Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
Published Crown 2015
Format: Kindle ebook
In Why Not Me?, Kaling shares her ongoing journey to find contentment and excitement in her adult life, whether it’s falling in love at work, seeking new friendships in lonely places, attempting to be the first person in history to lose weight without any behavior modification whatsoever, or most important, believing that you have a place in Hollywood when you’re constantly reminded that no one looks like you.
In “How to Look Spectacular: A Starlet’s Confessions,” Kaling gives her tongue-in-cheek secrets for surefire on-camera beauty, (“Your natural hair color may be appropriate for your skin tone, but this isn’t the land of appropriate–this is Hollywood, baby. Out here, a dark-skinned woman’s traditional hair color is honey blonde.”) “Player” tells the story of Kaling being seduced and dumped by a female friend in L.A. (“I had been replaced by a younger model. And now they had matching bangs.”) In “Unlikely Leading Lady,” she muses on America’s fixation with the weight of actresses, (“Most women we see onscreen are either so thin that they’re walking clavicles or so huge that their only scenes involve them breaking furniture.”) And in “Soup Snakes,” Kaling spills some secrets on her relationship with her ex-boyfriend and close friend, B.J. Novak (“I will freely admit: my relationship with B.J. Novak is weird as hell.”)
Mindy turns the anxieties, the glamour, and the celebrations of her second coming-of-age into a laugh-out-loud funny collection of essays that anyone who’s ever been at a turning point in their life or career can relate to. And those who’ve never been at a turning point can skip to the parts where she talks about meeting Bradley Cooper.
For some reason, at the beginning of the year, I always crave some memoirs. Maybe it’s because I hope their life advice and reflection will inspire me, but this year, I decided to start off with Mindy Kaling’s second book. I read her first book last year and really enjoyed it!
I actually liked this book better than her first book. This one is filled with all different types of essays about Kaling’s life. She takes us through some moments that are more recent to right now, including her work on The Mindy Project and some of the more recent projects she has been on recently. Another example is her Harvard speech, which I have listened to many times, and liked that she included the text of it in the book. There isn’t really a major theme to each of the essays overall, but Kaling is self aware in an extremely funny way.
I laughed out loud a couple times during this book! I appreciated all the different perspectives she gives into her life and what it is like to be famous and working in the TV industry. Although the first book was more about her journey to get there, here, she is already there and is doing quite well. She can reflect on what it is like, in a still humble way, and offers her thoughts on things like fashion, filming, friends, and confidence. (I almost had three F words going there…)
Overall, I LOVED this book. It was a great first memoir to start my year with and offered some advice that I will probably take with me going into the future. I would highly suggest this book, even if you aren’t necessarily a fan of Mindy Kaling (I’ve never actually seen her act in anything, although I hope to start The Mindy Project sometime soon), and you probably will become, at least, a supporter.