Y’all. Seriously. You have to read this book.
Before I explain why you HAVE to read this, I would like to explain how it came to be in my possession. I know I’ve mentioned before that my parents have encouraged my love of reading, but that’s probably an understatement.
Have I mentioned I’m dyslexic? I make jokes about it now but actually, it took me awhile to learn how to read. And my parents were always so, so patient with me. Once I did catch up, they took me to the library all the time. Every single year at Christmas and my birthday when I asked for books, instead of giving me a hard time, they asked which ones. I was home for Thanksgiving last week and my Dad couldn’t wait for Christmas to give me a gift so he gave it to me early. It was a book.
So it’s a normal occurrence when I’m home to drag one or both of my parents to Barns and Noble. And on this particular trip to the happiest place on earth, my Mom wanted Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? and I wanted Devil in the White City. My Mom’s normally more of a David McCullough fan so I bought her book for her and then she insisted on buying mine. Which was already great but now I know that trip was a win win. My fabulous Mom (who’s work Twitter account has 12x the followers that I do btw) read Kaling’s book and loved it. Then she gave it to me and my Mom’s wonderful tastes were affirmed.
This book is Kaling’s journey from small, adorable child with a bowl cut into the wonderful woman she is today. Or, in 2011 when this book was released. She talks about school, her family, best friends, failing as a page and SNL writer but succeeding with The Office. She includes hilarious lists, tips for men, and observations on human nature. She’s witty and honest, can you tell I loved it?
I also appreciated her ability to discern what us, as readers, wanted to read. She makes it clear the road to success was difficult without going on and on about it. She also mentions weight in a particularly refreshing way. Personal opinion alert: I feel like many women say things along the lines “I’m not defined by my weight” but then only talk about themselves by mentioning their weight. Like “I don’t listen to beauty standards, I’m beautiful the way I am.” Or “I can be successful even though I’m not a size zero.” Kaling talks openly about her weight in several places but it doesn’t define her and she doesn’t act like she’s obsessed with that fact. 10 out of 10.
My family watched The Office while it aired on TV starting during the second season (if I’m remembering correctly) and loved it. We watched it through the end and then Netflix added all the seasons. Now I can quote almost the entire thing #noshame. What I didn’t know was how much Kaling did behind the scenes. I knew she was a writer as well as an actress, which is already extraordinary, but I didn’t realize she produced and directed lots of it as well. I already respected her but my respect grew as I read this book.
Also someone please pay her to remake The Hulk.
Read this book. It’s funny and insightful and well written. I can not wait to get my hands on Why Not Me?