Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling

ImageHere’s what Kaling’s book is NOT: it’s not an autobiography, it’s not long or heavy, there is no abuse or cancer or addiction, and it’s not Tina Fey’s book.

There, I’ve dispensed with most of the criticisms of this book I read on Amazon and Goodreads.

What it is, it’s a funny look at Mindy the person, and how she got to where she is.  It’s a light, sort of random collection of stuff.  It’s not always laugh out loud funny, but it’s clever and warm and real.

In the opening section:

Is this one of those guide books celebrities write for girls?

Oh, hell no.  I’m only marginally qualified to be giving advice at all.  My body mass index is certainly not ideal, I frequently use my debit card to buy things that cost less than three dollars, because I never have cash on me, and my bedroom is so untidy it looks like vandals ransacked the Anthropologie sale section.  I’m kind of a mess.  I did, however, fulfill a childhood dream of writing and acting in television and movies.  Armed with that confidence, alongside a lifelong love of the sound of my own voice, yes, I’ve put some advice in this book.

I’ve seen interviews with Mindy and I always think, wow, she’s someone I would love to know.  She’s smart and confident, and she’s successful as a writer, not just in front of the camera.  She’s also someone who’s breaking down stereotypes and isn’t Hollywood thin or beautiful.  This book lets you get to know her a little more.

I liked The Office, but I really like her new show The Mindy Project, which I’m afraid will get canceled because no one’s watching (update: it got renewed!).  Reading this book gave me the sense that her character on that show is pretty close to who she is (except for the part about being an Ob/Gyn, which is really her mom).

My favorite parts of the book relate to her career as a writer and actress.  It’s an interesting behind-the-scenes look at how a TV show works, and I wouldn’t have minded more of that.  I don’t have the slightest idea how these shows get written.

I also liked the part where she talks about her childhood friends, growing away from some and finding real friendship with others.

ImageOh, and the book is full of adorable childhood pictures and pics of life as a TV writer.  They didn’t show up great on my Kindle but I can live with that.

Mindy admits she talks to much, and maybe loves clothes and shoes too much.  In that regard, we don’t have a lot in common.  But that’s okay.  She’s also surprisingly “traditional” – she wants marriage and a family, loves her parents, doesn’t party and doesn’t believe in casual sex.

I liked and respected Kaling before reading the book, and I like her more afterwards.  This isn’t an earth-shattering or a ground-breaking read.  But it is funny.

  6 comments for “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling

  1. March 16, 2014 at 11:22 am

    This has been on my wishlist for ages, since before The Mindy Project aired over here (which is one of my favourite TV shows). I should really get around to actually getting it

  2. March 16, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    I liked this book a lot more than I thought I would (because of all of these crazy reviews that were pretty much “this isn’t Bossypants so 0 stars”) but Kaling is great. And I should probably watch her show…

  3. March 18, 2014 at 7:17 am

    I’m glad this book is not all those things you listed. I’ve been wanting to read it. The title grabs me for sure, it’s the way i often feel.

  4. March 20, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    This book has been on my TBR for a long time, so I’m glad to see you liked it! I like “The Mindy Project” too…I think it’s not terribly cohesive from week to week, but each half-hour by itself is really entertaining!

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