Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Review - Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by: Mindy Kaling

Title: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)
Author: Mindy Kaling
Publisher: Crown Archetype
Pages: 222
Format: Kindle Edition
Source: Personal purchase


Comedy's fastest-rising star takes to the page in a book of essays, personal anecdotes, and impassioned pleas.
Multi-hyphenate Mindy Kaling is an Emmy-nominated writer, the actress famous for playing the beloved Kelly Kapoor on The Office, and the author of one of Twitter's most popular and quoted feeds.  She is a keen and witty observer of life, romance, and pop culture, whom the New York Times recently called "an entirely original and of-the-moment" performer and Entertainment Weekly deemed “one of the ten funniest actresses in Hollywood.” 

In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy shares her observations, fears, and opinions about a wide-ranging list of the topics she thinks about the most: from her favorite types of guys (including Sherlock Holmes, NBA players, Aaron Sorkin characters, and 19th-century fictional hunks) to life in the Office writers' room to her leisure pursuit of dieting (“I don’t travel, speak other languages, do crafts, or enjoy sports, but I love reading about new diets”) and how much she loves romantic comedies.  Loaded with personal stories and laugh-out-loud philosophies, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? is a must-read by one of the most original comedic voices working today.

From the Hardcover edition.

My thoughts:

I know Mindy Kaling from The Office. I know her as the hilarious side character on NoStrings Attached and The Five-Year Engagement. When I found out she had her own show, I started watching The Mindy Project and found myself laughing out loud more than once during a 20-minute episode. I wanted to laugh more, like any normal person would (!), so I decided it was a good time to pick up her book, too.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? is autobiographical for the most part. Kaling tells us her high school stories, college stories, stories about how she ended up writing for The Office. As soon as you start reading, you feel like you’ve been best friends with Mindy as long as you can remember and she’s chattering away while you’re having coffee or getting ready for a sleepover. Some parts make you laugh out loud, some parts are more serious. She goes back and forth so well that you don’t get bored or think anything’s overdone.

I especially loved her comments about Hollywood’s beauty standards and how “real” women, one of them being Mindy, don’t fit into them. She bravely tells a story about how at a photo shoot, she had a hard time finding something to wear because everything that was brought was in sample sizes. Triumphantly, she got creative and told the person in charge to fix it the way she wanted to wear it. This anecdote also reminded me of how they told Barbra Streisand in the past that she should fix her nose and teeth. But she didn’t. Not only did that make her a role model for girls all over the world, she’s still f’ing gorgeous.

If you’re looking for a fun read that’ll make you think while you’re giggling, I definitely recommend this book. Her show The Mindy Project isn’t too different from the book either, and it’s a lot of fun and recommended to all comedy fans.

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