Book Review: Year of Yes – Shonda Rhimes

One of my goals for 2016 was to “Read More”, so when my friend polled my name for a local book club, I was Estatic.

The Book Club selection for February was Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. I was intrigued by the title as not long ago, around 2014, I had begun my own Year of Yes!

Shonda, is humorous. She has a way of turning every situation into a funny one. Of course someone who has the same dilemma and fears as her (public appearances in particular) will understand the terror one goes though in the crux of the moment. She has this whole Chicken Bone, Janet Jackson Boob, fear-snot scenario playing in her mind every time she had to do a speech or make a public appearance. like she had to on the Jimmy Kimmel Show.  I share (or shared?) similar fears – stepping on my own feet and falling face first on the ground, leaving a massive crack on the floor, or possible causing the next great earthquake. I just loved this about her.

While reading the Book, I took the liberty to check out some YouTube videos as well. It is both amazing and remarkable to note how by just saying yes to life, Shonda was able to transform not just inwardly, but her outer persona too. (the weight-loss is astounding, and if you compare her 2014 videos with the 2015 ones, they are worlds apart).

I thoroughly enjoyed the read, and aside from the humor, there are parts that the reader can take away (now that is according to me a good book. Funny how I still seek to find myself in the pages of other people’s stories).

The parts or chapters that stood our more for me, and that I can say added value to my life were, “Yes to no, Yes to Difficult Conversations” and “Yes to speaking the whole truth”. I loved how, towards the end, the book showed Shonda with an exuberance of self confidence, all simply by making one positive decision in her life – going for it! And I am definitely taking the Wonder Woman Power Pose with me!

I also took a few quotes from the book and kept them in my notebook where I can refer to them for inspiration. Some of them were:

Chapter 5: Yes to Speaking the Whole Truth

Excerpts from the Dartmouth Speech “Dreams are for Losers”. “Ditch the dream, be a doer not a dreamer”.

Chapter 9: Yes to Joining the club

Excerpt from the Women in Entertainment Speech “On Ceilings made of Glass“. (This whole speech needs to be printed and plastered on everyone’s walls. The amazing speech she gave recognizes her efforts but does not down play the efforts of others in the room, and those who walked before her).

Chapter 10 : Yes to More Year of Yesthis chapter spoke to me, hell it SCREAMED right at me

(Badassery and swag). “Not a single woman in the room could handle being told, “You’re awesome.”….What in the hell is WRONG with us?”. “You know what I am? I AM SMART, I AM TALENTED, I TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE OPPORTUNITIES THAT COME MY WAY AND I WORK REALLY, REALLY  HARD. Don’t call me lucky. Call me a BADASS” (Now that’s what I want to be – a Badass with SWAG).

No one is obligated to compliment you. They do it out of kindness. They do it because they want to. They do it because they believe the compliment they are offering. So when you negate someone’s compliment, you are telling them they are wrong. You’re telling them they wasted their time. You are questioning their taste and judgement. You are insulting them. If someone wants to compliment you, let them”

BADASSERY: (noun) the practice of knowing one’s own accomplishments and gifts, accepting one’s own accomplishments and gifts and celebrating one’s own compliments and gifts.

SWAG: (noun) state of being involved in loving oneself, waking up “like this” and not giving a crap about what anyone else things about you”

“And I think this is the thing: everyone’s got some greatness in them….But in order to really mine it, you have to own it. You have to grab hold of it. You have to believe it.”

“Badassery, I’m discovering is a new level of confidence – in both yourself and those around you.”

Chapter 13: Yes to Dancing It Out (with the right people)

“Don’t let what he wants eclipse what you need. He is very dreamy..But he is not the sun. You are

Chapter 14: Yes to Who I Am

“The rule is: there is no rules”

“No fairy tales. Be your own narrator…”

So, hope you enjoyed this review as much as I loved writing it. And if you should get the chance, then please make sure you read Year of Yes for your self and take away what you can. I shall post the Book Club review later in April, so keep watching for that.

Until the next one…



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