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Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Humor (2011)
Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck - impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence "Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I'll shut up about it?"

Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you've come to the right book, mostly!

In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door - not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka.

222 pages, Hardcover

First published November 1, 2011

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About the author

Mindy Kaling

27 books247k followers
Mindy Kaling is an actor, writer, producer, and director. She currently stars in the Hulu original comedy series “The Mindy Project," which she also writes and executive produces.  

Before "The Mindy Project," Mindy was best known for her work on the critically acclaimed, Emmy Award-winning NBC show “The Office.” In addition to directing, producing, and portraying celebrity-obsessed Kelly Kapoor, Mindy wrote 18 episodes of the series, including the Emmy nominated episode “Niagra.”

In 2011, Mindy penned the comedic memoir Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns), which continues to be featured on New York Times’ and USA Today’s best-seller lists. Mindy’s second memoir Why Not Me? was released in September 2015 and launched at #1 on the New York Times’ best-seller list.    

In 2005, Mindy made her film debut as the object of Paul Rudd's unwanted affections in Judd Apatow’s THE 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN. Most recently, Mindy lent her voice to the character Disgust in the Oscar-winning Pixar animated film INSIDE OUT alongside Amy Poehler and Bill Hader, and was seen in THE NIGHT BEFORE alongside Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. She will next begin production on OCEAN’S 8 alongside Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett and Anne Hathaway.

Mindy was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2012. In 2014, she was named one of Glamour’s women of the year.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 23,882 reviews
Profile Image for Shannon Lee.
13 reviews
June 15, 2012
Audiobooks can be dangerous. During a recent road trip in which I listened to this audiobook, I had plenty of time to consider the pros and cons of vehicular suicide. Pro: I would be relieved of Mindy Kaling's screechy voice and vacuous musings forever. Con: I would never again be able to eat cheese. My instinct for survival prevailed. Barely. I suffered through this book in its entirety, so that I would be able to write a justifiably flaming review.

Ms. Kaling's book follows a painfully predictable formula: (1) complain about being an overweight child, but revel in how you are now a famous and wealthy person, while your childhood bullies languish in obscurity with children born out of wedlock. (2) Seamlessly transition to obligatory "I was trying to make it in NYC and boy was I broke!" tales. (3) Describe how Hollywood is a strange place and attempt to downplay your new found fame by making yourself out to be the anti-Hollywood. At this point, Ms. Kaling should have let well enough alone, but she persists. What follows is a number of lists, the most painful of which includes a play-by-play of Will Ferrell movie moments, and a series of musings on how men are different from women. When she began her chapter describing how "men tie their shoes slowly" I veered towards a tree. Thankfully, it was a brief chapter.

Sitcom writer Ms. Kaling may be. Compelling author she is not. Shame on her editors for green-lighting this piece of fluff and cluttering up the bookshelves and minds of unassuming readers. Shame on her audiobook supervisors for not correcting her when she mispronounced the name "Nguyen." Shame on me for subjecting myself to 4 hours of this inane nonsense masquerading as humor instead of turning it off. But my, how therapeutic writing this review has been. Almost as therapeutic as laughing is said to be.
Profile Image for Jess.
481 reviews63 followers
January 7, 2018
 photo mindy3_zps495753ab.gif

I APPLAUD it and Endorse it!

I LOVED this book, Mindy is just a funny gal who is pretty in check with reality. I have trouble writing a review for a book I love. I feel I just wont do it justice. Mindy makes hilarious observations in numerous essays that fill this joy of a book. Instead of trying to articulate what this is and what I find funny I thought I would grab some random quotes as a recommendation.

“I’m the kind of person who would rather get my hopes up really high and watch them get dashed to pieces rather than wisely keep my expectations at bay and hope they are exceeded. This quality has made me a needy and theatrical friend, but has given me a spectacularly dramatic emotional life.”

“After all these years with friends who are five ten or taller, I have come to carry myself with the confidence of a tall person. It’s all in the head. It works out.”

“ The chorus of “Jack and Diane” is: Oh yeah, life goes on, long after the thrill of living is gone.
Are you kidding me? The thrill of living was high school? Come on, Mr. Cougar Mellancamp. Get a life."

“I guess I find “Jack and Diane” a little disgusting…I wish there was a song called “Nguyen and Ari,” a little ditty about a hardworking Vietnamese girl who helps her parents with the franchised Holiday Inn they run and does homework in the lobby, and Ari, a hardworking Jewish boy who does volunteer work at his grandmother’s old-age home, and they meet after school at the Princeton Review. They help each other study for the SATs and different AP courses, and then after months of studying, and mountains of flashcards, they kiss chastely upon hearing the news that they both got into their top college choices.”

“They say the best revenge is living well. I say it’s acid in the face — who will love them now?”

"There is no sunrise so beautiful that it is worth waking me up to see it.”

I realize now I might write out her whole book, but she is awesome and this book is soooo much fun!
So final thoughts
Profile Image for Ariel.
301 reviews64.2k followers
December 11, 2014
This was exactly what it wanted to be. It felt like sitting in an LA coffee shop and chatting with Mindy for a few hours, hearing a bunch of funny anecdotes, and getting to know her a little better.

What did I like? I liked the conversational tone, the funny stories, the pictures, learning about her climb to becoming a comedy writer, some insightful moments, the emphasis on family, her love of comedy and creation, and her all round positive and "be a good person" attitude.

What didn't I like? The conversational tone could sometimes be too conversational, and so it sometimes felt too casual and more like a blog post or super long tweet rather than a book. Other than a few insightful moments, I didn't feel enough powerful moments. And that's okay, I don't think this book was trying to achieve that, but I like themes and messages and I didn't feel like any strong stances were really taken about anything.

It was lovely, I flew through it in a few hours, and right afterwards downloaded Season 3 of the Mindy Project because this book really made me like her more, and really understand her motives and love for comedy!
Profile Image for emma.
1,822 reviews48.1k followers
June 14, 2022
i can't decide whether i want to be mindy kaling or whether i want her to adopt me.

this is an extremely funny book that also has an outdated discussion of weight (which is done better in her later publications) and also caused me to ask her hand in marriage or other legally binding agreement.

so you decide!

bottom line: mindy kaling forever!!!


reading books by asian authors for aapi month!

book 1: kim jiyoung, born 1982
book 2: siren queen
book 3: the heart principle
book 4: n.p.
book 5: the hole
book 6: set on you
book 7: disorientation
book 8: parade
book 9: if i had your face
book 10: joan is okay
book 11: strange weather in tokyo
book 12: sarong party girls
book 13: the wind-up bird chronicle
book 14: portrait of a thief
book 15: sophie go's lonely hearts club
book 16: chemistry
book 17: heaven
book 18: the atlas six
book 19: the remains of the day
book 20: is everyone hanging out without me? and other concerns
Profile Image for Nat.
553 reviews3,176 followers
August 26, 2018
I made the mistake of thinking I would read only one essay of this book before going to bed... I stayed up till 3am to finish the whole thing in one sitting. It's been so long since this has happened, especially going into it not even expecting to finish one essay. But Kaling has one of the most conversational, delightful and funniest voices in writing. It's nearly impossible to put down Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

This book was simply fun, and I unexpectedly learned a lot about various topics such as: female friendships (the essay about Mindy befriending Mavis was one of my favorites), health insurance (& how much Kaling loves it), The Office (& how Rainn Wilson’s so horrible), Irish exits, “and a healthy dose of unfair situations that now seem funny in retrospect, unfair situations that I still don’t think are funny, Hollywood, heartache, and my childhood.”

And since we're already on topic, Mindy Kaling writing about her childhood and coming-of-age was one of the funniest and relatable things I've read as of late. Which is why the title essay was one my favorites:

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (Or, How I Made My First Real Friend)

Reason #1 why Mavis is one the kindest souls:

“Mavis said, quietly, “If you want to go with them, I totally get it.”
There was something about the unexpectedly kind way she said that that made me happy to be with her, and not them. For some reason, I immediately thought about how my parents had always been especially fond of Mavis, and here was this moment when I understood exactly why: she was a good person. It felt so good to realize how smart my parents had been all along. “Are you kidding me?” I said. “We have to go home and film this sketch.”

When Mindy first introduced her childhood friend in this book, I was worried that Mavis would only appear this one time, but I’m glad they became good friends.

“There was just Mavis and me, but it never seemed lonely because we never stopped talking.”

“One friend with whom you have a lot in common is better than three with whom you struggle to find things to talk about. We never needed best friend gear because I guess with real friends you don’t have to make it official. It just is.”

#truth. I really loved their friendship and was even genuinely upset when they lost contact in college.

“Even though Mavis was my secret friend, she is the only one I hope I see again. She’s the only one I wonder about. I hope she wonders about me too.”

But thankfully Kaling mentioned here that they saw one another again in 2002.

Day Jobs

I laughed out loud multiple times during this, but particularly when she talked about babysitting for some rich parents and eating a lot of their kid-friendly food:

“I did it so much that it became a problem. One evening after her bath, Haley pulled me aside, wracked with guilt: “Mommy wanted to know who ate all the turtle-shaped bagel pizzas, and I knew it was you, but I lied and said it was me.” She burst into tears. I hugged her and told her, “You can never tell her the truth.” And then I let her stay up an extra hour watching Lizzie McGuire. Bribes and boy bands. That’s all you need to be a babysitter.”

All About The Office

This was the essay I’d been waiting for!!! And I was not disappointed, especially when she made an actual list of what Kelly and her have in common:

“Things Kelly and I Would Both Do

• Choreograph and star in a music video
• Fake our own deaths to catch a serial killer
• Cry at work occasionally
• Memorize our credit card numbers to shop online with ease
• Drive with our parking brake on
• Go to goop.com every day
• Spend hours following a difficult recipe, hate the way it tastes, and throw it out to go to McDonald’s
• Get upset if we’re not invited to a party
• Go on trendy and slightly dangerous diets
• Hold a royal wedding viewing party”

Also, her fights with Greg Daniels had me cackling.

“What do we fight about? I wish I could say they were big, smart, philosophical issues about writing or comedy, but sometimes they’re as small as “If we do that cold open where Kevin dumps a tureen of chili on himself, I will quit this show.” We did that cold open, by the way, and it was a hit, and I’m still working at the show. I can get a little theatrical.”

That’s one of my favorite Office openings. I still can’t believe she was against it.

Also, this:


It has been said many times, but it is true: Steve Carell is a very nice guy. His niceness manifests itself mostly in the fact that he never complains. You could screw up a handful of takes outside in 104-degree smog-choked Panorama City heat, and Steve Carell’s final words before collapsing of heat stroke would be a friendly and hopeful “Hey, you think you have that shot yet?”
I’ve always found Steve gentlemanly and private, like a Jane Austen character.”

(I actually love this.)

Franchises I Would Like to Reboot

This essay... oh man, it was 1am when I started it, and I thought (and still think) that Kaling might actually be psychic... Because this is practically the script for Ghostbusters that came out in 2016:


I always wanted the reboot of Ghostbusters to be four girl-ghostbusters. Like, four normal, plucky women living in New York City searching for Mr. Right and trying to find jobs—but who also bust ghosts. I’m not an idiot, though. I know the demographic for Ghostbusters is teenage boys, and I know they would kill themselves if two ghostbusters had a makeover at Sephora. I just have always wanted to see a cool girl having her first kiss with a guy she’s had a crush on, and then have to excuse herself to go trap the pissed-off ghosts of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire or something. In my imagination, I am, of course, one of the ghostbusters, with the likes of say, Emily Blunt, Taraji Henson, and Natalie Portman. Even if I’m not the ringleader, I’m definitely the one who gets to say “I ain’t afraid a no ghost.” At least the first time.”


How I Write

Last, but obviously not least, is this short but hilariously relatable piece on Kaling's writing process and being productive.

“The Internet also makes it extraordinarily difficult for me to focus. One small break to look up exactly how almond milk is made, and four hours later I’m reading about the Donner Party and texting all my friends: DID YOU GUYS KNOW ABOUT THE DONNER PARTY AND HOW MESSED UP THAT WAS? TEXT ME BACK SO WE CAN TALK ABOUT IT!”

This really reminded me of Aziz Ansari’s stand up about this exact subject… One of the funniest comedic bits I've rewatched about ten times (or more).

But real talk, I was really enjoying my time spent reading this book. Kaling had me laughing out loud in the middle of night, which I will always appreciate. But, as much as I want to, I can't ignore the fact that I despised it when this book reached a part called “THE BEST DISTRACTION IN THE WORLD: ROMANCE AND GUYS.” I was not into it at all. I have little to no interest in someone dictating for nearly 50 pages what guys, especially Jewish guys (I nearly put the book down after that), or even married people should or shouldn't do. So I started skimming the essays after I reached that part. I also found that the following parts had lost almost all of Kaling's humor that I found so damn charming in the first part (I mean, I stayed up till 3am for it).

So in order to recover my love, I'll just try to forget that those parts were included in this book, and focus instead on all that I loved and mentioned beforehand in my review. And so I'm more than willing to pick up her next book, Why Not Me?.

*Note: I'm an Amazon Affiliate. If you're interested in buying Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, just click on the image below to go through my link. I'll make a small commission!*

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This review and more can be found on my blog.
Profile Image for traci.
58 reviews9 followers
November 7, 2011
mindy kaling - writer, star of the office - suffers from never having cancer or living in iran for any part of her life. which simply means this: it's hard to write a memoir that lasts more than 70 pages. so they call it a book of essays, which is fine, and she does a good job with most of them. but then she's only up to 150 pages and she's fucked. so she goes to her phone and flips through her photos and thinks, hey, i could just write about these, and other bullshit like it, to satisfy a respectable book length. and so she does.

that said, this book has really, really funny parts, and the first half is perfect in every way. but then it feels rushed, which it is, to get it out before the holiday season.

that said, i did finish it in like, three days, so if you're looking for a sense of accomplishment, this book is for you.
Profile Image for V. Briceland.
Author 5 books65 followers
December 4, 2013
A quick warning about an otherwise good book: the last third of The Office writer Kaling's memoir is a scattershot, hit-or-miss affair. With short essays like "Why Do Men Put on Their Shoes So Slowly?" and "In Defense of Chest Hair", which graze their topics no more deeply than the titles suggest, Kaling almost sounds like she's half-heartedly trying out for the late and perpetually cranky Andy Rooney's vacated gig on 60 Minutes.

It's a shame, because the first two-thirds of Kaling's effort is an engaging memoir chronicling a thoroughly conventional upbringing and an unlikely rise to notoriety and television scripting fame. Her circuitous route to her career is both affable and a fun read—which makes it all the more disappointing that once she reaches the heights at NBC, the rest of the book sputters out when it has nowhere to go.

It seems unfairly reductive that the memoir will inevitably undergo comparisons with her same-network compatriot Tiny Fey's Bossypants. I found Kaling's effort the more charming of the two, and the less labored.
Profile Image for Clumsy Storyteller .
350 reviews727 followers
February 24, 2017
i love Mindy , i love comedy , i love laughing , i love reading , i love laughing while reading ! This Audiobook was totally worth my time :D she is amazing and funny , Especially her high school bullying stories. i love how she can make a terrible thing so funny.
Profile Image for Fabian.
947 reviews1,560 followers
February 14, 2020
I've been reading a few comedic autobiographies & I guess I'm probably justaboutnow a 'lil addicted to them ("Born Standing Up" by Steve Martin, "The Bedwetter" by Sarah Silverman...). This one by far is my favorite. It is contemporary and as refreshing as it is informative--and very, very amusing. To get the working comedic TV writer's POV is an absolute luxury. We are inspired by her avant-garde beginnings (she wrote a script about Matt Damon & Ben Affleck writing "Good Will"-- and played Affleck in the play sensation "Matt & Ben"!) and entertained big-time with her big-time break as writer and producer to the sensational "The Office." We are fortunate to get the 411, too, on important "zeitgeisty" stuff like karaoke etiquette, best friend rights, the importance of compartmentalizing--even on the huge non-issue of sexual differentiation between comedians of both sexes in the 2010's (something very positive & revolutionary even), &, in all seriousness, thank you Mindy, for the indispensable section which pleads with men to "Please leave your chest hair alone!" The cool girl totally keeps it real, y'all.

I only disagree with her overboard girlie stuff (conventional marriage, disapproval of comedy roasts, crying over fashion)--but this is refreshing, too. And if you TRULY need a synopsis of this exceptional autobio., just check out her perfect final words:

"I guess I'm just one of those weird kids who likes their parents too much." Rejoice nice people!
Profile Image for Lisa P..
35 reviews1 follower
January 4, 2012
Of all the books I've read in the past few months, this is the book that has me wondering several things. A) How did it get so much pre- and post-release publicity and b) why do so many people like it? No offense, but this book can't hold a candle to 'Bossypants'by Tina Fey, or 'Are You There Vodka, It's Me Chelsea'By Ms. Handler or 'I know You Are, But What Am I' by Samantha Bee. Or any number of funny-memoir type books I've read. Which is weird, because I usually finish a book like this no matter what, but this one I returned to the library with a third left unread. It just didn't 'take'.

Here's my thoughts on why I didn't care for it (and I guess I'm a lone wolf, here!) Mindy Kaling tried to come across like a good friend, and listed one of the reasons to read the book as: 'What else are you going to read after you finish Chelsea's book?'...Ummm...I know Chelsea isn't for everyone, but it's not easy to be funny like she is, and don't assume you can do it.Don't be so presumptuous! I felt Mindy was trying to imply some kind of intimacy with the reader that she hadn't earned.Like she was saying: "Nudge, nudge, you know what I mean! Right?" - but I really didn't.

I didn't relate to her life, the camp story (tedious, went nowhere),her high school 'crew', who identified themselves by a word made up of of each person's initials (boring- they did nothing interesting or funny!) and her bitchiness about her friends once they stopped hanging out came across as very callous. Because one friend liked horses she comments- I hope she found a nice horse to run off with (better than hanging with you, it seems) and making fun of people's looks and dress ("I may not have been that pretty, but at least I wasn't five inches taller than the guys') You have to have a certain voice to pull off that kind of talk and not come across as nasty. Mindy K. does not have that skill.

Let me just say: I don't get it. I don't know why this book is so well-reviewed- it's just not my cup of tea. Even though the genre is one of my favorites. And ps: I went in wanting to like it. I felt about the book the way I feel about her character on 'The Office'-I get annoyed and can't wait for her part to be over.
Profile Image for Whitney Atkinson.
915 reviews13.9k followers
July 26, 2017
This book was just fine! I'm not a huge fan of Mindy-- meaning, I do like her in what I've seen her in, but I'm not die-hard for anything she's done--but I decided to read this nonetheless because I'm all about supporting successful women. my main thoughts about this book i'm just going to repeat from my initial comment on it: i turned on this audiobook as i tried to untangle a whole ball of yarn, and it took me over an hour and a half but I didn't even realize it because this book was so fun. It feels like i'm listening to a long interview with Mindy. So far she has made a few problematic jokes using slurs (tr*nny, g*psy), but this book is 5 years old and I don't know enough about her comedy to know if those are regular words in her vocab. There were a few parts that she made some jokes I don't agree with, but for the most part, the book was nice because it was short and entertaining. It didn't really leave a lasting impression on me, it didn't really go a whole lot into Mindy's personal life, but it did offer me some insights into her life which I think were valuable enough to afford this 3 stars, even though it didn't particularly sweep me off my feet.
Profile Image for Nicole.
364 reviews9 followers
January 14, 2012
Ok, I officially have a girl crush on Mindy Kaling. She is just so cool. I love the fact that she is completely honest about all her failings and even embraces them. This would definitely be the type of person I would want to be friends with. This book was extremely funny and a light, easy read. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants a good laugh. I especially loved her list for alternate titles to the book (The Girl with No Tattoo, Harry Potter Secret Book #8... hilarious).

By far my absolute favorite part of this book, however, was when she talks about one night stands and how she can never have them, not because they are sleazy, but because she is afraid of getting murdered. This so reminds me of myself. When my boyfriend, Keith, and I were dating for about 5 or 6 months, we decided to go on a trip to Oklahoma together for the weekend (to see a Linkin Park concert, definitely not because we thought Oklahoma was cool...although we kind of enjoyed it). As we are leaving town, I'm thinking to myself: what if this guy is a serial killer and this is his thing. He finds girls, dates them for 5 or 6 months, plans a trip out of state with them to "see a concert" and murders them? What if he murders me? I don't want to be buried in Oklahoma!!! So, I kind of freaked out a little bit and immediately texted everyone in my phone to tell them where I was going and that if they didn't hear back from me by Sunday it was because Keith had murdered me and left my body in Oklahoma. I know it seems kind of paranoid, but you know, one day, I'm going to get murdered and dumped in Oklahoma and all my friends and family will not only know who did it, but where my body is. I'm just saying, Mindy Kaling is a smart girl.
Profile Image for Melki.
5,785 reviews2,340 followers
April 22, 2014
So, she was born the same month and year I graduated from high school, which technically makes her young enough to be my daughter...I STILL want to be Mindy's best pal!

I haven't a clue why I decided to read this book. Kaling's character on The Office drove me nuts, and though I enjoyed the few episodes of The Mindy Project that I saw, I am in no way a regular viewer. Probably the fact that I found it at the Goodwill Store for a buck had something to do with it.

But then again...

There's a little part of me that stands up and applauds whenever I see someone on TV that doesn't look like everyone else...someone whose nose is not pertly turned up, who isn't a size 0 and who doesn't have blonde hair and implants. I just want to grab that person, and hug them, and invite them home for grilled cheese sandwiches and a huge slab of chocolate cake. I want to congratulate them on making it big in an industry that values looks above all else. Mindy is one of these people.

Her book, which is a memoir/humorous essays hybrid, is not overwhelmingly funny, though I'm not sure it was meant to be. It is simply an enjoyable tale of what it's like to grow up as a nerdy girl who likes hanging out with her parents and all things comedic. It's about a girl just like me.

So, Mins...anytime you want to spend Friday night at The Cheesecake Factory, I'll buy the Cokes. We can talk about our favorite Kid in the Hall. (Mine changes every week, but it's never Kevin.)
Then we'll go back to your place and sing along to Graceland. You can cry all you want, girlfriend. I got lots of tissues.
Profile Image for Joel.
554 reviews1,621 followers
December 29, 2012
This book is best read on a day when you need some light, distracting entertainment, say like when you were up half the night because your infant daughter has a chest cold and then you were rushing around the house trying to find your keys because you were late for your appointment at the mechanic and then you realized they were actually locked inside the garage, which you can only open with that one key that is now inside the green car, which was a stupid place to leave it.

It can be read in about the same amount of time it takes to get an oil change, which is about right, provided that during the oil change it takes two hours to install your stupid expensive headlight bulbs and then once they are finished, it turned out your battery is dead and you need a new one, but you need to get to work but they have to look up how to jumpstart a Prius.

Best: you will also have time left over to play Fruit Ninja.
Profile Image for Margot.
42 reviews24 followers
August 11, 2016
I'm not usually one to read celebrity biographies and/or memoirs, but come on—this is Mindy's book we're talking about here. OF COURSE I was going to read it.

I love how she goes from hilarious to serious and back to hilarious in a very smooth manner. She shamelessly shares her BlackBerry pics with us, tells us about her life before and during The Office (is Rainn Wilson really her frenemy?), and a lot more. Like my friend Meli said, this book was all over the place, which I absolutely think separates it from other books, because you can tell she wrote it all on her own, and stayed true to herself.

There's just one thing that doesn't sit well with me:

What I usually hate about celeb memoirs is that they just go ahead and talk about boring shit: how bad they had it, but now their lives are amazing blahblahbla, and I'm like, dude, no, I don't want to read about that shit. Not Mindy, though. Nope. She made me feel like we were new best friends and it was her turn to tell me everything about her life before me. Which I'm sure is the way she wanted me (okay, us) to read it.
Profile Image for Donna Ho Shing.
97 reviews47 followers
January 20, 2022
Edit (January 2022): I read Mindy’s book and wrote my review in 2016, this was before I’d ever seen an episode of The Office. In the past few years I have watched the show (many times through from beginning to end) and I am now a HUGE Office fan so I’m sure my review and rating would be very different were I to read her book again (which I will not do).

REVIEW (December 2016): I was suffering through this book, and swore it wouldn't get more than one star when a remarkable thing happened in the last 70 or so pages, Mindy Kaling stopped boring me to death about her struggles as a t.v. writer, her time on The Office etc. and started talking about herself, her views on life and started being totally relatable and hilarious. That is the Mindy Kaling I'm a fan of and that's how I'd expected the entire book to be.

So the whole book is divided into seven parts: the first four pretty much sucked (except when she talked about how wonderful Amy Poehler is in real life, which made me- a HUGE Parks and Rec fan- jump for joy!) and the last three sections is why I added the extra star bumping the rating up to a grand total of two stars! Yeah! *crickets*
Profile Image for Lucy.
102 reviews1,793 followers
December 1, 2011
To quote the author: “This book will take you two days to read. Did you even see the cover? It’s mostly pink. If you’re reading this book every night for months, something is not right.”

Except it took about two and a half hours tops. It's a cute book and I recommend it to anyone whose pushing through to a book goal count for the year. It's not really a biography -- just little snapshots of an interesting life and the fortunate chances she's been given. Kaling is proud of all the work she put into her career, but also aware of all the breaks she got which help keep her ego under wraps.

The stories are entertaining and Kaling is extremely open about previous and current struggles with her weight without ever being 'poor me' for more than a few sentences at a time. Don't expect too much background information on The Office despite it being the longest chapter in the book. Overall a shallow read in maybe the most charming way possible.
Profile Image for Vanessa.
462 reviews291 followers
September 27, 2017
Fun and enjoyable audiobook read by Mindy herself. Light entertainment to keep me company on my commute to and from work.
Profile Image for Katie.
267 reviews3,839 followers
March 2, 2018
Listened to this on my 10hr drive today, and it was exactly what I needed! It kept me in a great mood on an otherwise very bleak, rainy drive. Rating it 3 because it was enjoyable but overall didn’t have a big impact on me.
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
274 reviews723 followers
October 9, 2018
For those of you who didn't find this book funny, I'm going to go ahead and assume that you probably didn't get the humour. In which case, why are you even reading a Mindy Kaling memoir? It stands to reason that if you don't find this book funny, then you mostly likely don't find The Office or The Mindy Project funny either. I mean have you SEEN The Office? It's full of incredibly oblivious, narcissistic, annoying characters. They are hilarious. Mindy has many narcissistic, annoying moments, which she acknowledges immediately as such, and then proceeds to make fun of herself.

Moving on.

This is a really sweet, light-hearted and very funny account of Mindy Kaling's childhood, adolescence, and early career. She is incredibly authentic and relatable; she doesn't take herself too seriously, and overall has a wonderfully refreshing voice and personality! If you're a fan of Mindy Kaling's work, you will definitely enjoy this book.
Profile Image for Thomas.
1,456 reviews8,553 followers
August 24, 2015
A light, humorous, and overall forgettable memoir about Mindy Kaling's upbringing and her success as an actress and television writer. The content ranges from her childhood as a self-proclaimed chubby kid to her feelings about romantic comedies. Kaling injects humor into even ordinary anecdotes, and I even laughed aloud a couple of times (e.g., when she writes that she went to Dartmouth to pursue her love of white people and North Face parkas).

Overall, recommended to fans of Kaling and to those who feel curious about her life. Having never watched The Office (or much TV at all) I also received a decent amount of background about the show and its other stars. I do think that Kaling could have delved deeper into certain issues and could have conducted a more rigorous self-analysis, though perhaps we will read that in her next release, Why Not Me?
Profile Image for Zoë.
328 reviews66.2k followers
July 19, 2014
I love Mindy Kaling with all my heart and this book just sealed the deal. I love reading books like this and Tina Fey's Bossypants as I want to peruse a creative career and I am so interested in how these two wonderful women got to where they are today.
Profile Image for Ammar.
447 reviews217 followers
April 3, 2017
I had greater expectations for this memoir or essays. It had a promising beginning, but I didn't learn anything from reading this book, it's funny in some parts but overall it was okay.
Profile Image for Rachel.
174 reviews7 followers
November 10, 2011
I laughed out loud so many times!

As a person who has seen every episode of the office more than once (okay, fine, more than 5 times) I already think Mindy Kaling, writer and actor who plays character Kelly Kapoor, is really funny.

(I want to throw out a WARNING about this book, similar to what I did when I read and reviewed Tina Fey's Bossypants - If you already don't like Mindy Kaling, if you already don't like The Office, if you already hate female comedians, etc, you probably won't like this book. I wrote my review earlier today and then I thought, "I wonder what other people thought about Mindy's adorable book" and checked out some other goodreads reviews this afternoon. Sure enough, the first review below 3 stars is some yahoo who says that he doesn't like The Office and had no idea who Mindy Kaling was, and therefore he didn't appreciate the references in the book and some of her anecdotes didn't make sense. If you KNOW you don't like something, WHY would you read it in the first place?! I KNOW i don't like Star Trek, so I think it is pretty obvious that I will only be disappointed if I read a memoir of a Star Trek actor, where in which most of their writing is going to be about how they got to be on Star Trek, their life on Star Trek, and how being on Star Trek affected them. Boom - 1/5 stars, that book sucks.

Anyway - on to my actual book review:

I don't have a twitter account, so I don't know her hilarious, character (as in keyboard characters)-limiting quips that she is well-known for, but I do read her blog and I think she is cute and funny. It is also kind of like hanging out with a friend - like, "hey, what kind of eye shadow are you wearing?" and then she tells you about it, but as a blog post rather than over coffee.

Reading her book was like getting to know someone at a slumber party (partially because I read it at night before I went to sleep). Mindy Kaling has turned into the celebrity that not only you feel like you know, but it doesn't seem like stretch that you could meet her and have a normal conversation with her without feeling like you are talking to a celebrity (which is a good thing!) The stories from her childhood are pretty funny, in a looking-back-that-guy-was-an-asshole-hahaha kind of way, and if she is holding a big ole grudge, you can't tell. Her opinions are earnest and it sounds like she's thought them all out for a pretty long time, probably thinking in blog-mode while killing time and calories on a treadmill.

Which is also hilarious, because I have to distract myself pretty well on a treadmill in order to actually stay on it for very long, which Mindy also does. Except her "treadmill fantasies" (quotes are mine, not hers) are ridiculously over-the-top. Love it.

Good work, Mindy! I think you did an awesome job!
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,444 reviews7,531 followers
August 27, 2016
Quick confessional: 1. I am unequivocally in love with David Brent, therefore I have never cheated on him and watched even one episode of the American version of The Office. 2. The only thing I had ever seen Mindy Kaling in was that Ashton Kutcher/Natalie Portman movie that I can’t even remember the name of, but that I know I liked better when Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis were the stars.

That being said, I wanted to read a funny comedian book and have already been through Tina Fey, Kathy Griffin, Jenny Lawson, Chelsea Handler and Sarah Silverman. (Another confession - I REALLY wanted to read Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan, but there’s a waiting list.) Good news is, Mindy Kaling’s book is funny (unlike Sarah Silverman’s horrible snoozer). She’s funny enough that in a state of insomnia I went on The Demand channel and queued up an episode of The Mindy Project. Highlights for me include her top funny moments of comedy (although, seriously Mindy, expand your horizons and realize that Caddyshack/Animal House/any other disgusting late 70s/early 80s comedy geared toward men is HILARIOUS), explaining to men over 30 they should not have any “flare” on the butt of their jeans and other helpful hints of how they can be great without even trying, questioning any woman who goes without underpants, reconfirming that the album Graceland by Paul Simon may be the best thing ever put on vinyl, contributing (as everyone who ever writes a comedy bio should) an Amy Poehler is the best person in the universe and oh my God I want to be her BFF story and, finally, confirming that I may have one of the most successful marriages around (although we watch Big Brother rather than The Bachelorette, we totally could come to fisticuffs back in the day if one ever dared watch an episode of The Sopranos without the other and we high-five our mutual awesomeness quite frequently).
Profile Image for Amy | littledevonnook.
200 reviews1,204 followers
February 23, 2016
I was so excited to read this one as I had had it on my wishlist for such a long time. Unfortunately I really didn't get along with the tone of this read and finished it feeling very disappointed.

I have only ever seen Mindy Kaling on the TV show 'The Mindy Project' so a lot of the people and things she was talking about in this book I had no idea about. It left me feeling a little bored and come the end I was really struggling to carry on.

I just don't think this was one for me, I expected the book to have me in stiches but I can't actually recall laughing at all. It's a shame as I really wanted to love this one. I would recommend to those who know more of Mindy Kaling - who possibly have seen The Office as she spends a lot of time talking about that.
Profile Image for Jody.
790 reviews34 followers
October 13, 2019
This was ... terrible.

Fair enough, I have never actually seen Mindy Kaling in anything. Ever. But, I've listened to both Amy Poehler's Yes Please and Trevor Noah's Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood and loved them both. They were insightful, interesting, both well-written and well-narrated, and transcended any need for me to "know" the authors beforehand.

This book, on the other hand, was just an exercise in banality. I found literally nothing in this book interesting or funny. The lists in particular were excruciatingly dull. This kind of memoir is why I don't read memoirs. Her 'observational humour' about how guys (apparently) take a long time to tie their shoes. Really? That's the gem you chose to include in this?

A few things in particular really bugged me.

1. Saying that depressed people are the most boring people in the world. Oh, but it's fine for her to say it because she was a bit depressed once when she didn't have a job, or some shit like that. Are you fucking kidding me? Yes, this is a sensitive issue for me, but JFC, people with depression feel bad enough about themselves without people saying shit like that.

2. Talking about how she had decided to ditch her two best friends, but then got indignant because they were hanging out together without her. What kind of narcissistic bullshit is that?

3. Whining about married people who say that it's hard work, because she doesn't want it to be like that.

4. The list of things guys should do. It would not be ok for a man to write this about women, and it's not ok for women to write it about men. Even if it is 'funny'.

I really wanted to love this, and I wanted another loveable, relatable person (since she has another audiobook), but she came across as completely shallow and self-absorbed. I had initially rated this higher as in all honesty I think, despite all of this, I didn't come out of this hating her, but I think this book was absolutely terrible.
Profile Image for Liza.
204 reviews19 followers
November 14, 2011
The moment I finish my literature review I am going to the bookstore to purchase this, because I need to read something that makes me laugh more than articles about amytrophic lateral sclerosis.

And no, I did not laugh while reading/writing about ALS. I'm not the worst person in the world.
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