Book Review – Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?
I’ve been signing up for Birchblogger giveaways for months and I was totally psyched when I found out that I was picked to receive a free copy of the Birchbox Book Club’s August Pick – Is Everyone hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling. Even though I don’t watch her new show, I LOVED her on The Office. Kelly Kapoor was one of my favorite characters on the show – mostly because she had zero shame and gave zero fucks. (Creed was also one of my favorites – for the same reason!)
Mindy Kaling’s book is styled as a series of essays covering her childhood, Ivy League education, her career getting off the ground and general obsession with her weight. I don’t know that any female celebrity could write a memoir (a truthful one, anyway) that doesn’t mention how much they miss eating food. I was disappointed that there was no “dirt”. No raunchy tales of previous boyfriends or badmouthing of co-stars. The closest she came to “dirt” was describing her time working on show with an unnamed “psychic” who I can only assume was John Edwards. She is utterly respectful of this “psychic’s” complete bullshit, saying that even though she didn’t believe, he really was helping people cope with the loss of their loved one. I’m guessing she signed something?
I can’t compare Mindy’s book to those of her peers (funny ladies, anyway) – Tiny Fey, Chelsea Handler, Margaret Cho, etc…because I haven’t read most of them. I have read The Bedwetter by Sarah Silverman, but Mindy and Sarah have little in common, except of course demoralizing experiences writing for SNL. Although both ladies lay bare embarrassing tales from their childhood and how their cultural backgrounds differentiated them from their peers, Silverman’s underlying self-loathing is a essential to her self, whereas Mindy’s occasional self-loathing is used as a punchline. I get the idea that Kaling’s self-esteem isn’t quite as bad as she lets on, but she plays neurotic to get laughs.
Mindy is an exceptionally clean writer (well, maybe PG-13) for this day and age. (I guess if I’m comparing her to Sarah Silverman, she’s really G rated.) I don’t know that she intentionally targeted high school girls as an audience, but this would be a perfect gift for a high school girl struggling to find herself – Mindy even says so in the book! That being said, I still enjoyed the read…and as I’m in my
mid late 30s, I’m officially as old as dirt.
Bring Mindy Kaling to SNL this season…I’d love to see her get a hosting gig.