Title: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns)
Author: Mindy Kaling
Release Date: November 1, 2011
Publisher: Three Rivers Press (Print) / Random House Audio (Audio)
Genre: Non-Fiction, Essays, Memoir
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
In this collection of essays, Mindy Kaling discusses such varied subjects as her upbringing, her job as a writer on The Office, and her hit off-Broadway play Matt and Ben, based on Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.
There aren’t many famous Indian people in Hollywood, so I’ve always kept an eye on Mindy Kaling even though I never really watched The Office. I didn’t actually know much about her when I picked up Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns). I was a bit worried that, because I hadn’t followed Kaling’s career, I wouldn’t understand much of this book, but I’m happy to say I was wrong. Mindy Kaling’s autobiographical essay collection is hilarious and heartwarming, whether you’re familiar with her or not.
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) has a great balance among the different aspects that make up a great celebrity memoir. She discusses her childhood and upbringing, such that the reader feels like they get to know her. She includes her path to fame and the odd jobs she worked along the way. Kaling also discusses enough juicy tidbits to keep the celebrity memoir fan happy (getting kicked out of The Office writers room was incredibly interesting and humbling, to be sure). And of course, there’s the nonsense – the scenarios Kaling comes up with when she’s running were a real source of amusement.
This memoir/essay collection is a great balance of personal stories and humor, which makes it a great read on audio. Kaling herself narrates Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns). She’s a wonderful narrator, and it was a lot of fun listening to her. I don’t think you can go wrong with this book regardless of how you choose to consume it, but for me, audio was the way to go. The audio production is unabridged and runs just over four and a half hours.
I have a weakness for memoirs/essay collections by female comedians, and Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns) was no exception. It was witty, charming, and really made me fall in love with Mindy Kaling. The stories she told were interesting, and it was refreshing to read about how normal she is. If you’re looking for a thoughtful read that will make you laugh, this is definitely a great book to pick up.