is everyone hanging out without me

In the introduction of her recently released book, Mindy Kaling pre-emptively answers a few questions she thinks her readers might have, including:

“This sounds okay, but not as good as Tina Fey’s book.  Why isn’t this more like Tina Fey’s book?”

To which she answers:
“I know, man.  Tina’s awesome.  I think she may have every major international trophy for excellence except a Heisman. (She might actually have an honorary Heisman, I should check.) Unfortunately, I can’t be Tina, because it’s very difficult to lure her into a Freaky-Friday-type situation where we could switch bodies, even though in the movies they make it look so easy.  Believe me, I’ve tried.” 

She’s right.  This book isn’t as good as Tina Fey’s.  I mean, Tina has nearly a decade of life and professional experience on Mindy, and her stories about parenthood and getting 30 Rock off the ground offer some breadth and depth to her memoir that you’re just not going to find here.

But, as this little excerpt of humorously refreshing self-deprecation shows, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? is plenty funny in its own right.  Kaling’s essays touch on a range of topics.  Among the best are those that are memoir-y, talking about her childhood and post-college adventures as an aspiring comedy writer and nanny (actual, not aspiring) in New York.  Others are simply observational, with one of my favorites being a one-page rant about the amount of time and attention men spend in putting on their shoes.   Anyone who’s familiar with her work on The Office knows Kaling has comedic chops, but it’s fun to hear her voice – not that of the hyperbolic Kelly Kapoor – shine through (the difference between which, by the way, is also addressed in the book).

At best, Kaling’s essays are hilarious and insightful; at worst, they’re mildly funny and slightly aimless.  You might not laugh out loud at every single page, but you certainly will at enough of them to make Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? worth your while. 

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~ by Molly on January 31, 2012.

One Response to “is everyone hanging out without me”

  1. I wasn’t going to bother with this book, but this is the second positive review I’ve read. Celebrity books make me cringe (unfair bias, I know), but I may actually read this! Thanks for sharing.

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