By now, I'm sure all of you know that Mindy Kaling's new book Why Not Me? is out. It was an awesome read. Of course, I am a dedicated fan to Ms. Kaling, sticking with her show The Mindy Project from its beginnings on FOX to the recent shift to Hulu. I also loved her on The Office. So I am not impartial.
Mindy Kaling, if you are not familiar, is a writer/producer/actress, best known for her work on The Office and The Mindy Project. She won an Emmy for her work on The Office and works her butt off on everything she works on. I was really looking forward to this book because I enjoyed her last book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? and I have been mildly obsessed with her show and her person. In fact, I somewhat stalked the hold shelf until I could get a copy (I was first in line, of course).
Why Not Me? is a collection of essays about Mindy's life (we're on a first-name basis now). She covers very important topics such as her writing, her style, her dreams, her fears, her dating life, and a short story about an alternate-universe Mindy that I would totally read as a full-fledged novel. In short, the book covers a lot of ground. It's at times serious, but mostly it is just entertaining and funny. She reveals a lot about her career and how she got there, without too much overlap to her previous book. I would say if you haven't read her first book that it would be beneficial to do so before reading this one, if only so you know more of her background. Whereas her first book was all about her rise to fame, including her childhood and young adulthood, this book pretty much picks up time-wise where the last left off. She discusses the development of The Mindy Project and the ups and downs with that, as well as some peeks into her life, like when she met the president and sort-of dated one of his inner circle.
What I loved about this book was the brevity of it. I don't mean to say that it's super short, but that the book read quite quickly for me. Her essays aren't too long and it was easy to read an essay in each sitting, coming back to it for another as soon as possible. I also like the fact that she is a very relatable person. (And yes, I realize that it's cliche to say that a famous person is "just like us!") There's a chapter where Mindy discusses her average day (with pictures!). It starts out with her not wanting to get out of bed, sitting in traffic, and working herself to the bone all day, not returning home until more than 12 hours later. I can totally relate to that. She makes being famous look harder than you'd think it would be.
Mindy has a great attitude about life and love, with only a few moments of "why me" spread throughout to make her look reasonably human. I'd say her ideal audience is me: young women in their 20s or 30s who are familiar with her work. However, I feel like there is something for everyone in this entertaining memoir-ish read.
Some similar reads:
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (and other concerns) by Mindy Kaling, 2011
Bossypants by Tina Fey (why haven't you read this yet?)
Yes, Please by Amy Poehler
Seriously...I'm Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres