(And Other Concerns)
by Mindy Kaling
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 really love Mindy Kaling. I say that first because this may be a biased review. But really - how could I dislike a book that is clever and full of truth? Mindy's background was nothing that I expected, really. I tend to have a certain view of television stars. In reading this book, however, I learned ho much more Mindy really is. Much more than a "mere" television star.
Mindy describes her life with all it's expectations, hope and mistakes. It reads as if nothing is held back. She is a funny writer, so of course her unique brand of humor is in every chapter. But what I didn't expect was the tenderness when she writes about her true friends, love of comedy and love of family. She truly loves her parents. I say that surprisingly only because I hardly ever read in memoirs and autobiographies how much the writer loves/loved his/her parents. It really is a beautiful thing to read.
It's a different kind of humor from Amy Poehler's Yes Please - but it is clever and funny all the same. Pick it up for the humor, but hold onto it for the hidden hope and tenderness.