There is something about Mindy Kaling’s literary voice that makes me feel like I- or virtually any of my girl friends for that matter- could contrive my own autobiographical best-seller, simply by compiling miscellaneous life experiences, putting them to paper, and publishing it as a book. Although this may sound like a criticism, I actually mean it as the most sincere form of praise. See, the glory of Mindy’s voice is that she is not your average Jolene- she was, in fact, a head writer and actor on one of America’s most popular comedy shows, a movie actress, and is now the star and creator of her own comedy show, The Mindy Project. Yet, Mindy has the ability to lace her experiences with the accompanying emotions and motives, which are so raw and simple that women will easily relate. This allows Mindy’s experience, say, getting her first paid writing position on The Office, to seem actually seem pretty normal, considering that is actually quite “Hollywood-glam.”
What’s more, Mindy is likable. Her accounts are on the opposite spectrum of self-inflating, and yet, she also portrays a genuine confidence and happiness in the many areas of her life- from her culture, to her career, to her style, to her friends. Mindy speaks candidly about her body, and all its transformation- which, of course, is refreshing, considering the social pressure for women to be thin, especially in Hollywood. Not only does Mindy proudly considers herself “chubby,” but she further details the distinctions between the many classes of “weight,” which itself makes for a good laugh. It’s through this connectable, agreeable, voice that Mindy shares her story of growing up as a socially-awkward high school kid, becoming a college student, living as an unemploymened college-grad, taking a job as a nanny/aspiring comic writer, and finally becoming a professional television writer. She is simple, realistic, and hilarious. Plus, Mindy is smart, and she has certainly mastered a balance between self-deprication and pride. Because she describes her hilarious triles and tribulations over the years honestly and realistically, it is easy to celebrate along with Mindy as she finds success- and you’ll probably be rooting for her long after you finish her memoir.
As the title suggests, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? accurately captures a gamet of concerns, motives, and emotions that we share as women. I definitely recommend this read to cheer you up on a low day. P.S. This is a great book to read on your commute to work, or while you’re waiting for the dentist or something. I got this on audio, and I still come back to different passages when I’m jogging for a guaranteed laugh.