cover image My Squirrel Days

My Squirrel Days

Ellie Kemper. Scribner, $26 (256p) ISBN 978-1-5011-6334-0

Actress Kemper tickles the funny bone with her engaging and refreshing memoir. Hers is not the tale of a rough childhood (she grew up in a comfortable suburban St. Louis neighborhood with a loving family), overarching drama (her righteous indignation is confined to an uneducated guide on a The Sound of Music tour in Salzberg, Austria), or unhappy marriages (she’s been married to Michael Koman since 2012). Instead, in a snappy, coordinated series of essays, Kemper—who plays the title character in Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, after a side-splitting role in The Office—­amusingly chronicles her life, never hesitating to make fun of herself. She is an entertaining writer, and her tales—including those about auditioning for Saturday Night Live, complimenting Tina Fey (“You have great hair—really strong and thick!”), and tripping while running to fetch a glass of water for her childhood crush, Christopher Plummer (“I sprinted to the bar as fast as my Naired legs could carry me”)—will give readers an enticing glimpse of her happy-go-lucky attitude. This is a fun, breezy, and enjoyable volume. (Oct.)