Reviewing auto-biographies is a delicate venture, to say the least. A reviewer has to learn to draw the line between reviewing the book and reviewing the person’s life. In some cases it can be easy – when an auto-biography is both well written and the author is someone the reader can easily relate to.
The character she portrayed on The Office made me cringe, but the one on The Mindy Project made me want to meet Mindy Kaling; it was so natural for her to portray Mindy Lahiri that it feels like much of the actress made it through to the character. If this book is to be believed – as in, if Kaling wrote a completely honest book and not a book about who she wants us to think she is – then I was right: I would enjoy meeting her.
If you are also curious to know who Mindy Kaling is, then this easy-to-read book is for you. It even sounds at times like a conversation you might have with a new friend who happens to be a writer, director, executive producer, and actress. While laid back and at times quite silly, it manages to gives a lot of information about her as well as share insight into who she might really be. And if you watch The Mindy Project, you will definitely hear intense flavours of Dr. Mindy Lahiri.
Kaling shares strong personal opinions about certain matters which, although I didn’t agree with all of them, I really appreciate. It’s nice to have a strong woman who is confident and unapologetic about what she believes in. I also like that she brought up the topic of her body and the difficulties she has encountered because she isn’t a size zero. That she does not make a huge fuss out of it or use the opportunity to monologue about the topic makes it all the more impactful. The straight-to-the-point story about her 2011 People Magazine photo shoot, for example, was powerful in its simplicity, an example of how hard this kind of thing can be on women, and one strong yet classy way of dealing with it.
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) is an entertaining and amusing book. It is also relatable because let’s be honest, however superficial it makes us seem, concerns such as is everyone hanging out without me are shared by many, many people. More information about Mindy Kaling is available on her website.