I will tell you the truth right up front. I love Mindy Kaling. I am not her demographic. I am way older than what I would believe is her typical fan. But The Office, for which she wrote many episodes and appeared as Kelly Kapoor, made me laugh (until Steve Carrell left at which time it didn’t make me laugh any more). And I found her own show, The Mindy Project, to be quite quirky and funny in a just-short-of-offensive way. Admittedly, I don’t find it funny enough to pay money to watch it now on Hulu, which picked it up after it was cancelled by Fox.
Her first memoir, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, was humorous and provided the reader with a good sense of what it’s like to break into television, especially for a minority. Why Not Me? continues her personal story via short and very amusing essays.
The book – and Ms. Kaling – wouldn’t be for everyone. She doesn’t hold back from saying what she thinks. In fact, if you watched The Mindy Project, it appears you will have a pretty good idea of who Kaling is (though one of the essays in the book is about ways in which she is different from the character she plays on The Mindy Project – i.e. TV Mindy would sue a Boston Market for giving too-small helpings of sides, and TV Mindy would own a gun and keep misplacing it). Still, the irreverence seems to be the same.
While not particularly a fan of nonfiction, I am – oddly, perhaps – a fan of biographies and memoirs. Caveat, I simply loathe the self-indulgent oh-poor-me-I-grew-up-in-a-dysfunctional-family memoirs seemingly written by anyone who knows how to use a keyboard. I enjoy memoirs in which the writer doesn’t take himself or herself too seriously and can make me laugh, or has a truly interesting story to tell. Why Not Me? meets both criteria.
The book reads very quickly and I finished it in one day. It was a nice break from the serious books I had been reading as of late.
If memoirs are your cup of tea, give Why Not Me? a try.