I’ll admit it straight out –I have a bit of fondness for some of Shonda Rhimes’ television shows, which made me want to pick up her new book Year of Yes. Year of Yes is Shonda reflecting on the year she spent saying “yes!” to everything that scared her. She faces her fears head on throughout the book with witty and insightful commentary.
I know what you are thinking – why would I possibly recommend just another Hollywood memoir? That’s the thing – I’m not. Something about this book is special and different from the formulaic Hollywood that seems to be everywhere. Shonda Rhimes has writing chops – as she demonstrates week after week on her hit shows (Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, anyone? Don’t worry knowledge of her shows isn’t necessary for understanding or enjoying Year of Yes). Her writing skills come through in Year of Yes in heartfelt and funny ways. She narrates the audiobook making it feel much more like a chat with a friend, than anything else.
While some of the fears that Shonda faces are created by virtue of who she is in Hollywood, the underlying message with all of them is resonant. I’m not overly worried that the president of Dartmouth University will ask me to give the commencement address or that Jimmy Kimmel will invite me on his show, but it can be too easy to say no to the invitations that I do receive.
Say YES to Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes today!