This month, I loved reading Mindy Kaling’s second book Why Not Me. The book, which highlights Mindy’s adult life in a pitch-perfect, colloquial writing style, will surely endear you to her as it did me. Looking for love and friends in all the wrong places, reading Mindy allowed me to glimpse inside her life, in a down-to-earth and hilarious way that I thoroughly enjoyed.
The book is a compilation of essays tackling her anxieties, imperfections, and uncertainties. Instead of internalizing the unfair attitudes that still exist in Hollywood towards women, especially women of color, Mindy puts her experiences in a irreverent manner that most woman can relate to. Even when she profiles some of her most “glamorous” moments, such as getting red carpet or photo-shoot ready, she breaks the experience down so the reader can see what’s truly behind the curtain of the Hollywood glam machine.
The “not-so-average” television personality weaves together essays with a cheerful, refreshing candor. A self-admitted people-pleaser, nerd, and all around anxiety case, Mindy’s book shows her coming out the other end as just your everyday lady, existing in the surreal world under the limelight. While Mindy is certainly enjoying a phenomenally successful career, she doesn’t shy away from sharing some of her not-so-successful moments as well, rounding the stories out with what she learned from the experience and how she picked herself back up.
The anecdotes take the reader through Mindy’s quest to find her identity as a woman of color, body issues made worse by internet trolls and gossip-mongering journalists, past experiences of loves lost, bad dates, embarrassing college experiences, meeting Bradley Cooper, and more.The book is hilarious and insightful, as only a book from someone with her pedigree as a successful female television writer (Fey, Poehler, Schumer) could incite. Even the pictures (including one of Lord of the Rings’ Gollum to represent her without makeup) made me laugh.
Why Not Me shows a self-deprecating writer with a genius for comic timing that translates in the written word. Mindy Kaling is at times completely vulnerable and transparent, and at other times, powerful and wise.