Bookshelf | Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling (2011) | If everyone’s hanging out without you, then at least you have time to read this book

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I came late to The Mindy Project  (that’s what Netflix/Amazon Instant Watch binges are for), but I’m glad I did, because it turned out to be one of the funniest sitcoms I’d seen in years. That show serves up joke after joke after joke–and good ones. The show’s creator and star, Mindy Kaling, has infused the Mindy Project with her own brand of insanely witty humor. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? provides plenty of insight into the woman behind the show.

In this humorous collection of essays, Mindy Kaling shares her journey to becoming the successful comedy writer and actress she is today. She discusses her years as a precocious, comedy-obsessed youth, her time as a theater star at Dartmouth, her post-grad period of trying to make it in New York, and her success in New York and later Hollywood. What I like most about Kaling’s story is that, rather than wait on Hollywood to call on her, she used her writing to create opportunities for herself. A satirical play she co-wrote and starred in about Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, aptly titled Matt & Ben, became an off-Broadway hit in NYC and jump-started her career as a comedy writer and actress. The rest is comedy history.

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in comedy writers and women writers in Hollywood. I would also recommend this book to anyone who digs Mindy Kaling’s smart humor.

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