from my bookshelf: is everyone hanging out without me? (and other concerns) by mindy kaling

paper cut 

mindy kaling covers a lot in this book: romance, friendships, the crazy ups and downs she has experienced to date as she learned how to survive (and thrive) in hollywood, and her childhood. in the introduction, mindy swiftly denies that this is meant to be an advice book; she candidly shares she doesn’t feel qualified to offer a ton of advice. but she is proud of what she has accomplished and admits some people just might benefit from hearing her stories, told with the quick wit that mindy kaling is famous for. mindy has a way of making people laugh with sheer silliness, but she can’t hide the raw intelligence and compassion that has clearly driven her to the top of her game today.

dog ears 

“Being called fat is not like being called stupid or unfunny, which is the worst thing you could ever say to me.”

“I want ambitious teenagers to know it is totally fine to be quiet, observant kids. Besides being a delight to your parents, you will find you have plenty of time later to catch up.”

“…But writing about my struggles was actually really fun. Besides, who wants to read about success, anyway? Successful serial murderers, maybe.”

“I obviously want to be super famous and for everyone to love me. That’s why I got into this racket. It helps that I love writing jokes, but let’s fact it, that was just the means to an end.”

“I was a little worried about babysitting at first, because though I have the voice of an eleven-year-old girl, I have no natural rapport with children. I’m not one of those women who melts when a baby enters the room and immediately knows all the right age-specific questions to ask. I always assume the wrong thing and offend someone.”

“This was the problem of living in a post-Sarah Silverman world: lots of young women holding the scepter of inappropriateness did not know how to wield it.”

“If you were ever considering sitting in a room with a group of actresses who bear a passing resemblance to you but are much, much thinner and more conventionally attractive, don’t do it . . . This was how I found out that I could convincingly plan Ben Affleck but not Mindy Kaling.”

“The Office is a big chapter in my life, so that is why it’s a big chapter in my book. It is what I’m best known for and what people ask me about the most. I’d like to be cool enough to say I’m sick of talking about it, the way Jennifer Lopez doesn’t want to talk about her butt anymore, but The Office is still a significant part of my life, and I think it is awesome. So, here we go.”

“Among some of the writers were Amy Poehler, Seth Myers, Rachel Dratch, and Tina Fey. It was a pretty awesome group, especially because a Tina sighting was rare back then, since she was editing her pilot (which was the pilot for 30 Rock). While they all talked and goofed around, I sat at the table listening and smiling and saying nothing, like an upbeat foreign exchange student who spoke very little English.”

“Forgive me, but being a guy is so easy. A little Kiehl’s, a little Bumble and Bumble, a peacoat, and Chuck Taylors, and you’re hot.”

“I guess I think happiness can come in a bunch of forms, and maybe a marriage with tons of work makes people feel happy. But part of me still thinks . . . is it really so hard to make it work? What happened to just being pals?”