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Thursday, January 7, 2016
What I Am Reading: Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
It's a new new year, time to add a new book to my reading list. New Year. If you have been following my "What I am Reading" series here on Figure Out Your Life blog, then you know that during the fall I began a movie-to-book themed reading series---that is, reading books that were the source material for movies that I have seen. I ended 2015 with the page-turning, and amazingly well adapted-to-a-movie, book "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn. Check out my other book reviews here.
In the spirit of starting off the new year right, I have decided to change up things and read an inspirational book. My first book of the year is "Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun, and Be Your Own Person" by creator of tv shows "Grey's Anatomy," "Scandal," and "How to Get Away with Murder,"and queen mother of #TGIT (Thank God It's Thursday) on ABC, Shonda Rhimes.
I am at the very end of this book and I love it. It is funny, insightful, and inspiring. Shonda brings us in her world and holds nothing back, as she recounts her one year journey of saying "yes" to everything that made her scared, nervous, and uncomfortable. During that year, she lost 127lbs, made the commencement speech at her alma mater Dartmouth College, got closer to her family and friends, shed some toxic friends, covered magazines, to name a few of the things she did once she stopped saying "no." My favorite chapters are "Say Yes to No" and "Say Yes to Who I Am." I have already bookmarked those chapters and I am sure I will going back to them over the course of this year when I need a boost. Highly recommend this book!!! Get it today---the ebook, paperback, hardcover, or the audiobook.
In this poignant, hilarious, and deeply intimate call to arms, Hollywood’s most powerful woman, the mega-talented creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away with Murder reveals how saying YES changed her life—and how it can change yours too.
She’s the creator and producer of some of the most groundbreaking and audacious shows on television today: Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder. Her iconic characters—Meredith Grey, Cristina Yang, Olivia Pope, Annalise Keating—live boldly and speak their minds. So who would suspect that Shonda Rhimes, the mega talent who owns Thursday night television (#TGIT), is an introvert? That she hired a publicist so she could avoid public appearances? That she hugged walls at splashy parties and suffered panic attacks before media interviews so severe she remembered nothing afterward?
Before her Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes was an expert at declining invitations others would leap to accept. With three children at home and three hit television shows on TV, it was easy to say that she was simply too busy. But in truth, she was also afraid. Afraid of cocktail party faux pas like chucking a chicken bone across a room; petrified of live television appearances where Shonda Rhimes could trip and fall and bleed out right there in front of a live studio audience; terrified of the difficult conversations that came so easily to her characters on-screen. In the before, Shonda’s introvert life revolved around burying herself in work, snuggling her children, and comforting herself with food.
And then, on Thanksgiving 2013, Shonda’s sister muttered something that was both a wake up and a call to arms: You never say yes to anything.
The comment sat like a grenade, until it detonated. Then Shonda, the youngest of six children from a supremely competitive family, knew she had to embrace the challenge: for one year, she would say YES to everything that scared her.
This poignant, intimate, and hilarious memoir explores Shonda’s life before her Year of Yes—from her nerdy, book-loving childhood creating imaginary friends to her devotion to creating television characters who reflected the world she saw around her (like Cristina Yang, whose ultimate goal wasn’t marriage, and Cyrus Beene, who is a Republican and gay). And it chronicles her life after her Year of Yes had begun—when Shonda forced herself out of the house and onto the stage, appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live, and giving the Dartmouth Commencement speech; when she learned to say yes to her health, yes to play and she stepped out of the shadows and into the sun; when she learned to explore, empower, applaud, and love her truest self. Yes.
This wildly candid and compulsively readable book reveals how the mega talented Shonda Rhimes, an unexpected introvert, achieved badassery worthy of a Shondaland character. And how you can, too.
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