why not me - mindy kaling

Book Review: “Why Not Me?”

I’m writing this after midnight – about 15 hours before I’ve scheduled this post to go live. I should be tired because I’ve been out and about all day, but I’m not because I feel so inspired and invigorated after watching President Obama’s speech at the DNC (Democratic National Convention for my readers outside the US)! On my TV of course. I don’t normally talk about anything political on here in keeping with my lifestyle blog content, but if you want to hear more about my thoughts on the upcoming election visit my twitter where I’m more vocal about it.

Moving on, last year I read Mindy Kaling’s book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? and absolutely loved it. I remember reading it on a plane ride to California and trying to stifle my laughter. It was so relatable and filled with humor that makes you want to laugh out loud. So when I heard that Mindy was coming out with another book, I knew I had to read it. Why Not Me? came out months ago but I was busy with work and didn’t have a chance to read it. Well, as soon as the school year ended, it was the first book I read.

why not me
http://www.amazon.com
In the book, Mindy continues talking about her life and career with anecdotes about her long days working on The Mindy Project and trying to find Mr. Right. Her sophomore book focuses more on her career and finding her way in life and in show business as an adult whereas her first book told a lot of stories from her childhood, college days, and trying to make it as a writer in Hollywood. I found just as much joy in reading this book as I did with Mindy’s first book because it is refreshing, honest, hilarious, and relatable. Sure, I’m not a writer/producer/actor/comedian like her but a lot of what she talks about going through are the same things many of us go through in our lives. I know I’m filled with big dreams and trying to make them a reality and trying to survive the knocks along the way. Like Mindy, I’m also wondering why it seems to be so incredibly difficult to find someone good to date and marry?!

To further explain how much I enjoy Mindy’s writing, let me share this – I have never watched a single episode of The Mindy Project. If Mindy Kaling ever reads this – I’m sorry! I watched The Office which is where I first got introduced to Mindy as an actress and never knew that before acting on the show she started out as a writer for the show. She continued to write for the show just like BJ Novak (Ryan) and Paul Lieberstein (Toby) who apparently was the head writer or something like that. Anyway, I’ve never watched The Mindy Projectyet something about Mindy Kaling’s writing and her life just resonates with me so much. I find myself invested in her stories and curious to know how the stories she tells are going to end. I find myself rooting for her to find more success in life and in her career and in love. Perhaps because it feels like if she can do it, then I can do it.

I love that while she writes in part to be funny, there is so much truth to much of what she says. Things that we’ve all thought at some point or if not, now that she’s said it it makes you think. I’ve compiled a couple of quotes and passages that I specifically bookmarked because I loved them so much either because they are super funny, true, thought provoking, or all of the above!

  • Mindy talks about caring less about what people think of her as she gets older. She talks about how she doesn’t understand the compliment “effortless” and how people talk about women having “effortless beauty”. She then says, What’s so wrong with effort, anyway? It means you care. What about the girl who ‘walked into the party, her determination to please apparent on her eager face’? Sure, she might seem a little crazy, and, yes, maybe everything she says sounds like conversation starters she found on a website, but at least she’s trying.”  
  • When talking about Hollywood secrets to looking “spectacular” she jokes about hair extensions and getting your clothes tailored. She then talks about beauty icons and asks readers who inspires them to most. “Is it Sophia Loren? Audrey Hepburn? Halle Berry? Mine is Nosferatu, because that vampire taught me my number-one and number-two favorite beauty tricks of all time: avoid the sun at all costs and always try to appear shrouded in shadows.” 
  • Mindy talks about her complicated relationship with BJ Novak and how the best way to describe their relationship is “soup snakes” – a reference to an episode of The Office. I loved her explanation of why she loves that scene and the idea of soup snakes, “I think I love the scene because it reflects how love works. ‘Soul mates’ is what you aim for, but soup snakes is what you get sometimes”. 
  • She talks about the ups and downs of dating that many of us know far too well. “It’s funny when you decide you don’t like someone. I am the kind of person who, if my feelings are unrequited, can completely detach from someone emotionally if I simply put my mind to it. That’s why I’m always saying I would be a great serial murderer.” 
  • And then there were some inspiring things that really stuck with me. Mindy works really hard as evidenced in her book and she loves what she does. She talks about the “workaholic” label and how people who work “too much” are looked down upon and while she says she understands where the sentiment comes from she also feels like reward doesn’t come without putting in the work. “I have never, ever, ever, met a highly confident and successful person who is not what a movie would call a ‘workaholic.’ We can’t have it both ways, and children should know that. Because confidence is like respect; you have to earn it.”
  • “If you believe in yourself and work hard, you have a fighting shot at having your dreams come true.”
  • “If you’ve got it, flaunt it. And if you don’t got it? Flaunt it. ‘Cause what are we even doing here if we’re not flaunting it?”

So I may not currently watch Mindy Kaling’s show (sorry again, if you ever read this!) but I am a huge fan of hers as a person (from what I know) and as a writer. I hope she will continue to write books because I really love her stories and want to know what happens next for her!

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