Book Review: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)

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Synopsis from Amazon:

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.

Like many other girls my age I am in love with Mindy Kaling. She is so down to earth, funny, and just real. She literally says all the thoughts I have on a regular basis but in a more coherent and hilarious way.

Because I was late on The Office train I didn’t really fall in love with Kaling until The Mindy Project where she plays an OB/GYN who loves rom-coms and has plenty of dating woes. In summary, she kind of plays herself.

Kaling is much more than an actor though. She’s most well known not for acting on The Office but for writing for the show. If you haven’t watched the show that’s a shame and you should get on Netflix and watch that right now. If you have watched the show then you know it’s freaking hilarious and Kaling is a bit of a comic genius. This isn’t to say she’s responsible for every episode written. That’s not the case. However she did play a big enough role for me to say she’s a comic genius.

Now to her book. I absolutely loved it. I got the audio book because truthfully I got the 30 day trial of Audible and I figured who’s voice is better to listen to on the Subway than Mindy Kaling’s. Answer: no one. Well maybe Tina Fey but I didn’t think about that until after I bought Kaling’s book.

Either way I didn’t regret using one of my free Audible credits on Kaling’s book because as I suspected she kept me laughing the whole time. From addressing listeners directly telling us that it shouldn’t really take us that long to finish the audiobook and if it takes us months we have a problem, to just being very open and honest about her life. I truly enjoyed this book.

What’s great about this autobiography is Kaling keeps it real in a way that’s not self-loathing or self-pitying but is more like, “These are the facts and they were actually pretty funny in hindsight.” For example, when telling us how an exchange student made fun of her for her weight she didn’t say it in “feel bad for me way” or a “this is why you must always ignore bullies” teaching way. Instead she says this guys sucks and he later got what was coming to him when he broke his leg and was no longer the soccer star he once was and dropped out of high school.

Basically, Kaling says everything you’ve probably thought but out loud. She’s rude, aggressive, and somewhat abrasive but all in fun. She gives it to you straight and doesn’t sugar coat things. She’s also pretty strange. For example, she tells readers exactly what she wants at her funeral and has her friend, Mike Schur (creator of Parks and Rec, amongst other awesome things), even write (and read) a eulogy for her.

Besides just generally talking about her life Kaling also gives some sound advice although she lets you know early one that she probably shouldn’t be trusted to give advice. Maybe the whole “the best revenge is acid in the face” thing isn’t so great but the not worrying about being popular in high school is definitely gold. She’s also all about being confident and loving you for you which is something I can definitely support.

If you haven’t read this book you should definitely get to it especially since she’s currently in the process of releasing a new one (thank God!). There are definitely benefits to the audio book as you get to hear Kaling, along with Schur, B.J. Novak, and Brenda Winters tell the story but there’s also drawbacks such as not seeing all the photos in the book. However, as Kaling herself states you can just run to a bookstore real quick and flip through the book to see the photos she discusses in the book. Either way definitely a must read and worth every cent (or Audible credit).

Favorite Line:

One friend with whom you have a lot in common is better than three with whom you struggle to find things to talk about.

Stars: 5 out of 5. Absolutely loved this book. Awesome!

Borrow or Buy: Buy, duh. You’ll definitely want to refer back to some of these quotes at some point in your life. Make sure you have the book close at hand when that happens.

Other Reviews

A. V. Club

The Picky Girl

HelloGiggles

My Favorite TV Couples of All Time

In honor of Valentine’s Day tomorrow I would like to take a look back at all my favorite TV couples. From the Huxtables to the Beasleys, here’s my top 10.

1. The Huxtables (The Cosby Show)

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When I think about a couple that got the married with kids thing down I automatically think of the Huxtables. Cliff and Claire were partners and friends, loving and supporting each other in everything they did. I still love watching them parent together on The Cosby Show and can rewatch episodes ’til the end of time.

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2. The Scotts (One Tree Hill)

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I have always loved Nathan and Haley’s relationship. Yes, I do believe it is crazy to marry someone in high school but the idea that you could find your soul mate at this age is just awesome and made for a great love story. We got to watch this couple grow together as they both tried and did reach their dreams. We also saw them become great parents to two great kids and watched their love for each other grow and change into something deeper over time. The best.

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3. The (Other) Scotts (One Tree Hill)

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These two drove me crazy over the years because everyone knew they belonged together except them. It was so frustrating! I loved them together from the first day Lucas helped Peyton when her car broke down. My favorite moment was at their wedding when Haley was the minister and she told the story of how when they were all younger, before Lucas even really knew Peyton, Lucas said he was going to marry “that girl”. And then he did. Yeah, it might not be realistic but it’s still cool to think about. I love it.

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4. The Kyles (My Wife and Kids)

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I always viewed this family as a modern version of the Huxtables. I loved Jay and Michael’s relationship because as much as Michael was a clown and did stupid stuff he was a great husband and father and she was a great wife and mom, acting just as crazy as him sometimes. I thought their dynamic was hilarious and they handled serious topics (like when Junior got his girlfriend pregnant) very well. I miss them!

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5. The Matthews (Boy Meets World)

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Who didn’t love Cory and Topanga’s love story? From their middle school days everyone knew they were meant for each other, especially Shawn and Mr. Feeny. I loved watching them grow up together and fall in love. It was classic girl likes boy but boy doesn’t know he likes girl but then he figures it out and . . . sigh. It was amazing! I can’t wait to see them as a married couple with kids on Girl Meets World.

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6. The Eriksens (How I Met Your Mother)

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Besides wanting to know who the mother was, these two were the main reason why I got into this show. I absolutely love them together. Meeting in college they’ve been through one or two hiccups along the road (the biggest being when Lily left for San Fran) but they’ve made it, working out their problems as a team. As the only married couple in their group it’s always great to see them act as a unit among their friends and being proud of their marriage. Plus, they made a very cute baby. They’re the best.

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7. The Bings (Friends)

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People always say you should fall in love with your best friend and these two make it seem like a solid idea. I didn’t get to watch the show and see how this friendship truly developed into a relationship when the show was on air so I knew what was going to happen when I finally did sit down to watch the whole series and even though it’s subtle they always made hints about a relationship between them. For example they both agreed that if they were both single when they were 30 they would get married. What I really love about Monica and Chandler is that neither of them truly expected that their best friend was “the one”. What started as a friends with benefits situation evolved into such much more, that surprised them both. Monica_and_Chandler_Bing 

8. The Shepherds (Grey’s Anatomy)

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These too have a had a hard go of it. First, there’s the fact that Derek was still technically married when he started hooking up with Meredith. Then there was the whole “Choose me, love me” thing. Then the Meredith’s drowning, the bomb, the shooting, and Meredith messed up the Alzheimer’s experiment. Yeah, it’s been a bumpy ride. However, these two have survived it all becoming a strong couple with two kids who love each other despite all the crazy. Definitely one of my faves.

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9. The Bishops (Nikita)

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Speaking of having a rough go of things these two have definitely had it rough, but trying to take down an assassin organization can do that to a couple. These two have both faced down death multiple times giving each other heart attacks. Thankfully, they both survived all the way to the end of the series where they finally got married. What I love about these two is that they’re both strong and stubborn individuals who sometimes have very different views on things. However, rather than let these things tear them apart they work together as partners.

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10. The Beasleys (The Office)

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Ugh, these two. I can’t even. Just thinking about the finale makes me tear up. First, the fact that Jim waited so long for Pam is amazing. That’s just pure dedication and when he talked about that in his wedding vows? Amazing. Then they had two kids and had their house and then we got scared it was all going to end in the last season but of course they worked it all out. I just love these two so much. Adorable!

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If I missed any of your favorite TV couples, feel free to comment them below!