One of my favorite comedy nonfiction reads has been Mindy Kaling’s book, “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns).” Kaling, who was an actress on NBC’s “The Office” and an Emmy-nominated writer, is the creator and star of her new show on FOX called “The Mindy Project.” In this quirky book, Kaling explores what it is like to grow up as a child of immigrant professionals who have raised a girl that knows everything about celebrities and musical soundtracks.
Kaling talks about being chubby from an early age, but she is a strong woman who has never let Hollywood get to her, not even when she was at her lowest in life. Readers will love the way she talks about her massive shopping problem, men who she compares to older celebrities and her amazing friends that she has so many of (mostly because she is such a great friend in return). After reading this book, readers can’t help but to want to be her best friend.
Some of the funniest highlights of this book include the fact that she is afraid of her bike, how she was discovered doing a Ben Affleck impersonation in an off-Broadway performance and then became a playwright and her embarrassing moments writing for “Saturday Night Live” and “The Office.”
There’s a part in her book where she talks about a date she has with a guy whom she obviously really likes. She is getting prepared for her date night: all the pre-date fun like getting her nails and hair done, spending tons of money on a new outfit and texting all her friends. She then turns the story and makes it very real, when he texts her to say that he won’t be able to make it. She tries to downplay the pain, but also talks openly about crying her eyes out. The audience can’t help but love her, because she speaks to the common experience of having a date cancel and feel like one’s heart is crushed in the same exact way. She’s so real, but makes her life not sound as cool at it is. Even though her fairy tale may not come true, her true fairy-tale-like lifestyle sounds great, because she is empowering with her witty remarks, sarcasm and serious (not fake at all) joyous outlook on life. This is how she has kept herself sane all these years in an industry that thrives on an unpretentious life.
She invites readers into her super-funny mind, where they get a tour of her life and her interesting and rather clever thoughts on romance, friendship and Hollywood. Kaling is such a girl next door, even though she is of Indian descent.