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Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) Hardcover – November 1, 2011
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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.
“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.” —EW.com
“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
Top customer reviews
There *was more than I thought there would be about dating, boys, wanting love, wanting to date, etc. So like really obviously meant as self-effacing a lot of the time, but also gets a little repetitive. Like, super...well... hetero? Not sure what else to say. I guess "normative" is better word. I've never felt that reading/watching Bossypants, 30 Rock, Parks and Rec, the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt... basically it just sticks out somehow more here for some reason out of all the comedic spaces I live in that seem to be related to Kaling's humor. It feels like a weird thing to write in a review for a comedic book but literally I was like "really?" during some instances of the book. Do we need to be Disney Princesses transported to modern times? Like I said, self-deprecating, but also, sometimes in a vaguely nefarious "it's a joke but also we all know the drill so sit and watch what you know happens." Can't explain it. I've seen parts of Mindy's show and thought it was funny. I'm going to check it out to see if I can pin-point what exactly I'm feeling.
What's great about this book is that you can also give it to a young girl (think 12 and up) as well. Mindy's story is inspiring to all aspiring artists and a good example of what hard work and a straight head and can achieve. A nice change from the Mileys and the Britanys, if you ask me. Her drive is admirable.
The only thing I would say, as much as I love Mindy, it sometimes she comes across as being a teenager instead of a grown woman. Maybe it's because she barely addresses sex or other heavier issues, but there is something that makes me want to go Mindy grow up!
But all in all I loved the book! If you're a fan, it's a must.
I was never the prettiest, skinniest, or most popular girl throughout growing up and it is such a relief to have a great female role model write about her own struggles with self acceptance and identity. Kaling bluntly talks about what it is like to be body shammed, finding herself, and what makes her happy. This is someone who should be a role model to all women, and I cannot wait for my step daughter to be old enough to read this book and learn that it doesn't matter if you are skinny, curvy, into comedy, seriously academic, etc. as long as you are happy with yourself and what you do!