Book chat: ‘Why Not Me?’ by Mindy Kaling

Why Not MeActress and writer Mindy Kaling is my vision of a talented Everywoman.

Confident but approachable, warm and vivacious, Mindy is someone I aspire to be more like. I love her sass, her wit, her style . . . and also love that she “doesn’t look like most women on TV,” a statement Mindy herself ponders in Why Not Me?, her second memoir.

I went into this book hoping the Mindy I know and love — wise, funny, a little quirky — would shine through, and she absolutely does. Her memoir is a collection of short stories about many topics, including her days on “The Office”; the hard work and long hours behind “The Mindy Project,” her (awesome) TV show recently picked up by Hulu; and many anecdotes about friendship, college, growing up, looking for love, self-confidence and more.

Though the only uniting thread seems to be Mindy’s insistence that we should be ourselves regardless of what anyone thinks and work hard for what we want, that was enough. That totally worked for me. This 240-page book left me feeling motivated and renewed, like I’d just had a cleansing cryfest with an old friend.

Plus? It’s funny, but in a warmhearted way. Mindy is hilarious. I especially appreciated that, while she is grateful women see her as a realistic role model, she’s not afraid to admit that, at times, she does wish she were thinner, bolder, more confident or [insert societal standard or adjective here]. That vulnerability is appealing — and also comforting. It’s more than okay to love and accept ourselves while still striving to improve.

If you’re a fan of Kaling, Why Not Me? is a book you’ll likely savor. Having not read her first book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) (I know: way behind), I can’t compare the two — but this short, easily digestible and enjoyable series of stories definitely feels like you’ve invited Mindy over to give you advice on being a bad boss lady while she still owns up to some of her foibles. I totally dug it.

4 out of 5

Pub: 2015 • GoodreadsLibraryThingAmazonAuthor Website
Copy borrowed from my local library


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11 thoughts on “Book chat: ‘Why Not Me?’ by Mindy Kaling

  1. I read Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me earlier this year and really enjoyed it, so I’m looking forward to reading this. From what you’ve said, it sounds like the two books are similar. I’m glad she wrote about The Mindy Project in this book because that’s where I first knew her from (I’ve not seen the US Office) and I was a touch disappointed that it wasn’t touched upon in her first book.

  2. Hi, Meg!
    I’m wondering what time it might be at your place right now. Altough I don’t think it matters that much. 🙂
    I loved Tina Fey’s “Bossypants” and Amy Poehler’s “Yes, please” but I haven’t heard about Mindy Kaling’s book or books. It does sound pretty fun though.
    Thanks for the review, I think I might start with “Everyone is Hanging Out Without Me”. (Great title! 🙂 )
    LG, m

  3. I really like your review of this book, even though I don’t *really* like Mindy Kaling. From what you’ve written, it sounds like it could be a really good read with great topics to reflect on, so I think I’ll give it a chance, but for some reason I don’t really like Mindy. Maybe I’ll get over that once I read it though.

  4. I dunno. It sounds like another of those anecdotal self-help books that so many are making a quick buck with now. And yet, I love Mindy Kaling! Maybe I can work up to a middle-ground perspective. 🙂

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