5. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling

I’ve been trying to write a review of this book for days, and I’m not really sure why I’ve been putting it off. Maybe it’s because I loved it so much I didn’t want it to be really over? Mindy Kaling’s first book is amazing. I loved it unconditionally. In the weeks coming up to the book’s release, she leaked short chapters to the internet, went on Jon Stewart and Colbert (and probably some other shows I don’t watch), and basically promoted the shit out of her book. I read several of the excerpts and was really excited to read the book in its entirety. I wasn’t disappointed.

The book is part autobiography, part collection of thoughts/lists, and part private musings on pop culture/people/beauty products/her own funeral. It’s all hilarious. If you’ve ever seen The Office, you’ve probably heard Kaling’s (pretty distinctive) voice. Throughout the book, I could hear her voice reading along in my head- Kaling writes like a friend might talk to you on the phone, chatty, friendly, inserting comments and references here and there. I laughed out loud at least once per page, and although Kaling writes, “This book will take you two days to read. Did you even see the cover? It’s mostly pink. If you’re reading this book every night for months, something is not right.” I wish I could have just kept reading, long after the book was finished.

Even though Kaling is a TV star, and a well known comedy writer, she comes off as down to earth, unpretentious and completely normal. In the first few chapters of the book, she talks about her childhood as a chubby kid, her awkward teen years, and her transition to college as a comedy nerd. Her witty observations about girlhood and being young and semi-unemployed hit home with me, and  she is able to elevate the awkward events of real life into hilarious episodes that always turn out OK. If you need evidence, turn here. It’s reassuring that she became successful in her field not by having a hit youtube video, or by being on a reality show, but by working hard, doing well, and going to college. While she’s still an anomaly, and being famous isn’t a byproduct of most normal jobs, it was nice to read about someone young and successful, who got that way in a pretty traditional route. (Although I really want to see the play Matt & Ben, I bet it’s hilarious!)

Some of the chapters in the book remind me of writing I’ve seen on Pajiba- like one chapter called “Somewhere in Hollywood Someone is Pitching This Movie” in which Kaling excoriates Hollywood movie executives for making shitty sequels and creating movies based on board games. Another chapter, in which she describes typical leading ladies from romantic comedies (types that never exist in real life) is hilarious for how true it is, and for how often these terrible stereotypes ruin romantic comedies.

I would highly recommend this book to basically every lady under the age of 40. That’s not to say that women over 40 wouldn’t like it- but Kaling’s writing is definitely geared to a particular age set. I can also see why a lot of guys wouldn’t like the book- she dedicates a chapter (albeit a short one) to talking about pictures on her blackberry. That’s not to discourage guys from reading this- it’s not “girl humor” because I think that’s bullshit, but it is humor written mainly for a female audience.

Pages: 219/1501

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~ by lefaquin on January 9, 2012.

2 Responses to “5. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling”

  1. […] Read More… Share this:ShareTwitterFacebookEmailDiggStumbleUpon Posted by lefaquin in 5 stars – a favorite and tagged humor, lefaquin, Mindy Kaling […]

  2. I think I used the exact same quote in my review of this. I also really enjoyed this – it’s one of the only essay collections where I liked every single piece.

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