Tuesday, November 13

Bibliophile [is everyone hanging out with me?]

If you let it warm up, this is a really fun read.

Is Everyone Hanging Out with Me?, Mindy Kaling

I had heard this was a younger, more inappropriate version of Tina Fey's book, with a lot less advice and guidance, maybe just another "quirky memoir-slash-observational-essay collection" kinda thing. Blurb:

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.
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.

Let me preface this review by saying I don't like comedy memoirs. I hate David Sedaris, Augusten Burroughs and other such comedy memoirs, because I always feel at the heart of their jokes is a woe-is-me victim vibe (oh no, my troubled childhood has given me plenty of material to exploit for financial gain! booooo!). But this wasn't that.

To be honest, I always thought Mindy Kaling was exactly like Kelly (her character from the office).   But she's actually a very intelligent writer. The first few chapters were a bit disjointed for my taste,  funny but not meaningful or memorable. Again, if you go for the comedy memoirs, the first half of this book is probably amazing. By about half way through, things changed- she started coupling her humor with relevant and poignant takeaways. This is where I really got hooked. She has a few really classic passages, like a discourse on the differences between boys and men and what traits make a best friend, and a sprinkling of her life philosophy (take it easy, be kind, be tolerant, love is everything). Quick read, easy laughs, worth it!

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