Book Review: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (and other concerns)

 I am almost done reading the Steve Jobs biography… so close that I’ve already read about the release of the iPad 2. But that book is huge and it added some considerable weight to my commuting bag each morning, so I opted for a lighter choice last week and finished this book in about 4 days.

Mindy Kaling is a writer and an actress (Kelly Kapoor) on the American version of The Office on NBC. The Office is one of my favorite shows on television. I was introduced to the show my freshman year of college and I caught up on the first two seasons. I’ve been watching it pretty consistently since. For a while I thought the show was going downhill but the current season is amazing. My opinion probably differs from many when I admit 1. The American office is 100% funnier to me than the British version and 2. I enjoy the show more without Steve Carel. He’s a great actor and he made the show for a while, but eventual Michael Scott was just too crazy to watch.

Anyway, Mindy is one of the writers and creates a lot of the brilliance I love on the show, so I really wanted to read her book. I read Tina Fey’s “Bossypants” this past June (I’m a huge 30 Rock fan, another one of my favorite shows) and I really enjoyed it, so I thought I would enjoy this book as well.

I did enjoy the book. Mindy comes from Indian parents that raised her in that stereotypical Indian-American way: respect adults, don’t complain, work hard. Her childhood was hilarious and I especially liked reading about the 2 year period of her life right after college where she lived in Brooklyn, struggling to pay rent with jobs that had nothing to do with comedy writing/acting. She also writes many funny essays about a variety of topics from movies they are creating now in Hollywood (she claims board game themes are in-demand) to narcissistic  photos she took of herself on her Blackberry. One criticism I have is that she spent so much time talking in great detail about her childhood and life after college, but the book fast-forwards and all of a sudden she has a writing job at The Office and its present day. The Office has been on for almost a decade, so that is quite a considerable amount of time in her 20-something year old life, but she only devotes perhaps a 3 page chapter plus some random bits here and there on her experiences working at The Office.

All in all the book was a great quick read for my commute. However, I don’t believe the book would be nearly as funny for people who do not watch The Office and don’t know her character Kelly. If you do like the show I would definitely recommend this book as a quick laugh and enjoyable read.


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