Hello, lovely people,
Today I just finished Mindy Kaling’s first book Is everyone hanging out without me? (and other concerns) and I wanted to share my opinions with you ASAP.
I really enjoyed it. From the very first pages, it had a homey feeling, as if I could almost perceive her from a distance, mindlessly typing on her laptop the very first draft of what I was reading, absorbed by her thoughts and memories. It felt much like how I feel when I write. It was as if I could perceive her emotions, her irony, her great sense of humor and a gift of making fun of her own dramas, without sounding desperate. I could feel the human side behind this autobiography, and it was as if I was friends with her, and she was telling this story to me, while we were in New York drinking a casual cup of coffee.
This books spans from early childhood up to adulthood and while I was not particularily intrigued by the beginning, with the childhood, I could understand why she decided to use a cronological structure, while picking stories from here and there in order to construct gradually the process which led to her becoming the person she is today.
I am generally not fond of childhood passages in any book. It’s not that they are boring boring or uneventful, I simply would rather jump to the important stuff. Obviously, for the author, childhood provides helpful insight into the foundation of her character, but when it is not my childhood, I tend to be impatient, craving for juicy young adult or adult drama, I could relate to more. True, psychologists say most of our features develop early, well, I just want gossip.
For those of you who have not heard neither of this author or this book, you should know that Mindy Kaling is an actress of Indian descent who is best known for his role in TV series The Office. I have not seen this show, but I have seen her other show, The Mindy Project, a series of short, funny episodes. The main character there is Mindy Lahiri, a gynecologist who splits her time between her job and her personal life. I have watched a season or so, but stopped watching it, because I had no time to keep up with so many shows at that time. However, I would recommend it to those who appreciate romantic comedy series with an actual sense of humor.
Coming back to the book, I particularily enjoyed the passage about her life after college, in New York. There, she tries to invest into her artistic career (which largely involved writing for TV shows), while juggling day jobs to pay the bills and be an adult in the big city. I can relate to her struggle, as I am at an age in which it is difficult sometimes to give up the things I love for the things I need to get done. Also, although I only heard things about The Office, she managed to offer an insight into what it’s like to write and play in this successful TV show and how things changed for her after she found a certain balance. It’s like you feel included into the atmosphere of the show, without actually being there. I might even start watching it after having read this book.
Her way of writing is funny, witty with a tinge of self-irony. The book is structured in small essays. In each, the author opens up on a topic foretold by the title. There are even pictures to support certain ideas and passages. Each title is either a statement or a question, a sort of personal dilemmas she tries to solve by the end of each chapter. In the end, we find out that if there were to be a sequel to this book , the next book will be another set of lessons or observations she came up with since she finished the first book.
This book is a universe of a world that is unknown to me. Unlike other autobiografies,the tone is not braggy, but simple and refreshingly honest. She does not try to make a statement, but emphasizes on the idea of a work in progress. It is as if this book were a autonomous living organism which could develop into something better with time and experience.
I chose this book, because I really found her funny, and it turns out I did not make a wrong choice. It was a quick read; I read about three quarters of it in an afternoon. However, this timing should not be taken into consideration, as at the time of my reading I had no other distractions. I basically had to wait for my boyfriend to finish with an exam for almost all day, thus I had nothing but this book to entertain me. In normal conditions it might take a full day or two to finish, even more if you like to savor texts a bit more.
In terms of chapters, I can say I enjoyed the entire part with C’mon, married people. Her way of looking at marriage is very similar to mine and I had her same dilemma once, even though I am not married. Let me not forget about the sub-chapter Guys need to do almost nothing to be great, in which she offers a simple playbook to being classy guy.
In conclusion, I would like to award this book 3.75 out of 5. It is not ground-breaking literary style, but damn, just put it in your beach bag! It definitely won’t disappoint.