The introduction to Mindy Kaling’s "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?" includes an imagined list of FAQs, in which the comic best known for playing Kelly Kapoor on NBC's The Office muses: “This sounds okay, but not as good as Tina Fey’s book. Why isn’t this more like Tina Fey’s book?” The section that follows is called “Alternative Titles for this Book” (The Girl with No Tattoo; Sometimes You Just Have to Put on Lip Gloss and Pretend to Be Psyched). From just the opening, you've got a representative cross-section of Kaling’s quirky brand of humor and your money’s worth in laughs. And then the book really begins.
"Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?" consists of of memoir-esque short essays and pliests, her own word for “a piece with a list-y quality.” In one pliest titled "Best Friend Rights and Responsibilities," Kaling promises to keep her BFF’s favorite feminine hygiene products and contact lens solution at her house while simultaneously securing her right to ditch the same friend “within reason,” for a dude, naturally. In “All About The Office,” Kaling hilariously lists “Things Kelly Would Do That I Would Not,” and “Things Kelly and I Would Both Do,” resolving the burning question many fans of the hit NBC sitcom can’t help but wonder: “Are you the same person as the character you play on TV?” Kaling, as probably suspected, is not.
Kaling is a comedian, actress, writer, producer, playwright, and now about-to-be Fox sitcom star (she also writes and produces on her upcoming show, The Mindy Project). Above all, she is a natural storyteller, and her book is evidence of that. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? reads like a sleepover party on paper. Skip being the first to fall asleep and having your underwear frozen, and check out this excerpt for a good laugh.