It was a good book – warm, funny, and something I could identify with.
I realize I’m late to the party, but that’s not new. I loved this book. It spoke to me. It’s like my Southeast Asian Republican life doppleganger wrote this book. I’m actually going to start using it as a litmus test for a future husband. If he does not find Mindy attractive and endearing in this book, it probably won’t work out because what she wrote is basically what goes through my brain always.
I’m not an avid fan of The Office, but I follow Kaling on Twitter because she’s funny and, as I said, speaks to me as a 25-year-old female. She had released the essay “Best Friends Rights and Responsibilities” as a preview, and that excerpt sealed the deal for me. Continue reading
I wish I was a better writer, because I would love to write a proper letter of adoration to Mindy and this book. As it is, I’m not really that great a writer so I’ll just talk about some of the reasons I loved this book.
I’ve been a fan on Mindy’s since The Office. I know, just like everyone else. But I appreciate her humor and her work that she’s done on TV and in the writer’s room. I love her anecdotes, her voice, and her self-deprecation. I think that The Mindy Project is fantastic, and has surpassed New Girl as my favorite Tuesday night comedy. (I also think that New Girl is not that great this season but that’s neither here nor there.)
As someone who was once a teenage girl, I identify with a lot of her childhood stories. But if you’re not a fan of her work and her humor, this book is not for you. It worked for me because I could hear her reading the book to me in my head and it was great. I spent a good deal of it laughing out loud to the irritation of my boyfriend, but overall I loved it and would recommend.
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) marks the third memoir I’ve read this year by a female comedian. While it wasn’t as laugh out loud funny as Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir (honestly, I don’t think many things are) or as heartfelt as Tina Fey’s Bossypants, I still really liked it. It’s a fast rad, but a fun one.
Kaling has a great voice. She begins by describing her childhood, her attempts to make friends and involve herself in social activities. As she grows up, she embraces comedy whole heartedly, and her stories about trying to “make it” in New York are hysterical. She’s self-deprecating, but not obnoxious about it. Her views on dating and romantic comedies cracked me up.
In my list of comedian autobiographies so far this year, Kaling suffers from being in such good company, but still made for a couple enjoyable lunch breaks while I scarfed down this funny little memoir.
Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers. Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka.
As I am just jumping into this e-book world, one of my friends suggested that I read this memoir for some lighter side reading on my iPad. I have watched Mindy on The Office, but I didn’t know much more about her.
I enjoyed this book and read it over a few early morning while rocking my daughter to sleep. The book is part storytelling part stream of consciousness that pulls the reader in. If you read Tina Fey’s Bossypants, then you would like this book as well.
I realize that Is Everyone Hanging Out without Me has made the rounds by now on Cannonball Read, but I just *had* to read it, too. And I’m glad I did. I’m normally not a huge fan of memoirs, but Bossypants was by far one of the most delightful things I had ever read. I was afraid that I would keep comparing it to Bossypants, but Kaling differs drastically from Tina Fey’s style and voice.
Kaling chronicles her childhood and adolescence as a comedy nerd, her attempts to break into theater with her two-person show Ben and Matt, and the process of becoming a writer on The Office. There are also lots of pictures, lists, and other delightful miscellany that take it out of the typical “memoir” genre and bring a more interactive experience for readers.
There were several moments where I had to put the book down because I was laughing too hard. I also had to share several excerpts with my husband aloud. Mindy’s writing style is witty and funny, and there are too many “soundbytes” worth sharing. One of my personal favorites was her description of being dressed in a vaguely asexual manner, like Bert from Sesame Street. As a person who grew up with a bowl cut and baggy clothes in the 90s, I totally get that.
Mindy Kaling’s memoir was one of the best things I’ve read so far this year and last. I’d highly recommend it to just about anyone.
You can also read this review on my personal blog, The Universe Disturbed.
“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.”
My sister is pregnant, and in an effort to make room for the baby, she gave me a bunch of books, one of which was “Are you there vodka? It’s me, Chelsea.” I got three chapters in before I got the distinct urge to drop it in a lake. It was not funny, I don’t think I laughed once in three chapters I read. I hated the premise of her stories, I hated her voice, and I’m pretty sure I actually hated her.
It was in this mindset that I started reading Mindy Kaling’s memoir, not expecting too terribly much from Kelly Kapoor. However, I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The vignettes Kaling employ aren’t wild, out-of-this-world stories that would never happen to a sane person *cough*ChelseaHandler*cough*, but real, honest-to-goodness stories of growing up a nerd and subsequent tales of trying hard to make it in an unforgiving business.
And that’s not to say these stories weren’t funny, because oh my goodness. I got this book for Christmas, and literally finished it in five hours. A massive headache and severe lack of sleep couldn’t even stop me from finishing this book in one sitting. Kaling’s self-deprecating humor never failed to amuse me, and was in stark contrast to the self-important humor that Chelsea Handler employed.
I also really enjoyed the behind the scenes look at her time at The Office, and the obvious camaraderie she had with her fellow castmates and crew was fun to look in on. I didn’t really know how she came to be on The Office, and the persistence she showed verged on inspirational, or as inspirational as a comedy book can be. The story of how her stage play “Matt & Ben” came to be, which lead to her current situation, was fantastic and hilarious, a great cap on a funny funny book.
The message of this book, for as much as there is one, is great: hard work and a crazy sense of humor will get you a gig on The Office. I would vehemently recommend this to anyone who was a nerd, or who is a nerd, or who loves a nerd. Oh, or people who like to laugh, or like to chuckle, or chortle. This is an incredibly funny book, and a quick read to boot.
“Teenage girls, please don’t worry about being super popular in high school, or being the best actress in high school, or the best athlete. Not only do people not care about any of that the second you graduate, but when you get older, if you reference your successes in high school too much, it actually makes you look kind of pitiful, like some babbling old Tennessee Williams character with nothing else going on in her current life. What I’ve noticed is that almost no one who was a big star in high school is also big star later in life. For us overlooked kids, it’s so wonderfully fair.”
I give it 5/5 chubby Indian girls
(Cross-posted to my personal blog 🙂 )