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Why Not Me? cover art

Why Not Me?

Written by: Mindy Kaling
Narrated by: Mindy Kaling,Greg Daniels,B. J. Novak
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Publisher's Summary

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

From the author of Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? and creator of The Mindy Project and Never Have I Ever comes a hilarious collection of essays about her ongoing journey to find contentment and excitement in her adult life.

“This is Kaling at the height of her power.”—USA Today

In Why Not Me?, Kaling shares insightful, deeply personal stories about falling in love at work, seeking new friendships in lonely places, attempting to be the first person in history to lose weight without any behavior modification whatsoever, and believing that you have a place in Hollywood when you’re constantly reminded that no one looks like you.

In How to Look Spectacular: A Starlet’s Confessions, Kaling gives her tongue-in-cheek secrets for surefire on-camera beauty, (“Your natural hair color may be appropriate for your skin tone, but this isn’t the land of appropriate–this is Hollywood, baby. Out here, a dark-skinned woman’s traditional hair color is honey blonde.”) “Player” tells the story of Kaling being seduced and dumped by a female friend in L.A. (“I had been replaced by a younger model. And now they had matching bangs.”) In “Unlikely Leading Lady,” she muses on America’s fixation with the weight of actresses, (“Most women we see onscreen are either so thin that they’re walking clavicles or so huge that their only scenes involve them breaking furniture.”) And in “Soup Snakes,” Kaling spills some secrets on her relationship with her ex-boyfriend and close friend, B.J. Novak (“I will freely admit: my relationship with B.J. Novak is weird as hell.”)

Mindy turns the anxieties, the glamour, and the celebrations of her second coming-of-age into a laugh-out-loud funny collection of essays that anyone who’s ever been at a turning point in their life or career can relate to. And those who’ve never been at a turning point can skip to the parts where she talks about meeting Bradley Cooper.

©2015 Mindy Kaling (P)2015 Random House Audio

What the critics say

“Kaling has written a second book that’s funnier, sharper and more confident than her 2011 collection of personal essays and pop culture riffs called Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns). Even the title of that initial effort implied that Kaling was trying to find her place; the tone of this new one announces that she’s found it and is more than comfortable inviting people to spend time with her there.”—Washington Post

“Funny, thoughtful essays and anecdotes written in the star’s trademark voice. But this time around, things are just little more grown-up…This is Kaling at the height of her power.”—USA Today

“Mindy Kaling may be gearing up for the fourth season of her TV show, The Mindy Project, but that didn't deter her from writing another wildly entertaining and completely relatable book… Her first memoir, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), spent time on several best-seller lists. Why Not Me? will certainly follow in its footsteps.”—Associated Press

Featured Article: Quotes About Hard Work to Keep You Motivated and Moving Forward

Anything worth achieving is worth working for. Those goals that we reach when we really strive for them, giving it our all, are the most rewarding. Whether it is taking small steps towards your goals, shooting for a new objective, or simply dreaming those big dreams, hard work is what gets us there. Trusting in yourself and your own abilities will allow you to dig deep, put in the time, and get where you want to be. Everything is achievable with the right mindset.

What listeners say about Why Not Me?

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    5 out of 5 stars

Huge role model!

As a therapist, I appreciate being able to recommend books to clients who want someone that “looks” like us as a role model in their industry. Mindy represents so much to us — a businesswoman, a creative person, and a woman with some colour and culture on her. Great book. Insightful and relatable.

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Not for me

I really like some of Mindy's previous works and that motivated me to try this out as my first audible book. I was confident that i would have a lot of fun listening to this and that it would make my weekend. But oh dear lord! what a disappointment... 25% into the book, i still did not have a clue on the point the author was trying to make and why the title of the book was 'Why not me'.

I then fast forwarded to the last 15 minutes and i still was not clear. I was hoping this would be kind of an inspirational book + a fun read, but it was none of the former and not even the latter. She talked a lot, about a lot of things, but at the end of each chapter i was either thinking 'how is this relevant to me?' or 'are you saying this is how things operate in certain places or situations, just accept it and deal with it?' There was no shattering the ceiling, pushing boundaries, questioning the norm, making a difference - none of these.. May be that wasn't the point of the book? Again, not sure what the purpose of the book is

Such a disappointment from Mindy

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2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • RD
  • 2023-07-14

Unrelatable but the audio is well performed

Mindy's first book, "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?" was a relatable collection of essays, so I had high expectations for this follow-up. This book, "Why Not Me?" feels less relatable. In summary, it's: "O.M.G, you guys, I am so famous, but not like *too* famous, but here's my experience of fame. Oh, and I have body issues, and here's some common-sense advice about confidence."

I guess I am disappointed because I usually love Mindy's work, but this book felt like a humble-brag. It feels like Mindy's authentic voice from her first book is lost beneath her tales of her now-Hollywood life. I listened to some of the essays from her third collection of essays "Nothing Like I Imagined", and at that point she seems to get back to a more authentic and relatable voice; "Why Not Me?" was a struggle to get through.

Although I did not enjoy the content, the performance of the audio was good and there were some parts that were entertaining.

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nothing

it was not interesting at all. I couldn't get through the first 6 chapters.

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Entertaining

I liked this book and the stories Mindy writes about. I expected more of a reflection on the title, instead the book relates many stories about the world and how Mindy sees life. I'm not dissapointed by this book just expected some different stories.

Overall it's funny, it was entertaining.

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Loved it

Mindy Kaling’s hilarious wit and personality is front and centre in this work. Love hearing her stories from her own voice and perspective.

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  • BJG
  • 2021-10-30

good book for light reading

loved listening to it and bursting out laughing in flights, rails and cars oblivious to people around.
I loved The Mindy Project show and so came to this book. if you liked the show, you would like the book too.

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  • LV
  • 2021-06-09

Easy listen

Entertaining, light hearted, funny! Recommended for easy listen, like the author. Cute story, good narrative.

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Entertaining!

I've listened to Mindy's books more than once because it's a nice easy listen. makes me laugh too!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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this book will keep you smiling along the way.

I'm a huge fan of Mindy and I loved her last book. This one did not disappoint! The only reason I didn't give it the full five stars is because I felt that it got a little bit long in the tooth when she was writing hypothetical e-mails back and forth to hypothetical people. But nonetheless, that portion was also very funny. I think it's great that Mindy can be real with us about who she is and what it takes to look like an average celebrity in Hollywood. Read this book, or rather listen to this book, if you just want a feel-good experience.

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  • Brandin
  • 2015-10-02

sad to even be writing this review :(

I love Mindy Kaling, but not so unconditionally that I won't call a stinker by its name. Her first book SLAYED. This book I'm not even sure you can call a "book". It's rambly even for Mindy. And let me just say that I LOVE ramblings. These just felt...idk...like a first draft (?) I'm only writing this review b/c I was soooo looking forward to this book. Similar to sitting down to an amazing looking dessert. Your mouth is watering, you are ready to dig in, and midway through inhaling this gorgeous dish, you realize the cake is super dry and the frosting has no nuance. honestly, though, I will probably buy her next book b/c I love her :)

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66 people found this helpful

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  • green ice cream garden
  • 2017-04-24

I love mindy

Loved her in The Office, loved her first book, love The Mindy Project so SURPRISE I love this book. Why not the 5 stars? I try to reserve those for books I would recommend to anyone. Mindy may not be for everyone. If you like flippant, fast humor with a dash of life lessons please read this and you will laugh out loud.

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  • Leanna
  • 2015-09-27

Sweet, sassy, and yes-poignant

Any additional comments?

I'm fairly certain Mindy Kaling could read a grocery list, and it would be hysterical. Indeed, she might have done that in this book, but I don't want to spoil it for you. And Kaling isn't just funny. Her dry humor has a sweetness and poignancy to it that makes it memorable. Thanks for another great book.

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22 people found this helpful

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  • Bee
  • 2015-10-01

Just what you expected and just what you need!

Mindy's second stab at a book is short, charming, and downright f u n n y.

This book is no overachiever and it is content to be what it is... a biography written by someone not old enough to write a biography. It's undone and perfect. Mindy leads us into her life right now and allows us a look around. Millenials rejoice the struggle is real, real funny. #relatable

I only wish it were longer.

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  • Kristin Denae Smith
  • 2016-01-05

I love Mindy. But...

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I love Mindy Kaling - "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?" was a joy to read in its physical form. I should have stuck to the paper pages for this one. It's a personal thing, but I've realized that I prefer audio books with a lot of dialogue and varying characters to keep my interest. This, obviously, is not that type of book. And if you are familiar with Mindy Kaling, you know her voice is...specific. She uses it to great comic effect when combined with physical comedy, facial expressions, etc. but it becomes slightly grating when isolated.

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  • anna
  • 2015-09-17

Obsessed Mindy long time Fan…. Disappointed

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

If it had as much heart as her first book. Seemed to have a lot of filler. If your are a real Mindy fan you've already heard her say a lot of this stuff in interviews.

What could Mindy Kaling have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Warning minor spoilers:

Two particular parts of this book left me disappointed in my long time hero. 1.Hearing her casually mention that she drank a few mini celebratory Jose Cuervos that she keeps in her car….then drove. 2.She mentioned that she yelled at her assistant. I hated that. Made me question every positive thought I have ever had about her… and I am seeing her do a talk in LA soon. Not looking forward to it as much now.

Any additional comments?

I know she is human, and I appreciate that she gave an honest picture of herself to us. I will still be a fan, but I'm taking her off the pedestal I had her on.

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  • Claudia H
  • 2015-09-25

I wish I always acted like I was a little bit...

"I wish I always acted like I was a little bit famous"
Just one of the many reasons that I think Mindy is a good role model.

This book makes me love Mindy more than before. I think this book is better than he last book because it gives you a look at her life now, vs the last book which was more about her childhood. She tells great stories and gives some good advice and great insight.

There were a couple guest readers which was nice; unlike in Amy Poehler's book which just felt like a party that you were invited to, it actually added to the book/story.

After reading this book, I want to go out, buy a ukulele and start shipping Mindy my favorite varieties of hot sauce.

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  • Tori
  • 2015-11-29

Relatable, Reassuring, & Really Really Good

I've always been a big Mindy Kaling fan, but this book made me like her even more. It's refreshing how normal she is and how much of this book I could relate to. I feel like the book could have been called "Stars, They're Just Like Us". Her chapters on confidence and body imagine should be read by every woman, but not because of how she's just out there nailing the confidence game. Because of how she "flaunts what (she's) got" and still manages to openly talk about her insecurities too. To summarize, it was just really really good.

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  • Abigail
  • 2017-01-29

I Want to Love this but can only Like

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would recommend her first book over this one, I would say its worth a listen only if a super fan.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

She really is a talented and amazing woman and Hollywood and the Arts are all the better for having her as a talent and muse. And her humor is great.

What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I would say I would have quit reading this so the narrator made it so I finished.

What else would you have wanted to know about Mindy Kaling’s life?

I liked everything she was straightforward and candid about

Any additional comments?

It got repetitive and maybe with different editing on some of the tirades she tends to go off on were a turn off and maybe if they were shortened or not allowed it would have been as good as the first book.

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  • Cohen
  • 2015-09-21

I really liked it

If you could sum up Why Not Me? in three words, what would they be?

Fun, honest, relevant.

What did you like best about this story?

Mindy is funny and honest. Her perspectives are relevant to me and my life. Although I don't have the same job or life that she does, I could relate.

Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I listened to her first book about a year ago. I liked it, but felt like I connected to this one best - I think because of my age.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I did think her behavior at the White House (upon meeting the First Lady) was a bit atrocious, but the rest of the book made up for it - at least she had the courage to be honest.

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  • Laura
  • 2015-11-03

Honest and enjoyable read

Mindy Kaling let's you in on her personal life and struggles in a very honest and down to earth fashion. It's refreshing and fun.

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