Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), by Mindy Kaling

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without MeSo, true story, I actually read this book nearly three months ago. I grabbed the audiobook, read delightfully by Ms. Kaling, and took it with me on a relatively short but very boring road trip to Tallahassee. But near the end Kaling skipped past a chapter of photos since, you know, audio, and I felt like I didn’t really want to talk about the book until I’d obtained a print copy and read that chapter. I put it on hold immediately after I got home. Mmhmm.

I didn’t know much about Kaling outside of, “She’s that girl from The Office, a show I used to watch,” but like Tina Fey before her I’d heard enough vague statements about her awesomeness to be convinced. And apparently so had the rest of the world, with that long line ahead of me! Luckily she totally lives up to that reputation.

The book is a collection of short essays about Kaling’s life: growing up as a chubby Indian kid, working in show biz, what she looks for in a guy, how she sees herself. Mostly topics I can relate to, except for the whole “writing for a popular TV show” thing. Some of the essays are a little boring, like, unfortunately, that picture-based essay I waited all these months for, but some are absolutely fantastic.

Awesome essays:

“Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (Or How I Made My First Real Friend)” — Here Kaling talks about friends and cliques and how things that seem super duper important one day can seem totally unimportant the next. Especially in high school.

“Day Jobs” — In which Kaling takes on a few less-than-ideal jobs but still manages to get herself some pizza bagels and a free ride to work.

“Guys Need to Do Almost Nothing to Be Great” — This is a chapter that all guys should make copies of for themselves and all their friends.

“Married People Need to Step It Up” — As a person in a happy marriage, I have been called upon by Mindy Kaling to tell you all that it’s totally possible. Being pals is the best.

“Strict Instructions for My Funeral” and “A Eulogy for Mindy Kaling, by Michael Schur” — It worries me a little bit, the amount of thought that Kaling has put into her funeral. It’s maybe a little weird that I laughed the most at the part of the book not written by Kaling, but of course it wouldn’t be funny at all without the rest of the book as a primer.

Recommendation: Do read, or definitely listen if you have that option. Kaling has a great voice.

Rating: 9/10

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5 thoughts on “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), by Mindy Kaling

  1. Steph & Tony Investigate! says:

    As I have been writing my dissertation, I’ve had pretty much zero attention span because I use all my brain power for writing and have none left over for the rest of life. So I have been poking into this book at random intervals because it makes me laugh and I do not need to keep any kind of prolonged, overarching narrative in working memory as a read (or during the many-week periods when I neglect it altogether). I love Kaling’s sense of humor, so I am optimistic that her upcoming sitcom (which she is writing and starring in) that is due out this fall will be a success.

  2. Book Nympho says:

    Great review! I just recently read this book and I’m sure the audiobook would be really funny too. I heard Bossypants was awesome as an audiobook but I only read it, didn’t listen to it. Definitely got to know Mindy more and found her very funny and likable. I’d read more by her any day.

    • Alison says:

      Tina Fey is awesome on audio. I always try to listen to authors reading their own work, especially humor, so that I feel like I’m getting the “real” version.

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