Thursday, January 12, 2012

New Reads:

For Christmas, Andrew got me a copy of Mindy Kaling’s (you know her, the Indian girl from the Office and blogger on new book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns).

Like Tina Fey’s BossyPants, this book is funny. Really funny. While I didn’t like it as much as I liked BossyPants (I don’t like Mindy Kaling as much as I like Tina Fey – sorry Mindy, no one is better than Tina), it did make me laugh out loud numerous times. And with hilarious memoirs of hilarious women, that’s all you can ask for. I thoroughly enjoy it. I like the conversational writing style. I like the hilarious anecdotes. I like reading about someone who makes up weird stories in her head and has conversations with herself. I like knowing that I am not the only person who does this. And while this doesn’t make me normal by any stretch of the imagination, it means I am not alone. I feel like we could be pretty good friends.

Here’s what the jacket flap has to say:

"Mindy Kaling has lived many lives; the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck-impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence "Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I'll shut up about it?" 

Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you've come to the right book, mostly!

In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really isn't just a Girl Next Door -- not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka."

Some of my favorite parts, the ones I liked so much I had to read out loud to A (who didn’t find them as funny as I did anyway, this must be a girl book), are:

  1. Her logic that a song about a "hardworking Vietnamese girl who helps her parents with the franchised Holiday Inn they run, and does homework in the lobby, and Ari, a hardworking Jewish boy who does volunteer work at his grandmother's old-age home" would be more entertaining and realistic than John Cougar Mellencamp's "Jack and Diane."
  2. Her dead-on observation that people think that coolness of a building goes up dramatically if it has at one point been something else: "If Riker's Island ever goes under, I know Andre Balazs will have that place turned into a destination hotel for urban metrosexuals within a month, tops. People will sit in their cell/hotel rooms and say, "You knowa convicted sex offender used to live in this cell, right? The solitary confinement unit will be the honeymoon suite."
  3. When talking about The Sound of Music song "So Long, Farewell", and how long it is, she states: "The point is I learned nothing from this experience. Yes, if I'm at a party where I'm not enjoying myself, I will put some cookies in my jacket pocket and leave without saying good-bye. But when I'm having a great time? I like 'em nice and drawn out, Von Trapp-style."

Read it. You’ll laugh. Unless you’re dead inside. It’ll make you want to attempt to get back into the Office (sorry again Mindy, only room for one NBC comedy in my life – 30 Rock). And it’ll make you wish she was your friend too.

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