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By Gideon Amichay

128 pages, hardcover, $22.95, published by Gideon Amichay, nononononoyes.com

Remember the first time someone told you “no,” rejected your creative ideas or put barriers on your path to success? Whether it sparked your motivation or became the two-letter monster of dread, the new book No, No, No, No, No, Yes. is an inspiring must-read for every creative.

Gideon Amichay’s amusing, poignant and refreshingly relatable tales from his career as an award-winning ad man and cartoonist for The New Yorker challenge our relationship with the loaded word. From repeated rejections when trying to get his first cartoon published to continuous thumbs-down responses from advertising clients and agency peers, Amichay used “no” to fuel his drive, navigate around inevitable naysayers and uncover the “yeses” to realize his dreams. 

Looking at the various types of rebuffs—was the “no” followed by an exclamation point, question mark or comma?—Amichay encourages us not to take the word at face value, but to under-stand the “why” behind it. Smart pacing and clever use of white space (one word atop a blank page) successfully underscore his anecdotes, bring the reader into his emotional journey and inspire reflection. Warning: Be prepared for a lump-in-the-throat reaction if you’ve squelched any unfulfilled aspirations.

The author’s witty cartoons, unpublished sketches and ground-breaking advertising campaigns are sprinkled throughout, but this little blue book is not a catalog of eye-popping creative work. It’s one of the best kick-in-the-butt pep talks ever. —Stephanie Orma

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