Mindy Kaling is an exceptionally intelligent woman who has worked hard for her success in an industry that's been famously unfriendly to women. Her book is mostly not about that. Instead, it's a deceptively hilarious extended meditation on how she from bribing classmates to like her with Skittles at the age of 12 she became the force of nature that she is. In Hollywood, which believes its own fictions about what the world wants from female writers of comedy and even more about what it wants from female TV icons, she's done what every woman in the TV business must have thought was impossible: created her success by hard work and being herself. She was there before Lena Dunham and before Amy Schumer.
This book is funny, so maybe a younger person might miss the recurring message: to achieve success, MK had to pick her priorities (make sacrifices) at every turn. Near the end of the book, there's an excellent account of how she learned the difference at a young age between earned success and unearned self-esteem, which is something many parents today don't understand.
How did she learn to rise above her own insecurities? By refusing to concede that other people's ideas about what she was entitled to achieve were more valid than her own--and by hard work, sleepless nights, and knowing what she wanted. Most important, she emphasises the absolute and seldom acknowledged connection between self confidence and self acceptance and hard work plus tenacity. And yet on the surface, it's a funny book that's not about any of those things.
I liked it. Any ambitious young woman would benefit from reading this.
She's an excellent role model for any young woman who wants to learn how to get there (or anywhere) from here.