Kaling, a comedy writer who plays gossipy Kelly Kapoor on The Office, writes about topics ranging to her chubby pre-teen years (in a section of the book titled "I Forget Nothing: A Sensitive Kid Looks Back"), her road to success as a comedy writer (she co-wrote a successful played called "Matt and Ben" about Matt Damon and Ben Affleck's fictional exploits), her work at The Office, and random musings, such as why chest hair on men is sexy and her favorite revenge fantasies while jogging.
This hodgepodge of thoughts, memories, and lists makes for an easy read--and that's not an insult! Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? is a great book to read while drinking your morning coffee, curled up in bed before you go to sleep, or during commercials while watching syndicated television. It's an overall pleasant--but not too challenging--experience.
Comparisons to Tina Fey's recent memoir, Bossypants, are inevitable. Admittedly, Kaling's memoir is not as substantial or in-depth as Fey's. But I would argue that Kaling is not (yet) the icon that Fey is in the comedy world. As talented as she is, Kaling is still young, and I believe she has a lot more to experience and, eventually, write down and publish for our amusement.
This Thanksgiving break, if family drama and the looming specter of 15 page term papers is dragging you down, I strongly advise hiding out in your room (or the bathtub, if you share a room with someone) with a cup of hot chocolate and a copy of Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? It's the perfect escape.