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Review: ‘Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?’ by Mindy Kaling

by Kim on March 13, 2012 · 14 comments

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Title: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)
Author: Mindy Kaling
Genre: Essays
Year: 2011
Acquired: Library
Rating: ★★★★★

Review: I’m not sure what to write about Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? except that it was an entirely delightful read.

Mindy Kaling is probably best known as a writer, producer, and actor on NBC’s The Office. But Kaling is also an accomplished Off-Broadway playwright and actress, and just the sort of warm and funny person a reader could want as a friend.

I think there’s this idea that a celebrity memoir is going to be a sort of tell-all, inside look at the shocking life of the Hollywood stars. Kaling’s book was absolutely not that kind of read. The Mindy Kaling in this book is relatable, especially to a bookish and obedient nerd like myself. The book reads very much like a book of advice and embarrassing stories from one friend to another, not a confessional memoir.

The other thing that sticks out to me is the fact that Kaling isn’t afraid to be both smart and girly, to appreciate things like fashion and dating, while still admitting to how much she is looking for a sort of “traditional” relationship. I had to return the book to the library before I wrote this review so I can reference a specific example — which is totally lame, I know — so you’ll just have to trust me I guess.

Anyway, I still stand by my first point: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? was a delightful read that I highly recommend.

Other Reviews:

If you have reviewed this book, please leave a link to the review in the comments and I will add your review to the main post. All I ask is for you to do the same to mine — thanks!

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenna (Literature and a Lens) March 13, 2012 at 8:21 am

I really need to read this one. I’ve seen so many positive reviews! The fact that it isn’t meant to be a shocking tell-all makes it stand out even more.

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Kim March 14, 2012 at 7:26 pm

Yes, that’s one of the things I liked most about it. Kaling hasn’t had one of those shocking, scandal filled lives that you seem to hear about all the time, which was refreshing and fun.

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bermudaonion (Kathy) March 13, 2012 at 1:47 pm

I didn’t realize this is a memoir. It sounds right up my alley.

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Kim March 14, 2012 at 7:26 pm

Yep, it’s a memoir, in essay format, sort of. I think you’d like it!

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Alyce March 14, 2012 at 10:37 pm

I’ve seen this book around a lot, but from the cover I thought it was a YA fiction book. I don’t think I could have gotten that one more wrong, now that I see what it’s really about from your review.

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Kim March 18, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Funny! Kaling does make some jokes about all the pink on the cover, because it does make the book seem a bit more girly than it probably is.

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Heather @ Book Addiction March 17, 2012 at 12:26 pm

I loved this! I have seen people say that the memoir is too narcissistic and/or that Kaling is annoying, but I didn’t find that to be the case. I found her honesty refreshing and her humor is right up my alley. Glad to see you felt the same. :)

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Kim March 18, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Oh wow, I didn’t think that at all! I thought Kaling was super charming. Her humor totally meshed with mine too.

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Trish March 18, 2012 at 3:23 pm

I really wasn’t looking for another Celeb Memoir but you’ve convinced me that this is one that I really need to check out. I wonder if she reads the audio version? Love her character on The Office–had no idea she contributed to the writing!

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Kim March 25, 2012 at 2:27 pm

I’d bet she reads the audio version. I can’t see why she wouldn’t, but I guess I don’t know for sure!

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Blake March 25, 2012 at 8:47 pm

I really enjoy your book blog. I came across it recently and thought the reviews I read described some of the feelings I had when reading those books. You have a way of writing about your emotional responses to books in a way I find refreshing. I even ordered a book based on your excitement, which left me unexpectedly overwhelmed, so I’m going to give this Mindy Kaling book a try, even though it’s not something I would normally read, I don’t think. Thanks for opening my eyes to some new book finds.

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Kim April 3, 2012 at 8:14 pm

Thanks very much! Which book did you order and enjoy? I hope you enjoy this one too, I thought it was charming and funny.

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Blake April 6, 2012 at 11:43 pm

I haven’t done anything more than skim Mindy Kaling’s book yet, but I will probably get to it this weekend. The first few pages seem promising. And the book I ordered after reading your recommendation was Devil in the Grove. I’ve been telling everyone I know about it. So good. I’m also going to try some of the Indie winners next.

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Kim April 8, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Very cool! I just finished my review of Devil in the Grove this weekend. It was fun to write.

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