Amanda Reads: Why Not Me? (Or, Breaking my Book Slump with Mindy Kaling)

Hello and long time no see, internet people. You may have noticed it’s been quite some time since I’ve done a book review blog. This is because I’ve been engaged in a long, depressing book slump. Try though I could, no book would quite take hold. I slogged through the audiobook of American Gods, but found it too vast and too intricate to review from the audio (bits and pieces are, for me at least, always missed while listening as opposed to reading). I picked up numerous books and set them down again, unfinished. I worked a few 11-hour days at work in preparation for our grand re-opening and I spent a lot of time worrying and researching about grad school. But I wasn’t reading.

And then, of course, a long awaited book release broke the ice. Those of you who know me in real life know that I have often said the phrase “Mindy Kaling is my spirit animal.” This is still very true. September was a great month for me, as on the same day, the fourth season of The Mindy Project and Mindy’s new memoir, Why Not Me? were both released. The Amandas of the world have never experienced more infinite joy than when I awake at 5am on that Tuesday morning and got to watch a new episode of my favorite show, then download the audiobook and spend hours listening to my favorite writer read her work.

Being as I adore Mindy Kaling and see her as something of a role model in terms of the balance she strikes in her work, having both a way with words and a sense of humor and modernity in her writing, I can’t say any review of Why Not Me? that I could give can ever be unbiased. My review is inherently biased–but then, aren’t all reviews?

Anyway, my point is that I loved this book. Mindy (if I may use her first name) on audio is one of my favorite things. I listened to her first memoir, Is Everyone Hanging out Without Me?, as well. I have to say, while I enjoyed that book greatly, this new memoir eclipses it in many ways. Why Not Me? is both more deeply personal and more culturally relevant. Mindy explores more personal topics, but also addresses more social issues in this book of essays than in her last. I picked up the print version the other day, and I have to tell you–there are PICTURES. I’m very excited to do a print re-read very soon. She has a charming interlude where she writes a sort, rom-comish imagination of her alternative life, had she become a teacher instead of a writer/actress. It is adorable and makes me wish that Mindy would write a novel full of e-mail epistolary style love stories (I know this is a cliched concept in some ways, but Mindy just does it better).

This book is fantastic. You should all definitely, definitely read it. I look forward to, hopefully, taking my renewed book energy with me and rising, triumphant, from my book slump.

P.S. are you watching The Mindy Project? Because you should be. It is genuinely the sole reason I pay 7.99 a month for Hulu Plus and I regret nothing.

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