Shonda Rhimes’ Year Of Yes

Shonda Rhimes' Year Of Yes Shonda Rhimes' Year Of Yes

[dropcap]I[/dropcap] seem to always say that I’m not a big reader. No matter what I’m actually writing the post about, it seems to slip in every now and then. Well, here we go again. I’m not a big reader. I’m good at it. I get through books really fast when I do read. I just have to motivate myself to do it, like going to the gym or getting that essay written. The book I’m reading has to be really bloody good or I just won’t bother.

So you can assume from that snippet of personal information, that if I have read through a book and then written a recommendation for it, that it’s a really good book. Really bloody good. I read the whole thing at any chance I could get and enjoyed every page and not once did I think ‘ugh I suppose I should try to read more of that book.’

So that’s a really good thing.

For my birthday, granted a while ago now, Ollie bought me Shonda Rhimes’ ‘Year Of Yes’ and let’s face it, he bought it for himself. Like I love Grey’s Anatomy but he LOVES Grey’s Anatomy. He can’t get enough. He’s all up in that. He even took Patrick Dempsey’s side in the new Bridget Jones like who would even do that?!

Still, I’m not awful and ungrateful and was genuinely really happy so I opened and began to read… and didn’t stop until it was finished (or, like, my train had arrived or whatever).

The book itself is the complete opposite of one of those self help books. It’s an autobiography about one specific year of Shonda’s life, in which she decided to go from being sad and boring, to living life to the full. It’s a cliché sure, but she assures us that it is perfectly doable, intensely difficult and incredibly rewarding. It’s a compilation of hilarious anecdotes, sad tales, a heavy sprinkle of Shondaland plugs, and leaves you feeling warm and cared for, and not alone.

That’s the thing I drew from Year Of Yes the most. Shonda is just going along doing her life like the rest of us. Sure she has an entire production company and writes three of TVs best loved shows, but she’s also pretty cool and ‘normal’ and experiences life in just the same way that we do. Or at least I do.

I’m going to let you into a secret now. I’ve actually started reading it again. I finished it two weeks ago, and I’m already back on it. It’s soothing and fun and takes the edge off a bad day or boring train journey.

Book blogging isn’t really my thing, as is evident, and my book reviews tend to be purely academic (not sure you want to hear my thoughts on Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason…) so I don’t have a lot to say. I can’t compare it to other books, and it’s not like any autobiography I’ve ever read.

I learnt so much about myself through reading it. I realised that I’m also rubbish at saying yes to things. If things aren’t compulsory or they scare me even a little, I’ll hide from them. I don’t do big social occasions well and struggle to have fun. Thanks to Shonda, however, I’m noticing it a little more.

Shonda Rhimes' Year Of Yes

So I’ve started to say yes to things. Just small things for now, but maybe larger things in the future. I’m really excited about what my own year of yes will bring me. Maybe I’ll finally start to challenge myself a little more, and look after myself a little more. I’ll also add here that Shonda’s ‘yes’ can also mean saying yes to saying no. Having the bravery to say no, I don’t like this/you/everything, and start again.

And that’s all I want to say, really. I want to tell you that I’m starting to get back on track with things, and starting to push myself to break out of my comfort zone. It’s such a great book to have found before starting my final big year of uni, and I’m thrilled that I did.


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  • Sophie Stewart says:

    I think I need to check this book out. Sophie x

  • woodenwindowsills says:

    You said yes to the awards thing the other day, that was a big social occasion! Admittedly, I usually love social stuff but it still terrified me arriving when I knew nobody! Alice xx

  • Matea says:

    I love reading these kinds of stories, they always inspire me to focus more on what I want and try harder to make it happen 🙂


  • Lucy says:

    I love the sound of this – definitely going to have to give it a read!

    Lucy | Forever September

  • Sounds like my kind of book! I love reading things like this. I’ve never actually heard of Shonda (have never seen Grey’s Anatomy!) but would love to read this book. I’m reading something at the moment which I’m really enjoying and sounds sort of similar that you may be interested in – The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin!

    Suitcase and Sandals Blog XX

  • I definitely need this book in my life right now! Thanks so much for the recommendation! I’m the same, I tend to read crime or romantic books but need to be really into it to actually enjoy it or continue to read – but this sounds brilliant and perfect for me right now so I’ll definitely have to give it a read!

    Josie // JosieVictoriaa

  • Joana says:

    I’ve had this book on my to be read list for ages. I might finally pick it up after reading your review, mostly if you say you’re not a big reader 🙂 I supposed it is very good, then! x

  • I haven’t read the book but listened to the podcast its really inspiring! x

  • Emma Hart says:

    This sounds like a really motivating book. Like you, I often find that I have to actually make the effort to read a book but when I find a good one, it doesn’t get put down. Saying yes to things can be such a good thing too. My natural reaction to social occasions is to shy away from them, unless it’s with my closest friends or people I know well, but saying yes can be so rewarding and you can get so many good memories out of those occasions and experiences. This may have to be one of the next books I read, and actually read instead of leaving it sat on my shelf…

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