Review: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) – Mindy Kaling

Fun fact: I LOVE “The Office”and I think it’s one of the funniest shows on television. I love the dry, witty and intelligent humor in each twenty-minute episode. A contribution to many episodes that air on Thursday nights are in part due to Mindy Kaling, not just because her character on the show, Kelly Kapoor is so ditzy that it’s funny, but she’s also a writer for the show. Some of you might not know, but Mindy Kaling is a graduate of Dartmouth College and after reading her fabulous memoir/book of essays, it’s safe to say that she’s NOTHING like the clueless character she plays on television.

This past summer I read Tina Fey’s “Bossypants” and it deserves every amount of praise it’s received, but I’m going to be honest and say that I preferred Mindy Kaling’s novel “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (and Other Concerns).” Maybe this is simply because I’m a bigger fan of “The Office” than “30 Rock” and maybe it’s because I’m closer in age to Mindy and found her essays so easy to relate to, whatever the reason, this is one of the funniest books I’ve ever read. Mindy recognizes that there will be comparisons to Tina’s book and acknowledges it in her introduction,

Questions or concerns about purchasing this book: “This sounds okay, but not as good as Tina Fey’s book.

Why isn’t this more like Tina Fey’s book? I know man. Tina’s awesome. I think she may have every major international trophy for excellence except a Heisman *she might even have an honorary Heisman). Unfortunately, I can’t be Tina because it’s very difficult to lure her into the 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. I suggest you buy Bossypants again if you like her so much. I did. I have like five copies of it.

I love the fact that she’s so humble and seems so down to earth. On more than one occasion, I found myself reading essay after essay, wanting to be best friends with Mindy Kaling. Her wry and intelligent humor first got recognized when after moving to New York City with her best friend, they co-wrote a play called “Matt and Ben” that portrayed the lives and events of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. She tells us all about the jobs she had on her rise to fame, a nanny, a production assistant, a writer for one night on Saturday Night Live and then of course she landed the Office gig as a writer and an actress.

I don’t want to give away too much, but I have to mention my favorite essay which is when she dissects why she finds John Mellencamp disgusting.

As a child of immigrant professionals, I can’t help but notice the wasteful frivolity of it all. Why are these kids not home, doing their homework? Why aren’t they setting the table for dinner or helping out around the house? Who allows their kids to hang out in parking lots? Isn’t that loitering?

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 life was high school? Come on, Mr Cougar Mellencamp!

I’ll leave you with Mindy’s “favorite” video and a request that if you love intelligent humor that will cause you to chuckle on page one, then you will devour “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (and Other Concerns)”