Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)
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.
So this was me diving into non-fiction again, and it once again confirmed me in sticking with fiction. It’s not that this book was horrible, not at all, I enjoyed it for a non-fiction book. But the essential part for me in that sentence is “for a non-fiction book”. I like Mindy Kaling as a comedian and I did think there were some really funny bits in this book. But non-fiction just doesn’t seem to be able to capture my attention the same way that fiction does. It fails to have that pull on me that keeps me coming back for more, that just gets me hooked to the story to the point that I just really want to keep reading this book. While I did sort of enjoy this while I was reading I had to push myself to pick it up from time to time which is never a great feeling when reading a book. The enjoyment I got from reading this book didn’t even come close to the type of joy I get from reading a really good fiction book, and the biggest part of that is that reading non-fiction doesn’t just drag me away in this story.
But as I said, this book is fun to read. It’s like a bunch of sketches collected in a book. The writing is clever and I love that despite the editing, the writing still sounded like Mindy. As in all comedian’s show is the case: some things will work better for you than others; and this book has the same thing going for it. Some bits are just funnier than others are, but someone else might disagree with me completely on what the funny parts are.
This will not be the last non-fiction book I ever read, though I don’t think I’ll be picking one up again real soon. Maybe it’s just about finding the right type of non-fiction book for me. Maybe I just need mine to feel more like story while it still talks about true events, who knows. In any case: I do recommend this book to people who like Mindy Kaling and her sketches, this is pretty much exactly that, but only written down (or if you prefer the audiobook: Mindy Kaling is the narrator, so that’s fun).