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Editorial Reviews Review

Guest Reviewer: Jennifer Weiner on Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)

Jennifer Weiner is the New York Times bestselling author of nine books, including Good in Bed, In Her Shoes, which was made into a major motion picture, and Then Came You. A graduate of Princeton University, Jennifer lives in Philadelphia with her family.

I know what you’re thinking: really? Another memoir-slash-observational-essay-collection by a first-generation Indian-American comedy writer-slash-sitcom star who shot to fame with a cross-dressing impersonation of Ben Affleck? My bookshelf’s full of those already!

Stay with me. Because, no matter how many quirky memoir-slash-observational-essay collections by funny ladies you’ve got on your shelves, you’re going to want this one there, too.

Mindy Kaling is an American original. Born round, to delighted parents (“Part of me wonders if it even made them feel a little prosperous, like Have you seen our overweight Indian child? Do you know how statistically rare this is?”), she grew up in New England, enjoyed hanging out with her family, excelled in Latin, made her way to Dartmouth and thence, as is decreed by law and custom, to Brooklyn, where her smart-ass jokes about subway rape netted her and her colleagues a private Town Car to ferry them to their slave-wage job as production assistants on a psychic-TV show on cable.

You’ll get the story of Kaling’s rise to a job as a staff writer and eventual performer on “The Office,” along with behind-the-scenes dish, several damning photos of Rainn Wilson, and candid shots of her on her way to various awards parties where she’d heard that Drake might play.

But, you say, we want more than that!

Dear reader, there is more.

In addition to the how-to-make-it-in-Hollywood saga (it involves breaking your best friend’s nose, onstage, in front of an influential critic, and working eighteen-hour days without complaint), you will also get delightful observations on body image angst (“Being called fat is not like being called stupid or unfunny, which is the worst thing you could ever say to me,”), the duties of a best friend (“I Must Be 100 Percent Honest About How You Look, But Gentle), a smart dissection of the women you will meet in rom-coms, and why men have it easier than women, in life and in grooming (Kiehls + Bumble and Bumble = Hot Guy).

It’s an autobiography crossed with witty observations with a twist of a shopping guide, and a pinch of Oprah-esque Your Best Life Now inspiration, told in Kaling’s singularly endearing voice. By the end of this book, you will want Mindy Kaling to be your best friend, and you will want her parents to adopt you. Since neither of these events is likely, or even possible, buy her book instead.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


“She’s like Tina Fey’s cool little sister. Or perhaps… the next Nora Ephron.” —The New York Times
“The fashion opinions of Kelly Kapoor mixed with a Miss Manners-esque advice column.” —
“If you love Kelly and think the three minutes or so allotted her on episodes of The Office are too few, you can take home Mindy.” —The New Yorker
“Is anyone else kind of sold on the genius title alone?” —Nylon

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) is hilarious and relatable—just like Kaling’s classic Tweets.” —Ladies Home Journal

From the Hardcover edition.

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Listen to a clip from the Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? audiobook, read by Mindy Kaling. [MP3]

Product Details

  • Audio CD: 4 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Audio; Unabridged edition (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307939804
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307939807
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.1 x 5.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,215 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,926 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mindy Kaling is the creator and star of the critically acclaimed series The Mindy Project. Her first book, Is Everyone Hanging Out With Me? (And Other Concerns), was featured on the New York Times Best Sellers list. She also starred as Kelly Kapoor on the Emmy-winning series The Office and wrote twenty-four episodes of the series, including "Niagara," which earned her an Emmy nomination. She has been named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People. Kaling starred as Disgust in Pixar's Inside Out and made her film debut in Judd Apatow's The 40-Year-Old Virgin. She lives in New Hampshire and doesn't own a television.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

211 of 237 people found the following review helpful By Lauren G VINE VOICE on November 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Mindy Kaling, writer/actress on The Office, is funny. Very funny. She can turn an average story about summer camp, to one where the main character (herself) falls off a diving board, bleeds upon hitting the water, and is told, by an older camp counselor, to never tell her parents about the situation. She turned an ongoing gag with her friend into an award-winning play/TV show pilot. So, it's natural progression for her to try her hand at writing a book.

People will almost definitely compare Kaling's new book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) to Tina Fey's best-seller, Bossypants. It's not because the two authors look the same (they don't), or are on the same TV show (they're not), it's mostly because the two are well-known female television writers and actors. And Kaling knows the comparison will come, as she points out in the beginning of her book, noting that Fey's book will be seen as better.

"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."

The thing is, she shouldn't see it that way. While I haven't read Bossypants, I can say that Kaling's book is really very good. Smart and funny, she writes with an honest voice. The book reads more like a letter to a friend than a memoir, and I liked that about it. Because the book isn't really a memoir - sure, it's true stories about her life - but it's broken up into short essays, much like that of Sedaris (only much more conversational). She only mentions the humorous or thought provoking parts of her life, those that contributed to her career today. The book also has lists (or pliests as she calls them), essays that are mainly lists.
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102 of 115 people found the following review helpful By Madison Thompson on November 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In her book Mindy claims to want to be friends with Beyonce, but after reading this book I think Beyonce would rather be friends with Mindy. I've always enjoyed her character on The Office and randomly bought this book last night. I read it until my eyes crossed and then woke up and finished it today. She is irresistibly funny and charming. I laughed out loud throughout out the whole book. I have a feeling this is just the beginning of her career or at least I hope so!

If you like Chelsea Handler's books or Tina Fey's then read this one asap. It is just as funny, if not funnier, and actually much more relatable. Her personal stories, lists, and general musings flow together and by the end of the book you will feel like you know her and want to go brunch with her. It is just entertaining. If you are looking for a deep emotional book full of metaphors about the meaning of life and only enjoy a book that makes you sound smart, because you read it then this book is not for you. Actually, if you are that person read it, because you need to lighten up and laugh and this book will do that for you. My only complaint is that it went by so fast and left me wanting more.

I hope she writes another one soon, because I can't remember the last time I was that entertained.
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37 of 43 people found the following review helpful By K. Cooper-Poe on November 11, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was a lot of fun to read, all the way through. I found myself laughing out loud at several points (often in public, which was somewhat of an issue). If you want an easy read that is entertaining, this book will not disappoint. It's kind of like just hanging out with your most hilarious girlfriend.

I think this would be a good gift for a middle-school - college-aged girl because Mindy was a fairly normal girl who became a successful woman because she had an excellent education, a supportive family, and worked hard to develop her talent. However, don't take that to mean that this book is preachy in any way, because it is not. Mindy simply tells her story, and it just so happens that she didn't have to sleep around or pretend to be an idiot to become successful. I feel like that is a message that young women don't get enough of.

This book is another blow to the myth that women aren't funny. If you don't laugh at all while reading this book, check your pulse, I think you might be dead.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Literary Marie on December 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Have you ever wondered if everyone was hanging out without you? No? Oh, okay.

There's nothing like reading a memoir type book and being able to relate to the author. Mindy and I have a lot in common. We both would like to be friends with Beyonce. We both put on the freshman thirty-five and have big appetites. And I realized I'm not the only person to memorize my credit card numbers to shop online with quick ease. The fact that Mindy Kaling is also the writer, actress and producer of The Office show (which is a chapter in the book) added more to her interesting life story. It is obvious why she is a comedy writer.

Mindy Kaling writes about romance, dating, friendships, childhood, Hollywood and unfair funny situations. On page 13, Mindy predicts it will take two days to read this book. "If you're reading this book every night for months, something is not right." Her prediction is true. It only took two days to start and finish. I enjoyed every minute spent reading it. I think you will too.

Literary Marie
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