I now present Mindy, my new BFF.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), by Mindy Kaling (2011)

I have a thing for female humor writers. They’ve gotten me through more than a few tough times. I first read Laurie Notaro’s The Idiot Girl’s Action Adventure Club after getting a bad health diagnosis. I read Heather Armstrong’s It Sucked and Then I Cried when I was lonely living on my own for the first time. And now, with the death of a loved one, I read Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? and laughed and laughed and laughed.

Most of you probably know Mindy Kaling from her role as narcissistic, boy-crazy, somewhat-idiotic Kelly Kapoor on NBC’s The Office. Many of you probably don’t know that she actually plays a much bigger role behind scenes, writing, producing and directing episodes of the show. In fact, she is responsible for my very favorite episode (The Injury) in which Michael steps on his George Forman grill and Dwight gets a concussion. It makes me chortle every time. I’ve been following her for a while on Twitter (@mindykaling), so I knew that Mindy is much more hilarious and way less annoying than her Office character and I’ve been anticipating reading this for months. But she went above and beyond my expectations with this one. It was like a love letter to me the reader, acquainting me to my new best friend.

It goes without saying that I’ve never actually met Mindy. But to me, this read so honestly that I feel like she is a completely normal human being that would probably be my friend if we had gone to the same elementary school or lived in the same building. We have the same concerns, problems, and hilarious opinions, which she organizes into chapters like, “I Am Not an Athlete,” “Best Friend Rights and Responsibilities,” Non-Traumatic Things That Have Made Me Cry,” and “Why Do Men Put on Their Shoes So Slowly?” The chapters are short, lists and embarrassing pictures appear throughout, and it’s real fun to read aloud, even if the only person around to listen to you is your father or a fish named Charles.

Pick this sucker up, but only if you don’t mind snorting in public.

2.5 stars