Single Sundays: While this blog may be focused on reviewing book series as a whole, we can’t forget about the good ole’ standalone novel! On Sundays, I will review a novel that is considered to be a standalone novel. Here is this week’s offering:
Synopsis for Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) (from Goodreads):
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.
Author: Mindy Kaling
Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir, Humour, Biography
Heat Rating: N/A
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Date: November 1, 2011
Source & Format: Public Library–Audiobook
Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:
I actually tried to read the paperback of this years ago when my roommate lent it to me but I just couldn’t get into it! And that absolutely shocked me because I love Mindy Kaling. She is one of my all time favourite comedians and I think the Mindy Project is one of the smartest and most humorous comedy shows in recent years. So why couldn’t I get into it?
I think it was the same problem as I had with Amy Pohler’s Yes Please book: I didn’t find the text to be funny. I need to hear the tone of delivery when a joke is told and I can’t do that when I read a book on my own.
In the fall of 2015 I decided to try my first audiobook and it was Stephen Colbert’s America Again. It was hilarious and confirmed what I had suspected: I can listen to humorous audiobooks better than I can read them. So when I saw Lindsey @ Bring Me Books post her review of Mindy’s audiobook, I was inspired to try and read it again.
I'm only 5 minutes into the audiobook of Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me and it is already a good decision 🙂
— Lauren (@SERIESousBooks) January 13, 2016
This is basically a memoir of Mindy’s rise to fame and how she got to be where she is today. It’s your typical memoir book but I thought Mindy had a cool take on things. It wasn’t depressing or boring; rather it had a fun, humourous spin on things. I also liked that it had a linear projection but she added random tidbits here and there.
It was really neat to get her thoughts on The Office (one of my all time favourite shows) and what it was like to work there. But I also enjoyed the stories of her early days. I think I love Mindy so much because she is so relatable. I think most women have had similar experiences to Mindy at some point in their life and getting her hilarious but heart-felt takes on things was great.
One of the reasons I think I struggled with the physical book was that Mindy writes like she talks. Which is fine, but part of Mindy’s charm is her delivery. So to actually hear her say her words in the exact tone that she wants you to hear them in really made this audiobook work. It was super easy to listen to her and I’m sure I looked like an idiot laughing at some of the things she said.
Did I mention that BJ Novak makes an appearance as well? I simply adore BJ and Mindy together in a completely platonic way. They seem like the best of friends in real life and I think that is the coolest thing ever!
Did it Impact My Life?
Not particularly and I really don’t think it is supposed to either. But, it did restore my faith in celebrity memoirs…so long as they are audiobooks.
My Rating: 4.5/5
I enjoyed the audiobook 20 bazillion times more than the printed copy. I feel like the humour is more apparent and it is just a lot of fun to listen to. However, if you don’t really like celebrity memoirs or the Mindy Project, you probably won’t like this one!
Read if You Like: Mindy Kaling, celebrity memoirs, humourous audiobooks
Avoid if You: don’t like Mindy Kaling
- Yes Please by Amy Poehler
- Bossypants by Tina Fey
I love Mindy Kaling too. She’s wonderful. I liked Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, but I actually think that her second Memoir, Why Not Me? is a million times better. I feel like in the second book the distance between you and her shrinks somewhat. In this one I kind of felt like she was holding us at arms length the whole time.
She is so great! One of my heroes I think.
I actually did read Why Not Me and have that review coming up sometime in the near future. I thought this one was funnier but I do agree that you get to learn more about her as a person in the follow-up.
That’s true. I think she has produced two books that complement two different moods pretty well. I got so happy when I was reading Why Not Me? I think it hit me at exactly the right life moment.