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Full Book Review of Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

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This book review of Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes gives you the details of this memoir of the popular tv show creator. And because this is a book pairings blog “where books meet lifestyle,” I have also provided some recommended book pairings for more like it.

Book Review of Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

Shonda Rhimes is the everywoman in Year of Yes.  No, really, it's like you can hear her singing "I'm Every Woman" and "dancing it out," as she likes to say.  She's a hardworking single mom of three when her sister says six magic words to her one Thanksgiving: "You never say yes to anything." 

Shonda takes this as a challenge to say "yes" for a year to things other than work and motherhood.  Along the way, she does such things as gives speeches, loses weight and learns to say "no." 

Despite her ivy league education and stratospheric success as the creator and producer of, well, all of your favorite television shows -- Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, Private Practice and How to Get Away With Murder, she is relatable.   She writes in a way that makes the reader feel like they know her and are welcomed into her mind. 

Year of Yes hit its stride in the second half, where Shonda showed more confidence.  Here, she conveyed her special connection to the character of Cristina (Sandra Oh) from Grey's Anatomy.   She did so with such beauty and emotion that I paused the Audible version of the book just to watch Cristina's final scene on YouTube. 

I also appreciated that she tackled a major life choice -- whether to get married -- by conveying her own personal truths.  Year of Yes  accelerated as it reached its conclusion and the reader figuratively toasts Shonda to making every year one of "yes." 

Year of Yes contains such truth bombs as these, which just may change your life:

I think a lot of people dream. And while they are busy dreaming, the really happy people, the really successful people, the really interesting, powerful, engaged people? Are busy doing.

If I don't poke my head out of my shell and show people who I am, all anyone will ever think I am is my shell.

Saying yes . . . saying yes is courage. Saying yes is the sun. Saying yes is life.

Many of us readers (especially Enneagram Type 6's like me) get "stuck" in our habits, our coziness, our safety nets, our books, our homes ... and we need to remember that there can be a lot of beauty and life out there if we choose to act.  Year of Yes is the nudge that many of us need to take a step in a positive direction.

Read more reviews on Amazon.

Book Pairings

For something similar to Year of Yes,

  • I recommend the "thoughtful" self-help book Daring Greatly (about finding the courage to be vulnerable) by the beloved Brene Brown.
  • I also recommend the popular memoir about self-discovery Eat, Pray, Love (book / movie).
  • Let's not forget about any and all Shonda Rhimes' tv shows (Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, Private Practice and How to Get Away With Murder). 
  • Read my list of the best books for graduates for more self-help books.
  • OR, just put on a great playlist, grab a glass of wine and DANCE. IT. OUT.  I do these every week to beat the Sunday Scaries!

I sincerely hope this book review of Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes inspires you to pick up this important book and/or say "YES!" for a year of your own life.

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