Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling
As a relatively recent convert to The Office, and now officially in love with it, I was super excited to find this book by Mindy Kaling, one of the show’s writer and actresses. I’ve always been a fan of this genre of non-fiction book- the thoughts and ponderings of a comedian, their take on daily life stuff put into short, witty essays. As it turns out, Kaling is a girl after my own heart.
I’ve decided Mindy Kaling and I would be great pals. We share a love of clothes and fashion magazines and have similar outlooks on many of life’s little quirks. I love that she shares some of her most embarrassing moments, like when she tried out for a play in New York that required singing and dancing and acting, only to horrify the director with her lack of dancing aptitude. At one point she discusses how she is basically the polar opposite of athletic, which is exactly where I would fall on that spectrum as well.
Kaling’s essays are short, but filled with the not-so-mundane details of her pathway to Hollywood. She was raised an obedient child of hard-working immigrant parents who didn’t necessarily see comedy as the way to success in America, and yet they were supportive and she has found her niche in sunny southern California. She wasn’t successful at everything she tried, which is great for us as readers, as it provides hilarious fodder for her writing.
It is fun to see someone just about my same age, referencing the same late 80’s and early 90’s phenomenon that also make up a huge part of my childhood memories. The only thing I didn’t particularly like about this book was the format. They essays didn’t seem to flow between each other as much as I would have liked. I feel like there could have been more of foundation to the book that the writing could then have built off of and become more intertwined, rather than a series of essays that seem to not have a lot of order. (The book is broken into segments, each with an overall theme, but I would have liked to have something a bit more organized.)
This book never made me laugh out loud, but I did chuckle to myself quietly several times. I also found myself nodding along, agreeing as she wandered through her thoughts on marriage and friendship and the protocol behind sneaking out of parties you would rather not be at. If anything, the book was too short. Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns) earns: