Cerebrally Funny: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

There are some books that I randomly come across and must read right now.  By must read right now I obviously mean that I say to myself, ‘ooh that looks good!  I’ll bookmark it so I can find it when I get done with the one I’m reading now.’  It could be a bad thing, but I have so many bookmarks of books to read, along with page long lists, that I will probably never go back to that book and actually read it.

Sure, some do get read by a thought process that is shrouded in as much mystery to me as it is to other people, but, by and large, the books sit there getting older and less and less relevant.  Sometimes, however, I come across a book that I really do want to read right now.  And sometimes, I get to.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling was only sort of one of those books. I found out about it last year, around the same time that Linchpin came to my attention and wanted to read it immediately.  But it was hardcover, so expensive.  I tried in vain to find a cheaper copy over the past year because I was dying to read it but had no such luck.

Then one day I finished the book I was reading and decided to check whether or not I could get a copy as an ebook from the library.  Ten minutes later, I was reading it.  Yes, I love being able to get a book at nine pm on a rainy Thursday evening.  It’s pretty great.

With all the lead up to this book, I began to get nervous that it would let me down in some way.  Surely it couldn’t live up to all the pretend hype?  Why did I even want to read it anyway?  Well, even though I can’t be one hundred percent certain about the answers to those questions, it was amazing.  It was all I thought it would be and more.

The book is a memoir arranged in short-story style paragraphs that each tackle a different topic and work through Kaling’s life chronologically (Kaling writes for the American The Office).  Her viewpoint on things is part ironic, part humorous and part totally relatable.  There were more than a couple times when I paused and thought, oh wait! That’s me!  I love when that happens in a book.

Kaling has a great humorous way of writing that is subtly funny.  It doesn’t hit you over the head, but tickles your brain.  It’s smart writing, it’s witty observations and it’s a great self-depracating take on personal events that could be painful but are made funny instead.  While there is a chronological thread to the story, each section reads pleasantly separate.  You could simply read a story if you wanted to, but reading it together provides a lovely arc.

The book isn’t long, but it’s a fun, delightful read that will leave you wanting more.  It’s the kind of story that you could pick up again and again, laughing at the same parts multiple times (what, you don’t do that with television shows?).  Just because you don’t like America’s The Office, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give Kaling’s memoir a read.  Besides, she’s starring in a new television show this fall, so you’ll have a leg up on all the hype and be able to impress your friends with your forward thinking.

Truth time, do you like any version of The Office?  British, American or possibly other?

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