Year of Yes

Year of Yes

Book - 2015
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The creator of "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal" details the one-year experiment with saying "yes" that transformed her life, revealing how accepting unexpected invitations she would have otherwise declined enabled powerful benefits.
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
Characteristics: xxii, 311 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 19 cm


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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.

May 22, 2017

I really loved this book. I must admit, I had no idea who Shonda Rhimes was before I read this. I have seen the TV shows but never paid attention to the credits.
I could totally relate to her always saying no or coming up with the plague when you want to cancel plans, I think I have had every disease known to man for my excuses. And the part about saying yes to not getting I don't feel like a bad person for not wanting all that.
I'm going to start with 3 months of yes first. Baby steps!

Feb 27, 2017

I was thrilled to take this book home after seeing Ms. Rhimes interviewed about it. I expected a lively account built on a solid foundation, maybe some personal wisdom to use in my own life.

It's the story of a very rich woman with every means at her disposal to do whatever the eff she wants, whenever. She's an introvert, so being in social situations is difficult for her. (I'm an introvert too. I once had a party in my honor in a Fifth Avenue Penthouse: I spent most of the night hiding on the balcony, in the kitchen, behind floral arrangements....)

But, OMG! This book TEDIOUS! One word paragraphs. Two word paragraphs... Here's a sample:

"Well, it's gotta be broken.
It's BROKEN, right?
Right? RIGHT?
I do not have a broken seat belt."

Every page has at least one passage like this. Most pages, several. Say "No" to this book!

Jan 09, 2017

I didn't know much about this book prior to reading it, but I knew a lot about Shonda Rhimes (or so I thought), and knew that I HAD TO read it. I am more than happy that I did. I.Love.This.Book!

The Year of the Yes is EMPOWERING and speaks to women, mothers, those wanting to get ahead in their careers and others. It sheds an honest light on the masks covering the imperfections that we all have, while allowing ourselves to embrace the good within us and the vulnerability needed to change those parts of our behavior or routines that hinder us from enjoying the gift of life, family and friends. This book made me think, reevaluate, prioritize, laugh and inspired me in numerous ways. Although the hard copy is amazing, I also recommend listening to the audio version to hear the wit, sarcasm and heart behind the words.

This is a great read for anyone starting their New Year's resolutions, setting a new goal or simply wanting to reinvent themselves. And to those people, I say, good luck and enjoy the book!

Oct 29, 2016

If you're looking for a permission to live the life you want to live, then this book may be the last push you are looking for. Written in an honest, funny, Shonda-esque way, it's a quick read that will pick up step or at least your perspective for the weekend.

Sep 06, 2016

This book is incredible! I love that Shonda Rimes found the courage to say yes to things she would normally say no to. It's not easy for an introvert and as she walked through those yes's she found her boldness. It's amazing that despite her accomplishments she was terrified to talk to others or be seen and after one comment from her sister "you never say yes" she decided to persevere!
(Shonda Rhimes is the critically acclaimed and award-winning creator and executive producer of the hit television series Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, and Scandal and the executive producer of How to Get Away With Murder.)

Jul 28, 2016

The topic of a Year of Yes was interesting to me because I have a soft spot for books about year-long experiments. But I was also intrigued because I felt the topic of such a book could just as easily be a Year of No. Just as many people need to learn to say No to inappropriate requests as need to say Yes to scary opportunities. I was worried that this book might be reductive on that score, but Rhimes addresses it ably in her chapter entitled “Yes to No, Yes to Difficult Conversations.” This chapter really crystallizes the fact that Year of Yes isn’t about Yes, so much as it is about not saying either Yes or No simply because you are afraid. Full review:

Jul 14, 2016

More about Shonda Rhimes herself than I expected. Not so motivational.

Mar 20, 2016

When I picked up Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes, I was expecting more of a self-help kind of book.

Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of those, including Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero. Both were amazing, btw.

So, yea, I picked up Year of Yes expecting more life advice, and while there are definitely some overall “lessons,” it’s not really in the same category as Big Magic and YaAB.

YoY reads more like a memoir to me and it’s about Shonda’s (yes we’re on a first name basis 😏) year of saying yes – to life and it's opportunities, basically.

The writing was funny and really enjoyable!

Mar 13, 2016

A Year of Saying Yes is more of an autobiography of Shonda Rimes life...

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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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