Full disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Penguin Random House of Canada in exchange for an honest review.
How thrilled was I when I got the chance to read Mindy Kaling’s new book ahead of publication!? I will give you a hint: I WAS SO THRILLED. Like I squealed when it showed up at the door.
I loved her first book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns). It was funny, relatable and interesting in terms of learning more about Kaling and how she got to where she was. Kaling is that writer with a voice that sounds like you’re just having a conversation, probably one of the reasons we all think we could totally be best friends with her.
In her follow up, Why Not Me? Kaling addresses working and confidence and dating. She talks about wanting an Emmy nomination and fighting the little green monster in all of us when she wasn’t nominated (but was announcing the nominations). She tells us about all the times that she’s met President Obama, including the time the president mentioned that his daughter had been reading her book on their recent vacation. There’s an essay on body image and on frenemies, a list of the ways that she and Mindy Lahiri are different and the ways that they are the same and a section that is basically a whole story she made up about an alternate life where she is a latin teacher engaged in inappropriate emails at work.
Basically it’s like all those other comedy writer books. It’s a collection of essays and thoughts that are put together to form a book. And even though I knew that that’s what it would be and there was a part of me that was like “oh”, I still really enjoyed it. I read this when I was really sick and it was totally able to hold my attention. I actually read it in one sitting, giggling to myself while downing all the liquids and blowing my nose. And when I finished reading it, I binged on two seasons of The Mindy Project because I realized that despite starting it, I had never devoted myself to it and that was a problem.
Mindy Kaling is super successful. And she’s the first person to tell you that she worked her ass off to get there. The final essay, where she addresses where she gets her confidence for a young woman who asked her that at an event and was kind of blown off because Kaling was really tired and she felt bad about it, is really worth reading. She talks about how she became confident because she worked hard to become really good at what she does. That essay alone is worth the price of this book, honestly.
Because even when Kaling is telling you she worked her ass off to get to be a famous, talented showrunner, she is still so damned relatable. OK so you don’t have your own show that you write and produce and star in and have funny, famous friends like BJ Novak but I guarantee you have gone to McDonald’s to eat your feelings, have Facebook stalked a potential love and know that two drinks transforms your social anxieties into the perfect party guest but three drinks is a mess.
Mindy Kaling has no problems letting it all hang out and that’s why her books are such fun to read.