Favorite Book Friday (A Guest Post)

22 Aug

So I wrote a guest post for the “Favorite Book Friday” feature of a fellow blogger. Thanks to Kayla from Caught Between the Pages for the opportunity! 

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As a kid, I loved to read. Sarah Dessen’s books spoke to my brace-faced, slightly chubby, pre-pubescent soul; Judy Blume said, “Hey, it’s okay that you think gaucho pants and sneakers is a good look…it will all work out for you”; the Harry Potter series…I never read. But I saw the movies.

Due to several factors, such as increasing workloads and an exciting (exciting in that it exists) social life, my adolescence and young adulthood has seen a decrease in reading for pleasure.

But, every once in a while, a great tome comes along that makes you want to shut off Real Housewives, plop onto a fancy beanbag chair from Brookstone (or, at least look at one on Amazon that you can’t afford,) and spend some quiet time engaging with the written word.

For me, that tome is, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling.

sophie1

Before you accuse me of choosing books based on font size and the ratio of pink to other colors in the cover design, let me tell you what I look for in a book.

When I choose a book, I’m thinking about two things:

1. How will this book’s pages deal with chocolate stains? Are the pages sturdy? Absorbent? Thick?

2. Will this book make me laugh?

I love to laugh, and I love books that will make me laugh. It doesn’t have to be a belly laugh or a cackle…a light chuckle will do.

(I also love chocolate. Hence the chocolate stain concerns.)

When I picked up Mindy’s book three years ago, I was excited to read it. Yes because I love Mindy Kaling – her show, her characters, and her humor. But also because I was/am really interested in how she tells her story.

Everyone has a story. Maybe you come from a family of professional whale watchers? Or maybe your grandfather invented the Twinkie and now you spend your summers on a yacht near Aruba? Or, maybe you come from a nice home in a nice town with cows and grass and you spend your days minding the sheep…everyone has a story.

Mindy tells her story in a way that, at times, makes you want to cry about what she’s saying and laugh at how she says it.

Mindy takes you through the stages of life – some good, some rife with confusion and missteps – that made her who she is today.

There was the time a classmate called her chubby; the time when she only had one friend (and she was a “Saturday friend”); the time she tried to push a skit about cats on the people of SNL and it failed (miserably).

There was also the time she dined with Amy Poehler; the time she wrote a major screenplay with her BFF in their Brooklyn apartment; the time she wrote “The Dundees,” arguably one of the funniest episodes of “The Office.”

Mindy wasn’t a beauty queen or a cheerleader. Her youth wasn’t filled social “get togethers” and “parties” and “stopping eating when you’re full.” She spent time with her parents! She read books! She made comedy sketches! She ate a lot! She knows her youth wasn’t the Hollywood version, with Pottery Barn Teen-esque rooms and pool parties – but she also knows that all of those books and all of those sketches and all of that parental guidance are the backbone of her comedic fodder. All of those missteps and lonely moments in LA led to a major network T.V. show, a bank full of “new money,” and a whole bunch of people who like her for her.

Mindy’s self-awareness makes her a credible source for advice (in my eyes, anyway). Sure, she’ll advise you to eat the burger over the kale…but she’ll also reassure you that “almost no one who was a big star in high school is also big star later in life.” She’ll tell you to appreciate your family. She’ll also recommend that you treat your significant other like a teammate on your recreational softball team (this piece of advice makes more sense when she explains it).

But, the best advice I took from Mindy is the following:

“Sometimes you just have to put on lip gloss and pretend to be psyched.”

Because even when you’re the “chubby Indian girl” with one friend, a little lipgloss can make all the difference.

sophie2

Or, at least a difference.

Laughing at your own story is how you write a story worth laughing about. Mindy’s story is laugh-worthy, and that is why I love it.

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One Response to “Favorite Book Friday (A Guest Post)”

  1. thisthatandtheotherthang August 22, 2014 at 7:04 pm #

    LOVED this book! I definitely found myself LOLing while pouring through the pages, and nodding my head, thinking “Yep. I totally know what you mean girl.” If I had a spirit animal, I think Mindy Kaling would be it.

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