The megatalented creator of Grey's Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away with Murder chronicles how saying yes for one year changed her life - and how it can change yours, too.
With three hit shows on television and three children at home, the ubertalented 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.
©2015 Ships at a Distance, Inc. (P)2015 Simon & Schuster, Inc.
"What makes this such a powerful audiobook is that, behind her colloquial language and assertive style, you can appreciate the work it took for someone this shy to begin making public appearances and to perform this excellent inspirational audio." (AudioFile)
I loved the way she presented such a deep vulnerable message. It was a wake up call for me and I'm totally inspired by it.
It was raw. It's a true representation of the vulnerability of being comfortable with ourselves.
Her defiant resistance is something I could seriously relate to.
It was like she was speaking about me not to me. It was a wake up call and I could totally relate so at times I was shocked and stunned and others I was feeling inspired and empowered.
I thank Shonda for sharing this journey with us and presenting it in such an entertaining way that you can't help but accept the messages she is telling us. Loved it!
I really enjoy hearing about the stories and perspective of smart, incredibly talented people. Her writing style is amazing for stories and scripts, but from a self perspective... just seemed to ramble sometimes. I couldn't get the point of talking about the 'horrible amazing' things that happened to her. Confusing and over the top at times. Seems almost as if she's bragging but it's cloaked in whining about her shortcomings. Definitely a drama writer.
Love listening to a wide range of audio - science fiction, chick lit, memoirs,.
This book was really fun. Watching Shonda grow and think about her life and what she wanted was great, but hearing her read it took it up a notch. i really enjoyed this memoir. It's not too heavy, not too light it's just right.
The only downside for me was that she does act to protect the privacy of those around her. i would have like to hear a bit more about her relationships, but I respect the parts of her life she's protecting. I definitely recommend this to people who like memoirs, even if you know very little about Shonda or the shows she produces, although some appreciation for them probably makes the book a richer experience.
I had this book saved in my wishlist for ages before finally buying it... I mean, what did Shonda really have to tell me about her "year of yes"? As it turns out... EVERYTHING!!! I ate this book up in a couple of days, listening to it at every possible moment. Every woman should buy this book. Every person should buy this book! She moved me to tears at points and taught me more about myself. Thank you Shonda. :)
Hard to get into initially. Enjoyed the mid section chapters but then it went progressively downhill. Last 5-6 chapters are just waffle. Lots of 'deep and meaningful' that has no depth or meaning!
Brave, Adventurous, Admirable
I loved taking the journey with Shonda as she evolved.
I listened to this through the week on my drive to and from work
What a brave and revealing tale. The conversational and intimate tone includes the reader making them feel like a special confidant.
I learned about Shonda and myself and how to achieve greater joy in life.
"Say YES to reading this book!"
I have been a long time admirer of Shonda and her work and this book is one more thing to add to that list. She is amazing, she is more than just her talents she is an inspiration. This book came to me at a time when I was having severe self doubt. I knew my life was no where close to the path that I always thought it would be on but I did not know how to change. I was just sinking deeper into a pit of pain, anguish, desperation and hate. The first day I started listening I got half way through the book, I walked for miles just listening. Each day I felt myself getting stronger, I observed areas of my life I wanted to change. I started a journal to track my progress and thought of steps I could take to reach my goals.
This book to me was the kick in the butt I needed to realize my own strength which I lost after getting kicked down a few times. I retreated from life, I stopped trying. For me making excuses was much easier than doing something. I'm still getting knocked down but he difference is I'm still trying, I will forever try my best for ME!
"Best 7 Hours Listening to an Audio Book Ever!"
Shonda adds so much personality to the narration. She's sassy, fun, and honest about struggling with the same doubts that we all have.
What I found most touching was the chapter about her weight/image problem and how she confronted it and took care of business--losing 127lbs!
Herself. Listening to the audio book was like sitting down with a girlfriend and a glass of wine to hear about her deepest fears and failures and how she overcame them and that you can too.
I laughed and I cried...
Listen to the audio book, even if you've already read the book. Shonda's narration adds so much more depth to the experience. And as an added bonus she includes recordings of three inspiring speeches she made during her "Year of Yes" experiment.
"Amazing book and well read"
Loved the book! Made me feel like she was the best friend I needed to push me be the best me!
I've never watched any of her television shows but she nailed this book and narration. Shonda keeps you engaged, she is funny, charming, and makes you want to say yes to everything. Well done....
Inspirational read for all people. I laughed out loud often, as she spins the story of saying yes. Shonda is a great narrator, and paints a revealing portrait of her struggles, background, and transformation. Her story definitely is a page turner. You will enjoy this read!
"Like a Visit with an Old Friend"
This book is fun, interesting, thoughtful and thought provoking. It feels like a visit from one of your old friends, and then ya kinda realize it maybe is. If you are a fan of Rhimes' work, then listening to this feels just like that! Then you remember that she is the person behind the characters you have loved for years and you can identify a little bit of her in every one of them. It's great. I found it very relatable and a enjoyable. I am not a book-mark user, but there were places I marked to make sure I shared with others.
"Began well, but disappointing"
I liked the idea the book is based upon, but after the first few chapters, it became more about her life as opposed to the idea of saying YES; besides, simply saying yes to accepting awards and attending parties with celebrities, is a little difficult to relate to.
"I wish there were more than five stars..."
If I liked Shonda before, I love her now. Her journey of transformation is inspiring. But the best part about the Year of Yes, is that the actual live recordings of some of her speeches are terrific. One of the best audio book productions I have ever heard. In terms of "personal journey" books, Shonda leaves Liz Gilbert in the dust. Thanks Shonda.
"A Little Repetitive"
Maybe in comparison to other Audible books this really shines (I have to listen to more to be sure), but I found the constant reminder of how successful she is, and how many people count on her, and how many shows she has on the go and how many of her shows are on on TV's most coveted day and time slot... it just got to be a little self-congratulatory because we literally just heard the exact same thing in EVERY chapter (A LOT of Grey's Anatomy references!). And I'm a woman of colour who believes deeply that women need to celebrate themselves as well as each other. But I didn't find being told repeatedly how important she is in her business and how important she is to the world of entertainment helped deepen her overall point or even diversify her overall point (to take more risks and feel comfortable with her fears). It wasn't like Tina Fey's BOSSY PANTS, where she mentions it intermittently. If anything, the best parts were when she talked about her family and also gave personal, specific accounts from her life where she was challenged by saying "yes". It felt the most vulnerable. Talking about her work seemed to be the place where she felt most comfortable because it's where she's the most confident (evidently) in her life and where she most self-identifies.
The framing of the story; where Shonda recounts how the Year of Yes was instigated by her sister Delores' comment on Thanksgiving in her kitchen to the bookend at the end when she comes back to her sister and she has another nugget wisdom for Shonda and how that resonates for Shonda. Her sister seems to be a woman of few words, but poignant words.
She is a fantastic reader. She has a sense of performance and there is so much animation in her voice. She claims not to be an actor or performer and the notion scared her at one time, but she's truly talented at it. She not only knows how to WRITE a story, she can also TELL a good story too!
A very motivational book that could have been half its length if it weren't for the constant repetition of her resume. Instead, I would have liked more accounts of specific instances of her job where she felt vulnerable and triumphed through the fear and the pledge she made to this year.
That said, I loved that Audible took advantage of her being such a public figure at very public events and gave the reader the live stage recordings of the speeches she gave. It really gave an "in the moment" feel to the fear she felt around giving these speeches and made us feel like we were being given an account of her taking hold of the fear and succeeding through it. I really loved that component.
"Got so bored"
So repetitive about her endless fears.. once it was explained we didn't need it explained again and again... it got too boring to listen to. I had hoped for inspiration but found very little YES.
Some bits were interesting...
This book has got to be my favourite audiobook I have listened to this year.
Shonda Rhimes completely draws you in from the very beginning of this book. I expected to be taken on a journey by a very accomplished storyteller and I was not disappointed! Shonda's unique brand of wit, humour and personality comes across fantastically on audio, which made me so glad I chose to listen rather than read. I became completely immersed in her story, I laughed, cried and thoroughly enjoyed every minute. An inspired book, that I cannot recommend highly enough!
"If you're looking for inspiration, this is it!"
As Shonda herself narrates the story, you get a much better feel for her as a person. Plus you get the added bonus of listening to her live speeches, as she spoke them, much more effective than reading the words on the page.
I fell in love with Shonda, I identify with her. I am completely inspired by her year of yes, thinking. She is honest, firm but fair, sassy and frequently hilarious. It's like a friend you never knew you had, telling you a story.
I enjoyed how she laid it all bare for us. No fear of judgement. Here I am, this is my story, take it or leave it.
Visiting Shondaland is a must for women everywhere!
Brilliant, brilliant book will listen to it over and over
"What a great book to listen to!"
Powerful, book. Shonda talks about issues she has, that we all have and helps you understand how it to overcome. She writes in a witty laugh out loud way. I will definitely listen again!!!
The recommendation for this book was from
Brene brown. I'm so glad I listened to it on audible. I love shonda's voice. I love the book. I've recommended it to anyone who will listen.
I am now hooked on greys anatomy!
What an inspiring woman. Thank you for writing the year of yes.
"Life changing "
I'm starting this again immediately. I don't know how to describe how I've been feeling listening to this book, but it has changed the way I am, with everything and everyone.
I loved it so much I bought a hard-copy to highlight and keep with me. I bought copies for my friends.
I'm saying yes to being the best me I can be and thank you Shonda.
The best book - a must read. I am so ready to say yes. I know Shondra wrote it just for me x
I found myself feeling slighlt bereft at the end as if I were leaving a close companion at the end of a long journey. Intriguing and refreshing listen.
"Entertaining and inspiring"
I enjoyed this book immensely. Shonda writes in an honest and intimate way and the book was narrated very well. I recommend for any woman who feels stuck and in need of a little inspiration.
"Brilliant and inspirational"
This is an execellent and motivational audible book. It would have been more than worth the listen if it had only comprised of the recordings of her public speeches which were excellently presented and very inspiring, but fortunately Shonda shared so much more. Her voice was clear, expressive and kept the listener captivated. I have always been a fan of Shonda's work and have watched every episode of her current 3 shows, I am now a fan of Shonda, her mind and the huge personality behind all of this creativity.
Shonda Rhimes' candour is enthralling. She reads with verve. Her back story is a wonderful retinue of events that really made me respect her stance. I learnt a lot about this woman who has become a legend.
This book has called me to say "YES" to whatever presents itself in my life. This book and everything about it is absolutely brilliant.
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