Tag Archives: humor

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

Today was a wash, the baby woke up and threw up a few times (she’s fine now) and then when she went down for a nap I started cleaning up a bit and realized that I felt bad so I went to lay down. I’m still kind of feeling off, just tired and run down.

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In Why Not Me?, Kaling shares her ongoing journey to find contentment and excitement in her adult life, whether it’s 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, or most important, 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 “Player” tells the story of Kaling being seduced and dumped by a female friend in L.A. (“I had been replaced by a younger model.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.

I listened to the audio version of this, read by Mindy Kaling herself.

I read this as I read Mindy’s first memoir and enjoyed it and this was before I became a bit The Office fan.

This was a fun listen, although I have to admit I enjoyed her first book more. This one focused more on her work on The Mindy Project (which is understandable as that was her baby). Still, I laughed through it and wished that Mindy was one of my friends.

Rating: 3 stars. Fun but not what I was hoping for.

“Work hard, know your shit, show your shit, and then feel entitled. Listen to no one except the two smartest and kindest adults you know, and that doesn’t always mean your parents. If you do that, you will be fine.”

― Mindy Kaling, Why Not Me?

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

I finally finished my work week. I am tired, expected to be exhausted, especially as I had to drag myself out of bed but at some point I got a bit of energy and I’m catching up on some stuff hoping I can sleep tonight.

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In Furiously Happy, a humor memoir tinged with just enough tragedy and pathos to make it worthwhile, Jenny Lawson examines her own experience with severe depression and a host of other conditions, and explains how it has led her to live life to the fullest:

"I've often thought that people with severe depression have developed such a well for experiencing extreme emotion that they might be able to experience extreme joy in a way that ‘normal people' also might never understand. And that's what Furiously Happy is all about."

Jenny’s readings are standing room only, with fans lining up to have Jenny sign their bottles of Xanax or Prozac as often as they are to have her sign their books. Furiously Happy appeals to Jenny's core fan base but also transcends it. There are so many people out there struggling with depression and mental illness, either themselves or someone in their family—and in Furiously Happy they will find a member of their tribe offering up an uplifting message (via a taxidermied roadkill raccoon). Let's Pretend This Never Happened ostensibly was about embracing your own weirdness, but deep down it was about family. Furiously Happy is about depression and mental illness, but deep down it's about joy—and who doesn't want a bit more of that?

I listened to the audio version of this book.

Jenny Lawson is hilarious. If you have read her first book, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened or read her blog you probably already know this…but if you haven’t, get on it.

Furiously Happy is not always a happy book, but it definitely will make you laugh. Jenny Lawson has this incredible gift for turning situations which should be horrible and somehow finding the humor in it. Whether its debilitating athritis or debilitating mental illness, Jenny Lawson is no stranger but instead of complaining about her problems-she turns to her blog to entertain the masses.

Rating: Four stars.

“When you come out of the grips of a depression there is an incredible relief, but not one you feel allowed to celebrate. Instead, the feeling of victory is replaced with anxiety that it will happen again, and with shame and vulnerability when you see how your illness affected your family, your work, everything left untouched while you struggled to survive. We come back to life thinner, paler, weaker … but as survivors. Survivors who don’t get pats on the back from coworkers who congratulate them on making it. Survivors who wake to more work than before because their friends and family are exhausted from helping them fight a battle they may not even understand. I hope to one day see a sea of people all wearing silver ribbons as a sign that they understand the secret battle, and as a celebration of the victories made each day as we individually pull ourselves up out of our foxholes to see our scars heal, and to remember what the sun looks like.”

― Jenny Lawson, Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things