For some reason, I’ve never really been one to read a lot of non-fiction. It’s probably something to do with my reading for escapism so often. Non-fiction doesn’t really seem to fit that bill quite as well, you know? None the less, I’ve been wanting to read Mindy Kaling’s books for a while now, and last week’s holiday seemed like the perfect opportunity. First up: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)
Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?”
Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!
In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka.
Mindy Kaling’s writing style is basically just fun to read. She doesn’t take herself too seriously, she knows how to look back at things and just laugh – and she’s not afraid to share even slightly embarrassing facts with her readers. Quite frankly: it works.
You see, here’s the thing: I am definitely one of those people who likes to know more about people. It might be that books have an explanation for everything, but I always want that in real life. And this book basically gives me that.
To be honest, the book seemed to slow down quite a bit somewhere in the middle – I just looked it up and I’ve seen quite some other people saying the same thing on Goodreads. However, that didn’t really bother me all that much. Sure, there were some scenes that could probably have done with some editing (I mean, I kind of got the whole “Irish party exit after the first paragraph”), but then again, there were also gems like this:
In psychology (okay, Twilight) they teach you about the notion of imprinting, and I think it applies here. I reverse-imprinted with athleticism.
You see, this is just a prime example of why I really liked this book – it gets me in so many ways!
A very specific point: this book claims to be a collection of essays. This may just be me, but I was always taught that an “essay” is quite academic. These are not. Imagine just having a coffee or something with Mindy Kaling, and her telling you these funny anecdotes, and random things that happened? That’s how this reads. As if you’re hanging out with Mindy Kaling.
Okay, so I was really going back and forth between a 3.5 and a 4 star rating. As I’ve said before, I really liked this book. Apart from a couple of phrases here and there, however, it wasn’t something where I just had to keep reading. I would describe this more as a pleasant experience – you keep reading because you’re enjoying it, but it’s nothing life-changing. There’s some (well, there’s a lot) of funny bits, interesting facts and stories that somehow make you feel good about yourself. Yup, that’s the best word for it: this was just a pleasant read!
And there you have it! Have you read this one before? What did you think of it? Let me know below!
(And if you want to read it – you can find it on Amazon! (affiliate link))