Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

Posted February 20, 2012 by Tara in Review /// 8 Comments

This book cover is adorable. If I wrote a memoir, I'd want it to look like this.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)
by Mindy Kaling
Crown Archetype
E-Book from Public Library
[#15 in my 75 Book Challenge]

Full disclosure: I don’t watch The Office. I didn’t even really know who Mindy Kaling was before reading this book, but I knew I had to read it. After reading Bossypants by Tina Fey, this one came recommended…and I can see why! I love smart, funny, successful women who don’t take themselves too seriously. Mindy is my homegirl.

I don’t know exactly what I would call Mindy’s book. Like Tina Fey’s book, it’s part memoir and part comedy essays related the life of a female comedy writer. While I wasn’t rolling on the floor laughing, I did find the writing delightfully witty. I enjoyed every second of reading the book and really didn’t care if there was a cohesive “plot” or not (there wasn’t…especially after the first half or so). It’s just a series of essays about everything, and they are totally worth it.

Some great moments in the book:

1.) The list of Best Friend Rights and Responsibilities

2.) The list of Greatest Comedy Moments (Liz Lemon crying out of her mouth? YES!)

3.) The list of alternate titles for the book

4.) Mindy’s description of not having one night stands because she’s afraid of getting murdered (my life story).

…aaaaaaand a few great quotes, which really emphasize why I loved this book:

“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.”

“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.”

“Frisbee people won’t let it go. My theory is that this is because there’s a huge overlap between people who are good at Frisbee and people who do Teach for America.”

Final Grade:   B+   This is a great book, totally recommendation-worthy and fun to read. It falls just short of “amazing,” which is what keeps it from an A. I have to be super-careful about giving away A’s, or else I’d just be flinging them around left and right! If you read Bossypants, you need to read this book. If you love The Office and other way funny shows (30 Rock), you need to read this book. If you love sassy, funny ladies, you need to read this book. It’s short, sweet, cute, witty, and charming. And I might even start watching The Office now. Go figure.


Tara is a PhD student studying education. Her dissertation will be on digital book communities as public pedagogy (ask her about it!), though she often takes a break from all of that to read books about oppressive governments and sassy teenagers. In a former life, she was a middle school teacher and middle school librarian. In her future life, she's a professor of YA lit. In her free time, she drinks a lot of coffee while planning her next grand adventure (there's always something).

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8 responses to “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

  1. I ADORE books that are memoirs and feature funny women… Bossypants was one of my favorite reads last year and this one looks just as great. I don’t watch The Office either, but I do love Mindy Kaling; she’s so cute! If you’re into these kinds of books, I’d suggest “I Like You” by Amy Sedaris (this is more of a cookbook, but it’s still hilarious) and “Someday My Prince Will Come” by Jerramy Fine. Both of these are favorites of mine.

    Great review and I hope I get to read it soon!

  2. Ok, thanks for this review! I did the Fey audio book and Kaling reads hers as well. I loved running to a funny read…was waiting to see if anyone thought this was worthy. Because Fey has some pretty big shoes to fill!

  3. If you loved Mindy Kaling’s book, you have to watch The Mindy Project! Mindy plays a hopeless romantic obgyn and the situations she gets her into are hilarious! It’s my favorite show! 🙂

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