I loved Mindy Kaling’s first book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) so I was really excited to read her second book Why Not Me? This one had a noticeably different tone than her first book which isn’t surprising since so much in her life has changed in just a few short years, both professionally (creating and staring in The Mindy Project on Fox and Hulu) and personally (her mother passed away). Just like last time, she is incredibly candid about all aspects of her life: her relationships and friendships, her career and work ethic, and her daily random musings and the worries that keep her up at night. For as successful of a woman as she is, creating and staring in her own TV show, she is pretty damn relatable.
Every essay in this book is funny but one I found particularly memorable was when Kaling was musing over how her life would have been different if she had stayed in New York instead of moving to L.A. She would have definitely ended up being a Latin teacher, she says, at an exclusive private school no doubt. She imagines a whole life for this other-Mindy and what kinds of hijinks would happen to her at work with her fellow teachers, how she would handle relationships, and where to draw the line between personal and private life. This is done in a serious of imagined emails from 2005 that were so funny and seemed so realistic, proving yet again what a talented writer she is.
In Why Not Me? Kaling just sounds so much more at ease with herself, a little more mature, and more thoughtful than the first time around. This book was funny af and I loved being able to read it at work during long afternoons. In the opening essay she sweetly describes a time in elementary school when she thought she could earn friends by giving out candy to her classmates every day. It took her a long time to believe that people would like her and want to be her friend because of who she was as a person, not because she gave them things. At this point in her life, she has very much taken on a “take it or leave it” mentality, and now has plenty of fans who would love to be her best friend, with or without the candy 🙂