You will notice almost immediately that her writing style is quite similar to the shows that she produces. In her book The Year of Yes: How To Dance It Out, Stand In The Sun and Be Yourself, Shonda Rhimes lets us into her glamorous world of entertainment as she narrates story after story in the captivating way that we know her for. Shonda, for you who might not have heard of her, is the talented creator of popular TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and has overseen production for How To Get Away With Murder (HTGAWM) and The Catch. She’s brilliant, trust me.
This book is one of the few biographies that I have read in this good earth of ours and it does not disappoint. In retrospect, it sets high standards for those I’ll read in years to come! Year of Yes is the result of a statement made by her sister saying to Shonda,” you never say yes to anything…” which she (Shonda) makes into a challenge.
An year-long celebration to saying “YES” to party invites, speaking engagements, love, career defining moments and much more. For this shy, overweight woman who has the inherent fear that she will ‘poop’, ‘faint’ or ‘die’ in front of an audience that small word carries a heaviness to it. She takes these challenges thrown at her with grace, some with more resistance than others and the journey towards acceptance and standing in the sun begins.
Shonda really digs deep into issues of race, sexuality and acceptance in her TV shows and she does not shy away from fights like this. FOD is an acronym she uses to distinguish ‘first only different’ people. That her show HTGAWM has the first black female lead actress (Viola Davis) in a nation-wide show makes Viola an FOD. These barriers, she writes, make the hurdles of other women of colour coming after her to get leading roles easier.
I may not agree with some of her ideas but because I’m so enthralled by the woman I could hardly see her faults. And by the way, she shuts down trolls on Twitter with the precision of a ninja heroine goddess, which is not really a word but you get it, don’t you? Hehe
Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search For Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia is a memoir written in 2006 and later on turned into an acclaimed movie. I haven’t seen the movie yet but because Julia Roberts starred in it, friends I can assure you that I have increased my efforts in looking for it.
Now, the book is about Liz and her travels in search of herself which is confusing because she’s here all along. Anyway she starts her journey to Italy after going through an ugly divorce because of her transgressions and the hatred afterwards. She quickly redeems herself to the reader by being honest about her role in all of it.
In Italy, she explores pleasure, enjoying the good things in life and her paragraphs upon paragraphs of food description will leave you craving everything she’s having. That little restaurant in the outskirts of Naples that sells the best pizza stays in your mind long after you’ve finished reading the book. The exploration of religion comes next. She does this while living in an ashram learning yoga in India. For me this was the not-so-fun part of the book because I didn’t understand the many rituals of yoga, the chanting and everything that came with it. At least she made up for it with witty conversation with an affable guy called ‘Richard’ from Texas who called her ‘Groceries.’ It’s quite unfortunate that the groceries I have come to know are in the context of a cheeky rap song.
She met the love of her life in Indonesia. This beautiful story cancels out all the bad things that happen to her because she goes through so much! It ends with a few pages teasing the sequel to ‘Eat Pray Love’ which is a book called ‘Committed’ and it promises to be just as good.
I am currently reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and Half of A Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi-Adichie. I finished reading The Fault In Our Stars by John Green about a week ago and in the coming weeks I’ll be talking more on that. I’m also posting a NEW video on my Facebook page, so stay on the look out for that.
Till then, share with me what you are reading and lets chat