile, but I feel like her life is not overly interesting. The "Hysteric" essay was the worst in the collection (total and unnecessary filler). That being said, it is a quick read—she is so likeable and endearing. My recommendation would be to listen to the audiobook rather than reading it because you would get to experience Kemper's fabulous personality and humour that was lost on the page.
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  • Katie Darcangelis
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Netgalley and Simon and Schuster Publishing for this advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review. I need to premise this review with the fact that I absolutely adore Ellie Kemper. When I was chosen as a reviewer for this book pre-publication I almost peed my pants and did a Kimmy-like dance routine. (Almost is code for it happened) Now that I’ve laid down my love, I need to be honest because we try to be brutally honest with the ones we love right? Because they know we’ll Thank you to Netgalley and Simon and Schuster Publishing for this advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review. I need to premise this review with the fact that I absolutely adore Ellie Kemper. When I was chosen as a reviewer for this book pre-publication I almost peed my pants and did a Kimmy-like dance routine. (Almost is code for it happened) Now that I’ve laid down my love, I need to be honest because we try to be brutally honest with the ones we love right? Because they know we’ll continue to support and love them and hope they thrive in all possible ways. Ellie Kemper is hilarious. She in a special league of comedians that can make me belly laugh, but she throughout reading her memoir left me with more of a “girl – come on now” eye roll. It felt like each chapter she was aiming to find material. The stories drabbled on with no real cohesive point or outlandish feats. I have said this many times; just because you are famous does not mean you need to write a book. You can be the funniest most interesting character on television but that doesn’t mean your real-life was all that interest or funny. While reading Ellie’s chapters I kept thinking “this could have been written by me”. Ellie and I share a lot of in common, we came from upper middle class cohesive families, and had very little (if any) trauma to shape us into the women we are, were okay-ish field hockey players, and had stuffed animals we kept until adulthood. Don’t get me wrong – that’s not a bad thing. But it also doesn’t lead into any great story telling either. Her family supported her in college (Ivy league) and in her unpaid internships in New York. Many people reading this cannot relate to those things, and the little quips of self-defeating humor of “I allowed myself the independence of agreeing to let my parents pay my rent and groceries” etc. got a little old. Can I relate to that? Yes I sure can, but I don’t think it’s a great way to get the general public on your side. Her writing style mimics her training as an improv actor – aiming to take the role of the “person” she was in those specific stories which I enjoyed. She delves into being a child, a bridesmaid, an actor, a wife, a mom. But girl, I do not need an entire chapter about if your lunch did or did not have lentils. I also don’t need you to tell me how great SoulCyle is. All white girls love SoulCycle. We get it. I really enjoyed the insights into the The Office and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, but I felt there wasn’t enough. I think I was expecting more “behind the scenes” stories of her and cast members. Overall, I do not think the book lives up to the Ellie we all know and love on TV. But it’s okay to not have an enthralling, dramatic back story. As a memoir though I feel the “rise to fame” early 20s struggle should have been there for it to be a memoir worth purchasing. I do think that she should record her own audio for this, as I think her rendition of her own writing style would be an amusing audio book. Ellie girl, I love you. From one privileged white girl to another – keep rockin’ – but maybe leave the pages of another book to someone with a deeper story to tell.
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  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    I was so excited to see this book on NetGalley – I knew I had to read it. As a self-proclaimed Office and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt fan, and as a St. Louis native, I knew I had to read Kemper’s book. And I am so glad I did!Kemper’s humor comes across in her writing so well. I giggled constantly while reading this book. Each chapter tells of a different experience or memory from Kemper’s life and she is very open and honest in her writing. She includes a disclaimer in the beginning of the book th I was so excited to see this book on NetGalley – I knew I had to read it. As a self-proclaimed Office and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt fan, and as a St. Louis native, I knew I had to read Kemper’s book. And I am so glad I did!Kemper’s humor comes across in her writing so well. I giggled constantly while reading this book. Each chapter tells of a different experience or memory from Kemper’s life and she is very open and honest in her writing. She includes a disclaimer in the beginning of the book that her stories will be embellished – and there are plenty of moments where you can see this in action, and it gives the work an artful storytelling quality that I quite enjoyed, because really, everyone remembers things differently than how they happened. Kemper uses this to channel her humor and creates a scene that almost feels like you’re reading the scene of a movie.It was wonderful seeing all the bits and pieces that Kemper includes about St. Louis in her story. St. Louis is both a fairly large city and at the same like a small town (where you bump into people you know more often than not), so it often gets passed up when people consider major cities in the US. It was nice to get this little nod of recognition from Kemper. As she related bits about her childhood, I could easily picture the places she mentions and I got a little thrill every time.It was also amazing to hear a little behind the scenes tidbits from the shows and movies she’s acted in, like getting a little Office trivia. It was very cool to see things from her perspective about a show that I’ve watched so many times. She actually lived some of it!I would definitely recommend this to fans of the Office or Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. It’s also just a really funny book with lots of slice of life scenes that are made larger than life with Kemper’s humor and storytelling. A fun, quick read that’s worth picking up.
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  • Kathleen
    January 1, 1970
    *I was graciously given an advanced copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.*This book will be released in stores on October 9th- keep an eye out for it at your favorite bookseller, or follow the link attached to the picture to order it through Amazon!I was obsessed with The Office when it was on the air; my husband and I, little known fact, worked My Squirrel Days by Ellie Kempertogether before dating and then even after. We were, basically, the Jim and Pam o *I was graciously given an advanced copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.*This book will be released in stores on October 9th- keep an eye out for it at your favorite bookseller, or follow the link attached to the picture to order it through Amazon!I was obsessed with The Office when it was on the air; my husband and I, little known fact, worked My Squirrel Days by Ellie Kempertogether before dating and then even after. We were, basically, the Jim and Pam of our office. We were darlings, everyone loved us, and even though I no longer worked at the company, the owner threw our wedding shower for us.When the show started shaking up the paradigm, and no longer had Pam as the receptionist, I was hesitant about how to feel about this Erin character. But after a little while, the writers found her groove and she became fun and enjoyable.When The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was released on Netflix, I was excited to see Ellie Kemper exploring a complex but still funny role (and fucking love the supporting cast, to be honest.)And then I saw on NetGalley that she was releasing an essay book, so of course I had to at least try to get a copy. I was shocked when I did! How exciting! This was a book by a CELEBRITY, not just some author. (Authors, I'm joking. I really hope you know you are my people.)It was quite fun to read! I was actually laughing out loud while reading it, which my husband apparently finds creepy, but I cannot help that Ellie Kemper is basically my inner narrator. There was only one essay that I didn't find particularly entertaining, but you know what's great about essay books? If you don't finish one essay it isn't the end of the world. I skipped it, figuring if she referenced it later I'd just suck it up and go back.Her writing reads exactly like she sounds. Her voice was in my head the whole time I was reading it, which was confusing, because sometimes it felt like I was reading something I would have written about myself and how the hell did Ellie Kemper get inside my fucking head?I know this isn't the kind of thing I usually review on here, but this is definitely one I recommend. I especially find essay collections like this to be great palate cleansers between other reads. (I always have a Carrie Fisher on hand to read a few sections of in between fantastical worlds.)So think of Ellie Kemper as a sorbet course between your next few reads. I feel confident there are smiles and giggles in there for everyone.The final score:The BookJust so fun! Great stories told in an honest voice. 🌹🌹🌹🌹The WritingKemper has a tone that stays true to her persona, without crossing the line into "am I reading stories from Ellie Kemper or Kimmy Schmidt" territory.🕯️🕯️🕯️🕯️ReadabilityTook me about a day - it was so quick and easy to keep going!🕰️🕰️🕰️🕰️🕰️
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  • Jordan
    January 1, 1970
    Ellie Kemper keeps alive the spirit she gives us on screen. I found myself smiling, feeling twangs of my own nostalgia, through hers. Kemper sheds light on the everyday moments in Hollywood. Between takes and auditions, what an actors life is like on and off set, and what it’s like to have a job so rare not many can relate. I greatly enjoyed reading about her childhood, the moments of wild thoughtfulness that lead to a bit of chaos. Inspiringly honest moments of Childhood Ellie are a nice remind Ellie Kemper keeps alive the spirit she gives us on screen. I found myself smiling, feeling twangs of my own nostalgia, through hers. Kemper sheds light on the everyday moments in Hollywood. Between takes and auditions, what an actors life is like on and off set, and what it’s like to have a job so rare not many can relate. I greatly enjoyed reading about her childhood, the moments of wild thoughtfulness that lead to a bit of chaos. Inspiringly honest moments of Childhood Ellie are a nice reminder of the steps we take as humans, learning as we grow, figuring out our dreams, and going after them. This book made me love Ellie Kempereven more! Her spirit jumps off the pages, you can almost hear her telling the stories. “My Squirrel Days” is a thoughtfully written, personal book. I am very glad I read it, and feel honored to have received an advanced readers copy!I highly recommend this wonderfully enjoyable read! Thank you Scribner, Simon & Schuster & NetGalley for the Advanced Readers Copy! And Ellie Kemper for writing this wonderful work!
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  • Kelsey (Kelseylovesbooks)
    January 1, 1970
    I loved watching Ellie Kemper on The Office and in Bridesmaids, and this is exactly the book I was expecting from her. The memoir covers her childhood, path to comedy via NYC and Chicago, and her major acting roles. I enjoyed reading about her tenacity to make it in comedy and how much effort she put into improv. Ellie didn’t have a difficult upbringing, and this book is not in any way similar to hard-hitting memoirs of this year like Educated. However, what her memoir lacks in dramatics it make I loved watching Ellie Kemper on The Office and in Bridesmaids, and this is exactly the book I was expecting from her. The memoir covers her childhood, path to comedy via NYC and Chicago, and her major acting roles. I enjoyed reading about her tenacity to make it in comedy and how much effort she put into improv. Ellie didn’t have a difficult upbringing, and this book is not in any way similar to hard-hitting memoirs of this year like Educated. However, what her memoir lacks in dramatics it makes up for in humor. I laughed out loud several times during this book and ended up reading it in a day. If you want something fun and not too serious to read, this is a great choice. My Squirrel Days is out on October 9! I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Carissa
    January 1, 1970
    I got an advanced copy of this book to read for my honest opinion. I’ll actually be reading this book again post-publication because I’d like to see how it reads in its final version. This version isn’t bad. It rambled quite a bit and a lot of times for no purpose and to no real end. Some of the rambling is good. It makes the book and Ellie seem personable. However, some of the rambling seems a bit overdone and needs editing. There are a few essays I’d also take out because they interfere with t I got an advanced copy of this book to read for my honest opinion. I’ll actually be reading this book again post-publication because I’d like to see how it reads in its final version. This version isn’t bad. It rambled quite a bit and a lot of times for no purpose and to no real end. Some of the rambling is good. It makes the book and Ellie seem personable. However, some of the rambling seems a bit overdone and needs editing. There are a few essays I’d also take out because they interfere with the flow of the book. Maybe there could be some rearranging instead of omitting. Either way, there is some issue with the flow of the essays in the order in which the advance copy had them. Pair that with the overdramatic purposeful rants and rambling that I feel we’re used to induce humor, but fell flat and became annoying instead, and the book is flawed, but fixable. I like Ellie quite a bit, so I gave the book 3 stars for the state of the current writing and editing and an additional star because I actually like Ellie and was interested in seeing what her book was like. I also think there was something not quite right about some of the cussing in the book. I’m a sailor mouthed girl myself and I have a hunch Ellie might be too, but editing might have tried to tame her and it made the cussing seem awkward in most places—especially when it seems she says bumper for butt and they tried maybe too hard to make Ellie into Kimmy a bit too much in this book. Maybe I’m wrong and the editors added to cussing and Ellie herself is not a potty mouth. In that case, if still made the profane language that was used in the places it was used seem inauthentic in a way. Ellie says over and over her personal and professional lives are kept strictly separate, yet I feel like they were trying to make Ellie’s voice come across as Kimmy. Maybe it’s just my opinion, but I think the Reader should try this book and come to their conclusions on the matter. You can tell Ellie is smart and educated and the book uses actual vocabulary of an articulate, educated woman and that was refreshing for a celebrity—especially a comedian—read.
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  • Ashley
    January 1, 1970
    I received this as an ARC from Netgalley.com.First line: There comes a time in every sitcom actress’s life when she is faced with the prospect of writing a book.Summary: In this short memoir by actress Ellie Kemper we get a look into her life as a kid, breaking into show business and getting a starring role on a Netflix sitcom. Highlights: I love Ellie Kemper and her roles on The Office and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. I always imagined her to be similar to her characters and after reading thi I received this as an ARC from Netgalley.com.First line: There comes a time in every sitcom actress’s life when she is faced with the prospect of writing a book.Summary: In this short memoir by actress Ellie Kemper we get a look into her life as a kid, breaking into show business and getting a starring role on a Netflix sitcom. Highlights: I love Ellie Kemper and her roles on The Office and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. I always imagined her to be similar to her characters and after reading this, I think that she is. She seems to be a happy person with lots of energy. She is funny and goofy. I believe she would be a great person to have as a friend. I was happy to read this. It was very quick and enjoyable.Lowlights: I did not have any laugh out loud moments but just some internal chuckles. FYI: Perfect if you love Bossypants!
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  • LuzAdri
    January 1, 1970
    This book was such a great read! Very entertaining! It felt as if you were sitting at a cafe having a conversation with a friend who is talking about her life. She spoke of emotional, funny and learning moments for her. Each chapter showed us what her world was like growing up and working in the entertainment business. The best parts were those where she didn't take herself seriously.*ARC copy was provided by NetGalley for review.*
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  • Lissa
    January 1, 1970
    I normally find celebrity memoirs fairly innocuous and this is no different. I am a huge fan of the Office which is why I picked this one up, but really have seen none of Ellie Kemper’s other shows. I think the best sections are when she is writing about her life on set, otherwise the essays are silly and rather pointless. It’s not bad though, and a quick read. I received a digital ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    This book is a perfect match to my perception of Kemper's persona: cute, harmless, mildly amusing. I smiled at parts, but I never laughed out loud. And I certainly never chuckled or guffawed. More than that, though, I don't feel like I learned anything about Kemper. There were no surprises, no insight into the inner workings of a woman who is most certainly smarter and more interesting than the characters she has played.I received this ARC from the author and/or publisher at my request via Net G This book is a perfect match to my perception of Kemper's persona: cute, harmless, mildly amusing. I smiled at parts, but I never laughed out loud. And I certainly never chuckled or guffawed. More than that, though, I don't feel like I learned anything about Kemper. There were no surprises, no insight into the inner workings of a woman who is most certainly smarter and more interesting than the characters she has played.I received this ARC from the author and/or publisher at my request via Net Galley. Thank you, Net Galley!
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  • Crystal Zavala
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoy Ellie Kemper and I was very excited for her memoir. I read the book with her voice in my head and I could almost hear her say the words. I wish that I had been able to listen to the book as an audiobook. I think that I would have enjoyed her anecdotes better that way.Ellie is lucky to have a great family and husband. I appreciated knowing a little bit more about learning improv and comedy, but I just don't think it was enough to fill an entire book.Thanks to netgalley for providin I really enjoy Ellie Kemper and I was very excited for her memoir. I read the book with her voice in my head and I could almost hear her say the words. I wish that I had been able to listen to the book as an audiobook. I think that I would have enjoyed her anecdotes better that way.Ellie is lucky to have a great family and husband. I appreciated knowing a little bit more about learning improv and comedy, but I just don't think it was enough to fill an entire book.Thanks to netgalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Amber
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to NetGalley for my ARC. I already loved Ellie Kemper, but this collection of short stories just makes her even more relatable. She weaves a wonderful portrait of her life. If you like fun relatable series, give My Squirrel Days a read. You will be pleasantly surprised.
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