The Year of Yes: A Gushing Review

The Year of Yes: A Gushing Review

I finished Shonda Rhimes’ biographical self-help book The Year of Yes yesterday and I was seriously bummed out.

That is a good sign.

There are a few books that I don’t want to end and when I get to near the end I start to feel nostalgic for the time before I started reading. I say to myself: “Remember back when I still had the wonderful experience of living in this world for the first time? Those were the days.”

Some of my favorites are classics. War and Peace, Moby Dick, Gravity’s Rainbow, A Tale of Two Cities, The Three Musketeers and Infinite Jest were like that for me. Of course the 20.5 Aubrey-Maturin books are my favorite in this category. I also feel this way about most of Lois McMaster Bujold’s novels and the reboot of Battlestar Gallactica.

So I recommend that you go out and read these books.

But this is really the first non-fiction book that I can remember feeling this way about. It was wonderful being in Shondaland and I didn’t want to leave. Go out and buy it or get it from the library. I recommend the audiobook because Shonda reads it herself and she does a great job.

Here’s a bit of a disclaimer. It’s not really a bio and it’s not really a self-help book.

Shonda doesn’t talk about how she got to be one of the most powerful figures in television. She does give a lot of details about her life but the book is really about one year, 2014, when she transformed her life by committing to saying yes to things that scared her for a year.

It’s not really a self-help book because it doesn’t prescribe anything. Shonda tranformed her life but it’s not clear to me that what she did would apply to my life. It certainly inspired the hell out of me though so maybe it’s a self-help book after all.

Finally, my favorite thing about this book, aside from the consistantly brilliant, hilarious writing, is that Shonda was at the top of world professionally in 2013, she was the 3 Thank God its Thursday shows on ABC, and she had a wonderful family and a great life. She was running the three shows on Th But she realized that she was actually miserable. More impressively she described her situation such that I, a white, married man who is not currently running any TV shows, could totally relate to her feelings and feel for her.

I miss her.

I think I’ll take that book out of the library again.

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