Title: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)
Author: Mindy Kaling
Publisher: Ebury Press
Published: November 2011
Genre: Non-Fiction Autobiography
Source: Penpal swap
My Rating: 3/5
Mindy Kaling is most well known for her work on The Office (US) as a writer, actor and producer. She is also the creator of The Mindy Project. In her autobiography she shares anecdote, advice for teen girls, and how she went from starving artist to success.
I haven’t seen any of Kaling’s work, but someone in a swap sent me her autobiography Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Problems) and who can resist such a pretty cover.
The main thing that stood out for me was the inclusion of lists. There are lists of questions and answers, lists of alternate names for things, lists that show Kaling’s break-down of possible tropes, etc. To be honest, this is was the main thing I loved about this book. It made it into a quick read, while showing more of Kaling’s personality than a straight-up autobiography would have, not to mention Kaling’s comedy which is clearly strongest in this format.
There were many moments during this book that made me smile to myself, however it wasn’t nearly as funny as I was expecting from a comedy writer and actor. Perhaps it’s just my lack of that kind of humour, but in my opinion a lot of felt like it was trying too hard, and the rest was bordering on laugh out loud but somehow missed the punch line each time.
However, as a writer, I am always interested in other writers’ work habits and how they get ideas to paper so to speak. While the majority of the book is about being a performer and getting through the day to day parts of life (friendship, work, fashion, being ‘chubby’ [her word, not mine, and quite frankly offending that she thinks she’s fat], there is a section on writing which I really enjoyed, though I wouldn’t say that in itself would be enough of a reason to pick this book up.
There are a few photos throughout the book, which she then describes or explains. The only problem being that they are in black and white and very small, when Kaling is writing as though we can see both the colours and the details of what she’s wearing, etc. For me this simply made the book seem cheap (unlike the gorgeous cover), and it was irritating that I could barely make anything out as that seemed to defeat the point of including the photos in the first place.
Unless you are a huge fan of Mindy Kaling, I have to admit this wouldn’t be anywhere near the top of my recommendations list. That said, if you’re looking for something easy and girly to ease you into non-fiction this would make a great book for you.
I realise this review isn’t glowing, however I am giving away my copy of the book, as I feel it’s only right to pass it on. Entering is as simple as pressing a button on rafflecopter, though I’d love it if you followed me on Twitter or Goodreads or commented on this post as well. This giveaway is international (I’m willing to send it anywhere my post office will let me), and ends midnight Sunday 11th September (GMT).