“Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?” by Mindy Kaling

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Although I am a self-proclaimed book snob, sometimes I just want to read something mindless, entertaining, and fun.  After listening to Bossypants on tape, my expectations of books written by comedy writers dwindled somewhat.  Being a huge fan of the tv show The Office, especially the hilarious character Kelly Kapoor, I was intrigued by the book the actor that played her wrote.

Compared to Bossypants, this book was ten times funnier, better written, and interesting.  Her book is a series of short essays about growing up and how she became a writer for The Office.  Kaling recounts her early life as an overweight Indian girl, and how she found her niche watching and writing comedy as she grew older.  Kaling is far from the Hollywood definition of beautiful and glamorous, and I love her for that.  She stands out from the homogeneous and boring melange of modern actresses.

Part of what makes her book successful is that she’s relateable.  Who hasn’t gone through an awkward phase growing up?  What human hasn’t felt self conscious about his/her body at some point or another?   Who has ever gone through a post-college phase, living in poverty and wondering what the heck they’re going to do next? As a side note, I especially enjoyed reading about her living in a cockroach infested apartment in New York.  It gave me hope as a person living in a cockroach infested apartment in Austin. Through her transition from dorky pudgy kid to successful writer and actress, Kaling never loses her sense of self.  I admire her for being self confident and sticking to her convictions when she is constantly surrounded by pressure to conform to Hollywood expectations.

If you were/are a fan of The Office and are a female (in all honesty this book seems aimed at women), you would enjoy this book for a quick, fluff read.  I give it 3/5 stars because it’s an enjoyable book, but not an outstanding piece of literature.

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Filed under Humor, Memoir, Non-fiction

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