Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Book Review: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns)

I have virtually no hobbies except dieting. I can't speak any non-English languages, knit, ski, scrapbook or cook. I have no pets. I don't know how to do drugs. I lost my passport three years ago when I moved into my house and never got it renewed. Video games scare me because they all seem to simulate situations I'd hate to be in, like war or stealing cars. So if I ever lost weight I would also lose my only hobby.
Are you looking for that book to bring along on your summer vacation that will entertain you enough to make you laugh out loud but is also an easy enough read that you can put it down and seamlessly return to it later? This is that book! Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns) will make you feel like you're listening to your funniest best friend tell hilariously relatable stories, so much so that you'll miss her (and Twitter-stalk her) when you're finished reading.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me chronicles Kaling's life growing up in New England, her time in New York City working to break into the entertainment industry, and her experience in Los Angeles writing for The Office, amongst other things. I especially enjoyed Kaling's reflection on her body image issues growing up and her behind-the-scenes account of working in Hollywood. In addition to her memoirs, Kaling also offers fun lists such as "Alternate Titles for This Book" and "When You're Not Skinny, This Is What People Want You To Wear". 

But what makes this memoir than the rest? It seems like everyone with an ounce of celebrity cred is writing books about themselves these days, but I recommend Mindy's book over others for a couple reasons. For one, Mindy is intelligent; even if she wasn't "famous" she would be able to write a book of memoirs and essays and it would probably still sell copies.She doesn't have to play dumb to get you to like her. But along with being intelligent, Mindy is very humble without being too self-deprecating; she isn't "braggy" but she's self-confident. She is able to make fun of herself and laugh with you through her experiences, like you're listening to your best friend. Her intelligence and confidence make her very attractive to me as a writer; it makes me feel like I can trust her as a writer and, more importantly, I like her which makes me want to read more. Finally, Kalling's book is refreshing because she's not crass or rude, which makes a huge statement amongst the racks of celebrity memoirs (to me at least). This book is not all about sex (although Kaling does touch on the topic in sections such as "Someone Explain One Night Stands to Me" and "'Hooking Up' is Confusing"), it doesn't contain any scandals, and I can't remember if she uses any curse words; but she doesn't need to these tactics to hold your attention. For all of these reasons this book turned me into a huge fan of Mindy Kaling and I found myself marathoning The Office immediately after I finished reading!

Bottom Line: If you like to laugh (who doesn't?), read this book wherever and whenever you're looking for a light read! I read this in about a day and a half. // 4.5 stars

By the way, I'm currently trying to read Chelsea Handler's memoir Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang and I just can't get into it. Opposite of Mindy Kaling, Chelsea Handler is too crass and full of herself for me to persist! Does this book get better, guys?! :(

Do you watch The Office? Are you a fan of Mindy Kaling?


  1. Hi there!

    After I read this review I got the sample from the iBook store. I caught myself laughing out loud a few times and it was only the first chapter! I will be buying me this book soon. She is so funny!
    I have not watched the Office, but I think I should get the old epis to see Mindy acting.
    She is probably hilarious in it!

    Catriona @ Precious Impressions


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