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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 n 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.


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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 n 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.

30 review for My Squirrel Days

  1. 5 out of 5

    Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

    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

  2. 5 out of 5

    Robin Bonne

    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.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ellie

    I JUST GOT APPROVED ON NETGALLEY BRB SCREAMING :D

  4. 4 out of 5

    Merry Mercurial

    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.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Krista

    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.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

    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.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Colleen C

    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).

  8. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea

    DNF @ 48% - Ellie Kemper seems like a lovely person, but this memoir is just so, so average.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Brandon Forsyth

    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.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Girl Well Read

    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.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kristyn Kricket

    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.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Trianna

    2.5/5 Aside 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 2.5/5 Aside 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*

  13. 5 out of 5

    Vini

    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.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Justin Brendel

    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.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Julia V

    (3.75) ... Despite what a lot of reviews said, this book is hilarious! I constantly found myself laughing out loud in public while reading. And turning to the person next to me to tell about vagina flies. Here's the deal, I may be biased on this book. I absolutely love Ellie Kemper, and find her easily annoying personality very relatable to my own. I really don't see how this book would be enjoyable to someone who isn't a fan of her personally. I went to her book signing where she talked a lot ab (3.75) ... Despite what a lot of reviews said, this book is hilarious! I constantly found myself laughing out loud in public while reading. And turning to the person next to me to tell about vagina flies. Here's the deal, I may be biased on this book. I absolutely love Ellie Kemper, and find her easily annoying personality very relatable to my own. I really don't see how this book would be enjoyable to someone who isn't a fan of her personally. I went to her book signing where she talked a lot about how she's not a comedian. So I think people just need to realize that this isn't some Bossy Pants part 2. The other reason I am biased is I live in and grew up in St. Louis.. so yes I LOVED it when she mentioned my childhood mall or little inside jokes that only the Lou crowd could catch. It was very fun to read as a St. Louisan. There is something truly midwestern about her story telling. My Squirrel Days is a book about Ellie finding her way in life and the world of Hollywood. Despite her many years or success and long list of accomplishments, she still feels like an outsider. And that is probably my favorite part of the book. It's like one of us normies snuck into the big leagues and is passing down fun secrets. Is half this book about her childhood home and Christmas pageants? Yes, but these are the important stories to Ellie, and I was more than happy to have her share them with us. I found interest in their simplicity, not everything has to be an SNL tell all. The biggest problem I had with the book was continuity. Sometimes the story would jump around within a single chapter. One second it's the office finale and the next she is describing her first day on the show. But I understand her order. It's what makes sense to the story of her development. I just wish it didn't make me question if I was re-reading so many times. Overall distracting, but not a deal breaker for the book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    ** 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!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kate Vocke

    I'm pretty sure I am not alone in my feelings that I feel like Ellie Kemper is my friend. I mean, she just might be the most fun, and happiest celebrity on the planet - free from scandal, always smiling, and just about as sugary sweet as one can be right? I was SO excited to read her book, and as much as she tries throughout to convince us that she's not all sugar and everything nice - but a bit more spice than most people realize ... well, I don't believe you Ellie!! Haha! Not one bit. Even if I'm pretty sure I am not alone in my feelings that I feel like Ellie Kemper is my friend. I mean, she just might be the most fun, and happiest celebrity on the planet - free from scandal, always smiling, and just about as sugary sweet as one can be right? I was SO excited to read her book, and as much as she tries throughout to convince us that she's not all sugar and everything nice - but a bit more spice than most people realize ... well, I don't believe you Ellie!! Haha! Not one bit. Even if it is true! Sorry! It's like those celebrities that have the tarnished images and try so, so hard to prove they're not bad, and try so hard to change their image after a scandal or rumor... by doing charity work, or smiling all the time or doing wholesome movies... Ellie is the opposite. She's trying throw some dirt on the squeaky clean with some silly cranky teenager stories, insulting other celebs, and not-so-sunny thoughts that go through her mind when someone tries to steal her Soul Cycle bike, but I'm just not buying it Ellie! Nor do I want to!! I am convinced she is EXACTLY like her character, Kimmy Schmidt. Cheerful, naive, and adorable. And I will carry that with me forever! It took me a bit to get into the book - I really don't follow bios well, when its about childhood or mom stuff - but I devoured the celebrity scoops and interactions and this book is chock full of them. I STRONGLY suggest getting the audiobook for this one. I read this in my head, with her voice - and I just think Ellie telling her own story, in her own voice, full or snark and wit and charm would be the icing on the cake that is her sweet, sugary life story!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Julia (jaylamm.reads)

    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.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Becca

    Note: I received a copy of My Squirrel Days by Ellie Kemper via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Let me express that I love Ellie Kemper. Granted, I have only watched the pilot episode of The Office, but Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is one of my all-time favorite comedies. & I get so excited when she pops up as a guest appearance in other shows such as The Mindy Project. Y’see, I have two types when it comes to women: the woman that would punch me in my face & I’d thank her for it Note: I received a copy of My Squirrel Days by Ellie Kemper via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Let me express that I love Ellie Kemper. Granted, I have only watched the pilot episode of The Office, but Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is one of my all-time favorite comedies. & I get so excited when she pops up as a guest appearance in other shows such as The Mindy Project. Y’see, I have two types when it comes to women: the woman that would punch me in my face & I’d thank her for it (i.e. Jessica Jones & Rosa Diaz) & the type of woman who’s so extremely bubbly & ridiculous that you just want to kiss on the forehead (i.e. Jess Day & Kimmy Schmidt); obviously, Ellie Kemper often satisfies the latter of the two. My point to this entire thing is that I love Ellie Kemper. & reading My Squirrel Days was such a satisfying read, because of it. With every word typed into Ellie Kemper’s memoir, her voice screamed through it. I could perfectly picture every scenario listed & found myself constantly exclaiming, “yep! That’s Ellie Kemper for ya!” Some of the anecdotes that Ellie Kemper wrote in My Squirrel Days could seem incredibly random (for example, she tells a story about a future Ellie Kemper in her deathbed, telling her grandchildren about how she rode a stationary bike 500 times), but were still fun & flowed nicely with the rest of the memoir. If you’re a fan of memoirs & more importantly, a fan of Ellie Kemper, I strongly recommend that you get your paws on My Squirrel Days! It’s a pretty quick read & full of good ol’ laughs. For more reviews, check out my blog!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Misti

    This celebrity memoir from the star of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt reflects on many of the roles she has played, both on screen and in life. These essays are arranged in some semblance of chronological order, so the reader gets a view into all of the stages of Kemper's life so far. For me, about half of the essays landed satisfactorily, with a laugh or a smile, but the other half left me wondering, "Why are you telling me this?" On the whole, Kemper comes off as funny and relatable, and probably a This celebrity memoir from the star of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt reflects on many of the roles she has played, both on screen and in life. These essays are arranged in some semblance of chronological order, so the reader gets a view into all of the stages of Kemper's life so far. For me, about half of the essays landed satisfactorily, with a laugh or a smile, but the other half left me wondering, "Why are you telling me this?" On the whole, Kemper comes off as funny and relatable, and probably as close to a normal person as one can find in show business. She does a fair bit of name-dropping, but that's to be expected in this sort of work. If you've enjoyed similar books by Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, or Mindy Kaling, you'll probably enjoy this one.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kelly 💜☕️

    DID NOT FINISH. Stopped at 58% complete (about 3.5 hours in) Not sure how this book got on my radar, but I enjoy celebrity memoirs, especially when audio is narrated by the author. I’m not really a fan of Ellie Kemper, but don’t have anything against her. This book missed the mark for me... not enough substance and too much dry humor. She didn’t share many meaningful stories and it didn’t have much of a point. Too many other books to listen to... so I’m gonna DNF this and move on. Thanks to San D DID NOT FINISH. Stopped at 58% complete (about 3.5 hours in) Not sure how this book got on my radar, but I enjoy celebrity memoirs, especially when audio is narrated by the author. I’m not really a fan of Ellie Kemper, but don’t have anything against her. This book missed the mark for me... not enough substance and too much dry humor. She didn’t share many meaningful stories and it didn’t have much of a point. Too many other books to listen to... so I’m gonna DNF this and move on. Thanks to San Diego County Library for the digital audio version via Libby app. [Audio: 6 hours, 15 minutes]

  22. 4 out of 5

    Niamh

    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.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jordan

    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 Kemper even 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!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    DNF. I adore Ellie Kemper. I think she is absolutely hilarious. I have no idea why she wrote a book. She just didn’t have enough to fill a whole book. And can we please stop with the celeb memoir in essay form? Over it. The first two hours of reading this I didn’t laugh once. No star rating because I didn’t finish the whole thing. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Beth Dean

    In My Squirrel Days, Ellie Kemper shares anecdotes from her childhood and in Hollywood. This book won't be the place to find deep, seedy confessions or stories. It is, after all, titled My Squirrel Days. These are the chippy, fluffy anecdotes of the good things in her life. Think of it as a sort of literary, word-based Instagram feed. It shows the choice snapshots of her most happy, picture-worthy times, all presented with aesthetically-pleasing filters. If you come looking for an edgier, more adu In My Squirrel Days, Ellie Kemper shares anecdotes from her childhood and in Hollywood. This book won't be the place to find deep, seedy confessions or stories. It is, after all, titled My Squirrel Days. These are the chippy, fluffy anecdotes of the good things in her life. Think of it as a sort of literary, word-based Instagram feed. It shows the choice snapshots of her most happy, picture-worthy times, all presented with aesthetically-pleasing filters. If you come looking for an edgier, more adult version of Erin from The Office or Kimmy Schmidt, you won't find it here. Instead, you'll find a more intelligent but still just as wacky version of those characters, who I now see are very much modeled in Kemper's image. And that's okay. This is Kemper's truth. Surely she faces struggles and obstacles (maybe?), but her days and temperaments are largely squirrelly, and that's a big part of her charm. Many thanks to Netgalley and Scribner for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Read Remark Reviews | YouTube | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Guhl

    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.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I was skeptical of this book when I received it - it seems like every quirky, funny actress is writing a book of essays these days, and they start to blend together. But Ellie Kemper proved me wrong - and I'm glad she did! Each story was funny and engaging, and I feel like she did a great job of including stories from both pre- and post-fame. She's a wonderful storyteller and after reading this, I want her t I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I was skeptical of this book when I received it - it seems like every quirky, funny actress is writing a book of essays these days, and they start to blend together. But Ellie Kemper proved me wrong - and I'm glad she did! Each story was funny and engaging, and I feel like she did a great job of including stories from both pre- and post-fame. She's a wonderful storyteller and after reading this, I want her to be my new best friend. I would definitely recommend this book!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Katie Darcangelis

    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.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    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.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Richard Gray

    I’m not sure why I keep doing this to myself. I get excited by a favourite comedian or actor releasing a memoir, rush out to read/listen to it, and then find myself inevitably disappointed by the results. You can almost set your watch by the formula. 1. An overly enthusiastic voice. There’s usually heaps of exclamation marks to! You know, to emphasise just how friendly the person is! 2. Anecdotes that don’t really go anywhere. You’d be forgiven for thinking that beyond her TV work, nothing has eve I’m not sure why I keep doing this to myself. I get excited by a favourite comedian or actor releasing a memoir, rush out to read/listen to it, and then find myself inevitably disappointed by the results. You can almost set your watch by the formula. 1. An overly enthusiastic voice. There’s usually heaps of exclamation marks to! You know, to emphasise just how friendly the person is! 2. Anecdotes that don’t really go anywhere. You’d be forgiven for thinking that beyond her TV work, nothing has ever really happened to Kemper except stressing out over the wrong salad. 3. Lists. There’s always lists just to pad out a word count in lieu of working up a full page of text. I mean, who’d do THAT? *cough* 4. Glossing over the good stuff. We know you were in The Office and Kimmy Schmidt, Ellie: any chance of telling us anything about them beyond the casting process? 5. Dirt free delivery. Some might say that if you want dirt, bring a shovel. But there’s also few hooks in a tale where everything is great all the time. Except when receiving the wrong food. See point #2. Which isn’t to say that Kemper’s writing isn’t frequently funny. It’s a style she’s honed through years of professional craftwork, and her more prominent roles on television. Yet we don’t get any insight into her life more than a featured magazine profile or a series of late night guest spots would provide. So in the spirit of the book, I will clumsily wrap this up just so I can finish with the word pants.

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