I absolutely adore Mindy Kaling; I think she’s perfection – hilarious, intelligent, gorgeous, self-deprecating, and totally honest. I devoured her first book “Is Everyone Else Hanging Out Without Me?” (Review here!), and it was an obvious given I’d binge read the follow up.
And… ‘Why Not Me?’ is totally worth the read. As with all books slotting into this relatively new-found genre of celebrity self-help/autobiographies (à la Lena Dunham, Amy Poeler etc) – it’s a lighthearted read, but I’ve read the majority of ’em and Mindy’s take gold.
Reading ‘Why Not Me?’ is basically like spending an evening with the BFF you haven’t seen in forever. If ‘Is Everyone Else Hanging Out Without Me?’ was Mindy’s autobiography, then ‘Why Not Me?’ is definitely more her self-help guide. Albeit a self-help guide for hilariously shallow, superficial predicaments.
In all honesty, there are one or two filler chapters of obvious fluff – namely the Harvard Speech, and the Sliding Doors/What If daydream chapter… Hence why overall I admit I preferred her debut book; BUT tangled throughout this read are deeply genuine anecdotes in which you feel you’re getting to know the real Mindy Kaling quite personally, as opposed to knowing her rags to riches tale quite personally à la book number one.
I adore BJ Novak – (total genius), and so I loved reading about his and Mindy’s relationship throughout. I also loved the random stories about Novak – He’s exactly how I imagined him to be (Not that I now know him personally, sigh). Novak’s book One More Thing, and Other Stories is actually next on my list. But back to Mindy…
As predicted, there’s a whole lotta body image/ self-confidence/ juice diet talk too (which I personally love!) and which is talked about with hilarious panache. But aside from the intentionally superficial topics, I actually found this book, (and more specifically its closing chapter) genuinely inspiring. It ends with Mindy’s powerful opinions on success, and more importantly the hard graft needed to acquire it. And it’s so true – whether you’re an Indian doctor fighting for the American dream (à la her mother), or a script writer for an insanely successful show, anything worth having demands effort.
And I quote –
“Confidence is just entitlement. Entitlement has gotten a bad rap because it’s used almost exclusively for the useless children of the rich, reality TV stars, and Conrad Hilton Jr., who gets kicked off an airplane for smoking pot in the lavatory and calling people peasants or whatever. But entitlement in and of itself isn’t so bad. Entitlement is simply the belief that you deserve something. Which is great. The hard part is, you’d better make sure you deserve it.”
Bring on book number three!