Year of Yes
How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person
by Shonda Rhimes
Simon & Schuster
Book Review by Kam Williams
“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.”
-- Excerpted from the Bookjacket
Writer/producer Shonda Rhimes has created some of the most groundbreaking television series around. The gifted Renaissance woman is the brains behind such iconic characters as Scandal's Olivia Pope, Grey's Anatomy's Dr. Meredith Grey, and How to Get Away with Murder's Annalise Keating.
Despite being showered with accolades, however, Shonda pretty much remained under the radar for years, invariably turning down invites to deliver commencement addresses, to appear on TV talk shows and to attend posh showbiz soirees. And she always had ready excuses for remaining a homebody, between the three daughters she was raising as a single-mom and the incessant demands of a skyrocketing career.
Truth be told, Shonda was a painfully-shy introvert given to panic attacks prior to press conferences and other public appearances. Fortunately, she was finally forced on Thanksgiving Day 2013 to face her agoraphobia when her sister Delorse staged an intervention, asserting "You never say 'yes' to anything."
Shonda grudgingly agreed to embark on an ambitious, yearlong project during which she would not only overcome her inhibitions but work on her health, relationship and other ignored issues, as well. The upshot of that intrepid, personal journey is Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person, a warts-and-all memoir designed to inspire her admirers to overcome obstacles of their own.
Not surprisingly, Shonda has quite a way with words. For instance, you really feel what she experienced as she deliberately recounts the crippling stage fright that almost caused her to cancel a booking on Jimmy Kimmel. But after it goes well, the relieved guest celebrates in the green room with, "I did it... and I didn't die."
In sum, a combination opus doling out generous helpings of sensible advice while simultaneously exploring the mind of a brilliant power broker Time magazine's has dubbed one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.
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