Recommended Read: Mindy Kaling’s “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)”
I hope you guys enjoy these Recommended Reads posts. Ever since I was a kid I’ve loved reading, so much that I ended up doing it for a degree haha (English Lit) – but as time gets busier and our lives get away from us a bit I find that we don’t always end up with as much time as we’d like. For this reason I rely on recommendations from others before picking up a book because I don’t want to waste my precious little reading time on a dud!
I read this latest book on holiday back home, and tore through it as a beach read – the perfect holiday read, honestly! Mindy Kaling, known for her role as Kelly Kapoor on The Office, and lesser known for her work as one of the writers of The Office (the US version), showcases her humour with finesse in her book debut.
Kaling will have you laughing out loud with full-frontal honesty and self-deprecation as she relays stories from her childhood, showcasing a complex personality that couples multiple insecurities with a powerful confidence in her talent. This paradoxical personality is often found in the very intelligent, and as Kaling points out several times, she is an Ivy League graduate, so she has the brains to back herself up.
The book is told largely in the form of anecdotes but there is an overall chronological structure to the book that prevents it from seeming too segregated in the Saturday Night Live skit manner of many other comedic autobiographies (a la Tina Fey). The writing flows well and keeps the laughs coming. It certainly lives up to its promise: Kaling is not trying to dole out advice or become anyone’s lifestyle guru. She is in fact relatable in the way that many celebrities profess to be but really aren’t – she actually makes herself extremely vulnerable, revealing embarrassing stories and unflattering photographs. There is in fact an entire section dedicated to “photos I take of myself on my iPhone” which are not only hilarious to flick through but also can cause the reader to shift slightly with discomfort – everyone has similar photographs, but few people are brave enough to print them, one after the other, in a book released to the public.
It’s apparent that Kaling went through some hardships growing up – being one of very few Indian immigrants in her community and enduring teasing for her weight throughout elementary, middle and high school, for example. It seems her comedy and writing have helped her battle these demons in a constructive rather than destructive way, but the overall message is not lost. These scars remain for life; it’s just how you choose to deal with them that matters.
The best thing about Kaling’s book, ultimately, is that you can either read it at a surface level for some good laughs, or scour it for a deeper message and either way, you will be in for an enjoyable read. I’m not even an avid Office fan – I have seen enough episodes to know who Kelly Kapoor is, but I had no idea Kaling was one of the writers. It’s definitely worth a pick-up next time you’re looking for a new read.
Also, apparently Kaling is filming a pilot for FOX (called The Mindy Project, apparently) – here’s a pic of her shooting it a few weeks ago. I am super excited to see this – have a feeling it will be a great comedy :).
Click here to read Mila at Lofty Appetite’s take on Kaling’s book.
- Have you read Mindy Kaling’s book? Or did you watch her on The Office?
- Any books to recommend?