Hardcover, 240 pages
Published September 15th 2015 by Crown Archetype
I have been wanting to write a review for this book for a while now but for some reason, putting words to the experience of reading this book has been more difficult than I had initially supposed it would be.
Reading this book was like having a conversation with Mindy Kaling. I believe I said that in a reading forecast post and I reiterate that right now. Though the narrative is designed to be comic and the overall tone is funny and Mindy does invite you to laugh at her for her actions and words at various points in the book, I came away feeling that writing this book gives you a very intimate look into her psyche. Wow, long sentence is long. The book is funny but making it so took extreme courage. Mindy Kaling puts herself out there without knowing for certain whether people would laugh at her, with her, or call her unkind names while hiding behind computer screens.
She doesn’t confess everything, of course, there are things she doesn’t go into like the grief she must have felt at her mother’s passing and I loved her for that. She dignified her grief by not talking about it when she could have so easily commodified it. I respect her for that.
I also love what she says about the direct correlation between entitlement and hard work. You can only feel entitled to something (all the good stuff) when/if you work hard for it. If you don’t work hard, you are not entitled to anything. I absolutely loved this because knowing how the world works and knowing what I do about cultural reproduction (some other post, some other time), having someone reiterate the old age “hard work pays off” was awesome. And coming from someone who has worked hard to be where she is at this moment? The advice is even more invaluable.
I haven’t watched any of Mindy’s TV shows and I don’t know if I will, American shows are really not my thing. But I do know that I respect her as a person, as a woman, and she is someone I’d like to emulate. I don’t know if I could ever strip myself bare for the world to see and lay my vulnerabilities for everyone to comment on, but I do know that I’d like to have the same confidence in my self as she does in herself.
I enjoyed this memoir tremendously and recommend it to anyone who likes reading.