Source: Birthday present from my friend Julia!
Rating: 8 out of 10
Publisher: Crown Archetype
Challenges: 2012 TBR Pile Reading Challenge
Synopsis (from the book description): Most people know that Mindy Kaling as romance-hungry Kelly Kapoor on The Office, but this Dartmouth grad is also a busy comedy writer, playwright, and Off-Broadway performer. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? is her maiden book and, as its title reflects, Kaling’s new persona mirrors Kelly’s chronic low self-esteem, not to mention her shopping compulsions and obsession with snack foods. With Mindy’s help, you will master complicating topics including best friends, non-traumatic things that make you cry, why not to peak in high school, and why men put on shoes so slowly.
Overall Impression: I’m going to come right out and say it. I liked this a little more than Bossypants. There have been the inevitable comparisons between the two books, and most reviewers have put Tina Fey’s book ahead of this one. But I have to say that I enjoyed Kaling’s just a little more. Perhaps it’s because I watch the Office and not 30 Rock? Or it may be I found Kaling so relatable, like she’s an actual, real human. I loved how she talked about her childhood, about loving and respecting her parents, doing well in school, and working really hard to get to where she is today. There was a nice variation between the length and style of the essays, which I have to give her kudos for. And she did all this while making me laugh all the way through. Her writing is so her. She’s honest and doesn’t make excuses for liking shopping, dieting, and being a bit of a drama queen. The book was mostly light-hearted, but she also talked about some deeper topics — being “chubby” in Hollywood, owning up to one’s mistakes, and working really, really hard. It was an altogether lovely little memoir, and I hope for more from her soon!
Oh! When Julia sent me Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? for my birthday, she tagged the essay “Best Friends Rights and Responsibilities” with a post-it that said, “This is so us!!” And it was! That might have been my favorite essay.
Positives: It made me want to be BFFs with Mindy. Can I call you Mindy?
Negatives: It felt so short! I hope she’s saving some good stuff for the next book. And I think the problem with a lot of celebrity memoirs is that it feels like it can be a little name-droppy. This one wasn’t too bad, but when you’re friends with Rainn Wilson, it inevitably happens.
Other books I’ve read by Mindy Kaling: none.
Other blogger opinions:
books i done read: “…there is some VERY INSIGHTFUL STUFF on achieving your dreams and one of the most rational attitudes about being a chubby person that I’ve ever seen.”
Devourer of Books: “Kaling is charming, both in her writing and narration…I would recommend this overall.”
My Books. My Life.: “This book is entertaining, smart, and funny. I only wish it were twice as long.”