Monday, 28 September 2015

Review: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

Book: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (and Other Concerns)

Author: Mindy Kaling

Publisher: Crown Archetype

Pages: 222 Pages

Source: Scribd Subscription

Format: Audiobook on Scribd

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 with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?” 
Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!
In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, 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.

I’ve never really watched the Office. Have I seen the odd clip here or there? Yes. But i’ve also never watched the Mindy Project. So this was technically my first foray into Mindy’s style of comedy. And let me be the first to say that she is absolutely hilarious. Her humour is a mix of self deprecation yet overwhelming narcissism that results in a crazy combination that is so utterly human. The book is structured like a coffee date, with these hilarious anecdotes, and real life lessons. You know the ones that are only ever discussed in the back corner of a coffee shop over an overpriced chai latte. 

The other thing about Mindy’s writing is that she knows when to poke fun at herself and she does it like a champ. She talks about times when she has messed up in her life, or when she did something stupid and childish and had to deal with the consequences. And her retrospective view point of these moments are dealt with so maturely. She is not only able to recognize what she did, but she's able to laugh about it, normalizing the anxiety we all feel over mess ups.

Mindy Kaling is so extremely relatable that sometimes I forgot this was a book. I bet reading this must be a different experience, because listening to it made it seem like a podcast. And while some people criticize that, I found it interesting. All literature aims to inform and entertain, and there are no other rules. Mindy made the executive decision (because she's a badass girl boss) that this was the best way to inform and entertain her audience. And I love her for that.

I’m definitely going to be picking up Mindy’s newest book, which I can’t remember the title of and I'm too lazy to look up. Well that’s one way to end a review. In short, loved the book, loved Mindy.


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