Year of Yes

Year of Yes

Book - 2015
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With three hit shows on television and three children at home, Shonda Rhimes had lots of good reasons to say NO when an unexpected invitation arrived. Hollywood party? No. Speaking engagement? No. Media appearances? No. And there was the side-benefit of saying No for an introvert like Shonda: nothing new to fear. Then Shonda's sister laid down a challenge: just for one year, try to say YES to the unexpected invitations that come your way. Shonda reluctantly agreed, and the result was nothing short of transformative. In Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes chronicles the powerful impact saying yes had on every aspect of her life -- and how we can all change our lives with one little word: Yes.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2015.
Edition: First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
ISBN: 9781476777092
Branch Call Number: B Rhim
Characteristics: xxii, 311 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 19 cm


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liljables Mar 03, 2020

Depending on your TV preferences and general pop culture knowledge, you may or may not know who Shonda Rhimes is. For the uninitiated, Rhimes is the showrunner (that is: creator, head writer, and executive producer) for Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, and Scandal; her production company, Shondaland, is responsible for half a dozen other popular shows besides. It's undeniable that Rhimes is hugely successful, but in November 2013, she had something of an epiphany in the midst of a somewhat heated conversation with her sister, who muttered under her breath, "you never say yes to anything." This lead Rhimes to declare 2014 her "Year of Yes".

Now, I was somewhat skeptical that I would find any pearls of wisdom that would be applicable to my life within these pages; in fact, I'm making a concerted effort to say "no" to more things in my life these days (because #burnout). But I found myself nodding along more often than I was rolling my eyes. One of my favourite chapters is about "saying yes to compliments"; that is, accepting praise with sincere thanks rather than brushing it off or saying "it was nothing". It probably wasn't nothing, friend! Let yourself be valued and appreciated - Shonda says so! My other favourite chapter (surprise, surprise) was about "saying yes to saying no" - knowing when people in your life are overstepping boundaries and having the confidence to say no to them (and YES to your boundaries).

If you're still on the fence, allow me to add that I don't watch ANY of Shonda's shows, but I still thoroughly enjoyed this book. Rhimes' writing style is exactly like her speaking voice (based on interviews I've heard), and it's a real pleasure to read - it's friendly and familiar and informal. Dang, I bet this is another great audiobook, too.

Jan 21, 2020

Audiobook option

Jan 05, 2020

DNF @ 45

Ahhh, alas, I have my first DNF book of the year - three days in - and one I thought I would enjoy immensely. I have faithfully watched Grey's Anatomy from the beginning (no matter who left the show) and (while I am behind) How to Get Away with Murder. I admire Shonda Rimes and loved the premise of her book. I picked this one up from my days at the library and also bought the companion journal (at Homesense). I forgot I had picked it up about two years ago, I believe, and found it while I was tidying in my room. Since January 2020 was just a month away, and I had been looking for new goals and challenges I thought this will be wonderful time to start. I am loving the journal, and looking forward to saying yes this year. My year of yes is saying yes to things I want to do but my anxiety/fears/phobias keep me from doing. I thought I would start the book at the same time and sort of tie in Rimes's journey to mine.

I found this hard to read in the sense that I didn't actually like Rimes's voice in this book. While the message and Rimes's shows are things I liked, her humour/personality started to annoy me a little. I started to skim a bit and at the 45% mark, I decided that this was my year of no too. I have a tendency to people please, and make plans I know I won't keep, or say "we need to hangout" when I don't want to and finishing books I don't even like - and also prefacing every book I did not like with "this is just my opinion" or "I am in the minority"; basically I am saying, there is something wrong with me that I did not care for this book so please read reviews of people that must be better readers/reviewers. So I put the book down, and will make sure it gets a good home, and write an honest review of what I think about this book. That has always been my goal, but at times I don't stand up for what I believe in. This year of yes, I want to give my opinions (why I feel that way), not back down because it's going to cause conflict, and sell myself short. I am reader and reviewer just like everyone else.

While this book did not work for me, it did impact me a lot. That is what I love about books and reading - it's not whether a book is good or bad, it's about the journey it takes us on and what we learn from it. In December 2020, I will do a review of the The Year of Yes Journal.

ArapahoeKati Aug 05, 2019

Do you need a pep talk? Are you tired of preachy self-help books? Try this, a funny, kick-in-the-pants, get out there and do things (just say yes!) kind of book from the creator of Grey's Anatomy.

Apr 25, 2019

I didn’t have any expectations for this book, which is perhaps why I enjoyed it so much. It’s an entertaining read filled with positive messages and storytelling. Thumbs up from me.

IndyPL_JoannaC Jan 28, 2019

Seven pages about FEAR SNOT shooting out of your face - HYPOTHETICALLY shooting of your face. SEVEN PAGES.

If you are NOT the type prone to insecure, ranting, pep-talks in front of the bathroom mirror, you might find some humor this book. However, this reader has had more than enough of her own mental tirades to care to stand in for Ms. Rhimes' reflection as well. Needless to say, I didn't finish the book.

Nov 14, 2018

I primarily judge books based on whether or not I would recommend them to my very busy and highly intelligent friends. Wink. So based on that metric, it fails to pass the test. The book was not inspirational as much as it was just overly personal, somewhat self-effacing, and anecdotal. There was a moderate level of amusement to be found in some of her musings but overall it was reminiscent of that all too awkward feeling when the person on the airplane next to you is just prattling on about their life and you're just thinking about what cocktail you want to order next. You smile and nod, but it really stopped being cute about 200 pages ago.

For what is worth, I did like the speeches that she included in the book. Overall, its an ok read but I would not recommend it unless you are a Shonda Rhimes super fan. There are a few funny moments and other random nuggets to savor, but honestly this piece would have been better suited as one of those profound "life-changing" articles that you would read in "O" magazine.

Oct 18, 2018

This is a shameless, sell aggrandizing book about the author, by the author.

Mar 07, 2018

If you like her shows, you'll like her book. It's written like a Bailey or Meredith monologue.

Feb 07, 2018

Oh, I wanted to like this so much. Shonda Rhimes is an amazing woman who has accomplished so much. Before I go on, I want to state my incredible admiration for her. I know I couldn't achieve 1/4 of what she does before breakfast in a month. And I fully understand that she's human and this is a book about her becoming more herself, a more fully realized human being. Gods bless her! (And not in the Southern "bless your heart" sense, but a sincere invocation of All Good Things to come to her.)

The problem is that it made me feel incompetent and awful. And it made my depression trigger like crazy, because if someone as awesome as Shonda Rhimes has issues, what hope do the rest of us have? I know all of these things are irrational, and no one should compare one's self to another person, but I commit to be honest in the review and this book made me really sad.

Rhimes' book is a memoir of the year when she committed to say Yes to doing things that made her afraid and want to run and hide. This is fantastic, and I think she's braver than hell for trying it. I think it's a valuable tool for many people. I'm not sure that "speaking to the graduating class at Dartmouth" is scalable to something many people can understand. It seems to me it would have one of two effects: Either really inspiring, or "Man, and I can't even speak to the church Ladies' Auxiliary, I suck."

I might be being too hard on this book. I certainly wouldn't tell someone not to read it. But I don't think I'll be rereading it any time soon. Three of five stars.

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Jul 28, 2016

In the fall of 2013, Shonda Rhimes was, by all accounts, extremely successful. She had two popular TV shows on the air, a third that had just been retired after six seasons, and a new program was in development. She also had three children, including a three month old baby. Over preparations for Thanksgiving dinner, Rhimes was telling her older sister, Delorse, about all the invitations she was receiving to parties and awards shows as a result of this success, none of which she had any intention of accepting, when her big sister said six words that stopped her dead in her tracks. “You never say yes to anything.” It would take several weeks for those six words to percolate, but by Christmas they would be waking her up in the middle of the night. By her birthday in January 2014, she was making a public declaration to her closest friends and family that she was going to spend a year saying “yes to anything and everything that scares me.”


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Jul 28, 2016

“Judging by some of the reactions I’ve gotten to stories I’ve written for my characters on TV, a woman not wanting to marry or not wanting to have children is cause for a good old-fashioned witch hunt.”


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