I don’t write book reviews for the same reason I don’t write movie reviews — because I don’t know how. I’m not even sure what makes a good book besides not stealing plots (Chasing Harry Winston was basically Sex and the City) not using so many adjectives that I’m distracted from the point (every TD Jakes book) not giving bizarre advice to women as though you’re not on your third wife (Think Like A Man) and definitely telling a heckuva good story (Redeeming Love is my all-time favorite book).
So, I’m not qualified to write a true book review, but I have to tell you guys about Mindy Kaling’s book: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns). This chick is hilarious and the book is awesome. Read it if only to find out how “Vera Chokalingam” became “Mindy Kaling”.
I was a good seven years late to “The Office” because the first time I watched it, I didn’t think it was funny. Now that I get the humor, my husband and I watch old episodes on Hulu all the time as well as the newest (and final) season.
[Sidenote: For some reason, I’m always late to shows and when I finally catch on, they’re in the final stretch. Shows will be on for *years*, but I’m like a cancer to television shows. When I start watching them, they die. I’m serious. This happened with Friends, Gossip Girl and now The Office. This is why I don’t get into shows. They get canceled. And this is why shows get canceled. Because I watch them. Maybe I should use my show-canceling powers to my advantage and start watching all of the shows I hate….like every reality show on VH1 .]
I didn’t find out about Mindy Kaling until this past summer while watching her play Kelly Kapoor. Her voice, her acting, everything about her is so friggin funny. But as she explains in her book — and I suspected — Kelly is a parody on how people think she acts in real life, but it’s not her personality. It’s an exaggerated, over-the-top version of her.
I knew Mindy had a book, but when I heard it was coming out I didn’t know who she was so I was just like “whatever”. Then I found out that she was a writer, director, executive producer, and actor on The Office (in the book she refers to herself as a “quadruple threat” haha) and I immediately gained an insane amount of respect for her. As someone who is working my butt off day in and day out trying to reach my career goals, it is so cool to see someone so young who has done so well for herself. I like successful people because I hope to be successful in my career one day.
I haven’t been a true fan of a celebrity in a long time because they’re always doing dumb stuff like divorcing in 72 days or kicking their friends out of their singing group or being obsessed with butterflies, but I am definitely a fan of Mindy. She’s a celebrity I would stand in line to meet and, if you know me, you know I don’t care enough to stand in line to meet anyone.
The day after watching her “The Mindy Project” show premiere, I was driving down the street and suddenly decided I should get her book. The library was closing in eight minutes and I was six minutes away so I rushed over there, found the book before the librarian helping me (amateur!), and devoured it in two weeks. Of course, avid readers might say two weeks is a long time, but I hardly ever read actual books anymore because I spend so much time on my computer, iPad, and iPhone. When I do force myself to sit down with an actual book, I feel thirteen again — and I love it!
Mindy’s book is hilarious. It’s hard not to read it without that “Kelly Kapoor” voice in my head, but I think that makes it funnier anyway. She talks about everything in her book: her childhood, friendship, men, moving to NYC, starting her career and “The Office”. She reminds me of one of those likable characters you see on TV shows or in movies and say to your friends “she is so me” despite loads of evidence to the contrary. I found some common ground with Mindy in the book, but mostly I just laughed while reading it. Out loud. I’ve read quite a few books since my mom taught me to read before my third birthday and can’t think of any that had me laughing the entire time like I was listening to my best friend tell me a story. Mindy definitely pulls you in. She jumps all over the place, goes on random (but hilarious and relatable) tangents, uses the word “campy” a lot, and closed the book with an odd eulogy, but all-in-all this was a book I did not want to put down.
Again, this blog isn’t a book review so I’m not going to go into all of the details and post excerpts. I’m one of those people who reads reviews after I’ve read a book or seen the movie anyway — just to see if experts agreed with my opinion. If you’re interested, there are tons of reviews of Mindy’s book online. All I am going to say is read it. It’s hilarious.
Okay, I changed my mind. This is not a book review, but there is one part in particular that I am going to post here. It’s not funny, it’s just really true. In fact, I read this excerpt in Glamour magazine a while ago and am only just now realizing that she wrote it. When I read it in her book I was like “where did I hear this before?” Duh! Thank God for Google. Anyway, I loved this. Mindy is explaining the difference between men and boys and it’s pretty spot on.
I observed in Peter a quality that I knew I wanted in the next guy I dated seriously: He wasn’t afraid of commitment.
At this point you might want to smack me and say: “Are you seriously just another grown woman talking about how she wants a man who isn’t afraid of commitment?” Let me explain! I’m not talking about commitment to romantic relationships. I’m talking about commitment to things—houses, jobs, neighborhoods. Paying a mortgage. When men hear women want a commitment, they think it means commitment to a romantic relationship, but that’s not it. It’s a commitment to not floating around anymore. I want a guy who is entrenched in his own life. Entrenched is awesome.
So I’m into men now, even though they can be frightening. I want a schedule-keeping, waking-up-early, wallet-carrying, picture-hanging man. I don’t care if he takes prescription drugs for cholesterol or hair loss. (I don’t want that, but I can handle it. I’m a grown-up too.)
Entrenched in his own life. My husband is “entrenched” and I like that about him. (Here I go with the “Mindy is so me” thing but seriously haha). Personally, I call him stable — especially in contrast to me who is all over the place — but entrenched is better.
So yeah, that wasn’t a part of the memoir that made me laugh out loud, but it’s just evidence of how smart and relatable her book is.
And I take back what I said about TV shows. I’ve been watching Mindy Kaling’s new show since it started three weeks ago and I’m going to need the tv gods NOT to cancel this one.
Have you read Mindy’s book? Or seen her show? Or watched her on The Office? What did you think?