BOOK REVIEW| YEAR OF YES

Hi, my loves!

Do you feel like it’s been a while since I’ve been on here to talk about books? I feel the same way too. I have been reading though. As a matter of fact, I have read two books recently which haven’t been reviewed on the blog but more on that later.

Do you know Shonda Rhimes?

She’s the super smart writer (and creator) of Grey’s Anatomy & Scandal and producer of How To Get Away With Murder which are all excellent shows. I decided to read this book because I was curious about Shonda (who is really private). I wanted to know what makes her tick and to be inspired. The book is based on her decision to say YES to everything that came her way in the year of 2014. She decided to do the year of yes after her big sister told her “you never say yes to anything”.

Sometimes, saying yes for her involved saying no to certain things. She said yes to loving herself and to taking better care of her body. She also tells of saying yes to telling the whole truth, to her definition of being a good mother and to having difficult conversations.

It was enlightening to learn that she is an introvert, really. I felt like I could totally relate to everything she said on that level and even about how that impacts her as a mother to very extroverted children. I don’t agree with everything she says in the book and I didn’t finish the book feeling “Oh Lord, I LOVE this woman!”. It was more “wow, this is interesting”. It is a fantastic read and you will be unable to put it down. I certainly admire her badassery and I did learn one or two things from her year of saying yes. I am certain you will learn a few (or more) things too.

QUOTES

Hollywood is a bizarre place. It’s easy to lose touch with reality here. But nothing keeps a person grounded like a host of siblings who, when someone requests your autograph, ask in a truly horrified tone, “Her? Shonda’s autograph? Are you sure? Shonda? No wait, really, Shonda? Shonda RHIMES? Why?”

I can make any story good. I can take the lamest tale and make it compelling. The thing is, a good story is not about purposely lying. The best stories are true. Giving good story just requires that I . . . leave out the untidy bits.

This is who I am. Silent. Quiet. Interior. More comfortable with books than new situations. Content to live within my imagination.

between you and me? I think synergy sounds like the word one uses to define the calories two people burn off during sex. Think about it. Synergy.

It’s the same kind of speech I have always written. Pithy, witty, snappy. It has highs and lows. Jokes. It’s smart and shiny. And it sounds just fine. Except I’m not actually saying anything. I’m not revealing anything. I’m not sharing anything. There is nothing of me in here. I speak from behind a curtain. It’s like a magic trick—I open my mouth but you never actually hear me. You just hear my voice. This speech is all Athlete Talk. I imagine standing up at that podium tomorrow and looking into the faces of those graduates and . . . What? If I say nothing of substance, tell them nothing, share nothing, give nothing . . . why? Why am I even there? What am I afraid they will see if I am really myself?

I think a lot of people dream. And while they are busy dreaming, the really happy people, the really successful people, the really interesting, powerful, engaged people? Are busy doing.

You just have to keep doing something, seizing the next opportunity, staying open to trying something new.

before kids, my confidence could not be dented. Now it’s shattered on a daily basis. I don’t know what I am doing

I’ve read a lot of books written by and about working women and I’m struck by the fact no one ever seems to want to talk about having help at home. Which I think is not so helpful to the women who don’t have help at home.

The more I said yes to things that challenged me, the more I had to leave the house. Saying yes had turned little cocooned me into a big social butterfly

Making television for me is . . . blissful. I can make stuff up the way other people can sing—I have simply always been able to hit all the notes.

I try hard to think I am special, to be in love with myself, to be into myself. I strive for badassery. Men do it all the time. Take the compliment and run. They don’t make themselves smaller. They don’t apologize for being powerful. They don’t downplay their accomplishments

No is a powerful word. To me, it’s the single most powerful word in the English language. Said clearly, strongly and with enough frequency and force, it can alter the course of history. Want an example? Rosa Parks.

Everyone knows how difficult it is to say no. It’s one of the reasons why people seem to be comfortable asking you for favors they have no business asking you for. They know how hard it is to say no. “Can you watch my kids for an hour?” “Can I wear your diamond earrings?” “Can I borrow your car?

The craziest thing about becoming successful is that all kinds of people decide that you are rich. And not just rich. They decide you are a bank. Now, the truth is, nobody actually knows your situation and the assumption that you have a ton of money.

Freedom lies across the field of the difficult conversation. And the more difficult the conversation, the greater the freedom.

I listened to it on audible but I also bought the kindle book because I really love highlighting and that’s tough to do with audiobooks. This was a really great book and worth the penny. I think everyone should read it. It is honest and that’s really what matters with art.

Afoma x

PS: WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE NEW THEME?!



  • Now THIS IS A BOOK I WANNA READ SOOOOO BAD!!!!!!!!!!

    Oh my!!!
    On the lookout.

    Plus that bit about mothers and help?
    Oh I could hug her

    • Oh that mothers and help part was so point and she had a perfect illustration to back her points up. I’m glad you’ve got the book!

  • Yaaay downloaded on Audible.

    Thanks babe

    • Woo-hoo!! You’ll enjoy it ❤️

  • Interesting Boon on Shonda. I love her shows…on the look out for the book.