Quiet Reading: Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

Books for introverts - Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

Quick Synopsis

Year of Yes is a hilarious, heart-tugging memoir of the year US primetime television queen, Shonda Rhimes, ditched her excuses, stopped hiding behind her introversion, and started saying ‘yes’ when she was used to saying ‘no’. As the year continued on and Shonda saw her life changing in so many ways, this became more than just a 12 month challenge, it became her new life and she shares her insights and her fascinating life in hopes that it will inspire others to do the same.




Do you ever start to read a book and before you even get past the foreword (or introduction), you can’t believe it took you so long to get your hands on it? Year of Yes is definitely one of these books. Need more than my word to convince you? The 11th line of the prologue says it all, really:

See, I am an introvert. Deep. To the bone. My marrow is introvert marrow. My snot is introvert snot. Every cell in my body screams continuously at me with every word I type that writing this book is an unnatural act.”

Say no more, right? Year of Yes is a game changer to the extreme. Throw in Shonda’s wicked sense of humour, her honesty about what a top-notch liar she is, and a little behind-the-scenes of what it’s like to be an African American, introverted woman who has literally defied all odds by becoming the most successful show runner, creator, executive producer, and writer of TV ever, and this book really doesn’t require any further explanation.

But one thing that was more fascinating than Shonda’s great stories about rubbing shoulders with the likes of talent like Kerry Washington, Meredith from Grey’s Anatomy, and OPRAH, her incredible weightloss, her Ted and Harvard speeches, and her numerous awards and accolades were the times that her honesty about being shy and introverted hit close to home. So close that you’re laughing one minute and possibly sobbing the next with the realisation that she hit the nail so on the head that it’s just a little too much to handle.

If Quiet is the introvert’s handbook, Year of Yes is the cooler spinoff show you binge watched on Netflix over the weekend.


Why is this book great for introverts?

Because it just is. Trust me. And if it doesn’t blow your mind with awesomeness, feel free to send me a nasty email to hello(at)theintroverteffect(dot)com



Without spoiling some of the spectacular anecdotes and a-ha moments that this witty and entertaining autobiography dispenses, the personal realisation I had was that – despite all the work I’ve done on myself and in coming to understand my introverted nature – there are still subtle ways that I’ve been ‘saying no’ to life. The other is that I have a long way to go to become such a rich and engaging storyteller.


Favourite thing?

Shonda makes being awkward and introverted real and funny. She’s hilarious, her stories are genuine, and even though her life is wildly different to mine (and probably yours), she still manages to be totally relatable to the quiet kid in all of us. I can’t recommend this book highly enough. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions like an episode of Grey’s Anatomy, complete with the killer soundtrack and moments of heart. I read a lot, and I read excellent books (because who has time for the shitty ones?!) but I can safely say this is the most enjoyable book I’ve read in a long time.


Is it for you?

If you were the shy, chubby kid at school; if you’ve ever felt awkward and silly in social situations; if you’ve ever watched any of Shonda’s shows (Grey’s, Scandal, Private Practice, How To Get Away With Murder) or you love TV dramas in general; if you think you’d probably have an Oprah blackout and forget your entire experience meeting the Queen; or if you find yourself saying ‘no’ more than you say ‘yes’, Year of Yes is definitely one you have to get your eyeballs in front of.


Want to check it out?

You can find Year of Yes just about anywhere books are sold.

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Katherine is a writer, mentor, and champion of introverted leaders. After spending a lifetime feeling like there was something wrong with her for being quiet, she’s on a mission to make sure no other introvert ever feels that way ever again.

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