Sunday, September 7, 2014
Say it With a Smile: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?
Crown Archetype, 2011
On the eve of my recent 26th birthday and a new school year, I found myself wanting to escape into someone else's life for a little while but not the world of fiction. I wanted something real, the story of someone who felt like someone I could actually know, who has been through a variety of the highs and lows of their mid-20s and who could laugh at themselves and the fact that "grown ups never actually feel like grownups" is pretty much the world's worst kept secret. So I went to the library and picked up Mindy Kaling's memoir.
I love it when I read a book at what feels like the exact right time in my life. A fun collection of essays by a woman best known for her role as Kelly Kapoor as well as a writer, director, and producer of NBC's The Office, Kaling looks back at her childhood in Massachusetts, life in a college town in a middle of nowhere (and how being so far from the rest of civilization can be a very good thing), her post-college life in New York and the world's smallest apartment, and eventually her move to Los Angeles when she got a writing job on a show that no one was sure would make it, but ended up taking the air waves by storm.
While I preferred the chapters at the beginning over the ones at the end, the whole book is a fun, slightly self-deprecating, totally honest read. In her conversational style, Mindy's narrative felt like reading an email from a friend. I could easily see myself giving this book as a gift to people. This is an ode to the 13 year old girls who held back for fear of doing or saying the wrong thing, but at 26 finally decided that doing the things you love, celebrating the things that make you happy, and realizing things like 'yes you can like "girly" things like makeup and shoes and still be a feminist' is a much better way to live.
Comments welcome, and, as always, happy reading!
Mindy Kaling's Website
Mindy Kaling on Twitter