Like the rest of the world, I was introduced to Mindy Kaling through her character Kelly Kapoor on The Office. I have to admit, my focus was mostly on Jim and Pam’s interactions and Jim’s pranks on Dwight…so much so that I missed a lot of her brilliance. Until, of course, The Mindy Project happened*. And then I got her first book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) on audiobook from the free book list at work.
In each phase of knowing her, I’ve appreciated Mindy more and more. I think it’s because she’s not as aloof as some other actresses. Actually, she’s kind of the funny and more appropriate Jennifer Lawrence, when you think about it. Mindy sees the world, operates successfully within it, and has her own voice about it all – the voice of someone who could be your BFF if you lived in the same area and were, you know, famous. Or knew someone that was.
In her newest book, Mindy says that I’m not the only one that feels this way about her. She says people often say they wish she was their best friend…and she says people don’t know what they’re asking for. Apparently, her real best friends don’t feel as warm and fuzzy about her, but I find that hard to believe.
As I mentioned, this year is kind of the year of the humor books for me. So far, this one is my favorite. The first book was more of a story arch of her whole life – this book is much more reflective and focuses on topics as well as personal anecdotes about specific aspects of her life, but the humor is still queen.
I read this on an airplane coming back from Nashville and it was delightful. Unlike some of the books I’ve been reading lately that require #allthebrainpower, this one was a fun and frivolous read that kept me entertained from cover to cover. Sure, it seemed like there was a bit more filler than was in Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, but I was okay with that.
Mindy tells it to us straight – all women in the television business wear hair extensions, friendships in Hollywood can be terribly shallow, and yes…despite what actors say, the kissing scenes are fun to do. She’s our backstage pass into a world that most of us don’t live in and she doesn’t take that duty lightly.
Mindy is fun, of that there is no doubt! But she’s also incredibly insightful and perceptive. Alongside the pop cultural references lie some amazing gems of thought that really stuck with me. She talks about how fame has changed her because she realizes that she’s blessed and wants to act like a better person in the public eye. She talks about as a women in a man’s world, how confidence is absolutely necessary and being entitled after you’ve worked hard is not a bad thing (you can read that chapter excerpt here). And then she throws in a humorous anecdote about Bradley Cooper, just to keep you on your toes.
Why Not Me? was definitely one of my favorite books of the year, if for no other reason than I got a little insight in to the weird relationship that she and B.J. Novak have. 🙂
If you’re looking for a light read, I’d recommend it!*
*For awareness, there’s some language and content throughout the book (and the excerpt) that might be troublesome for sensitive readers.