Q&A with Mindy Kaling

The Office's Kelly Kapoor

Q&A with Mindy Kaling


I've always been a fan of British comedies. Absolutely Fabulous was a big fave for me and of course the original version of The Office is still on the top of my sitcom list, along with anything involving Ricky Gervais. When The Office was adapted for a North American audience I was thrilled to bits to follow the new cast of characters and their workplace drama.

A particularly interesting character is office assitant Kelly Kapoor. She's an office joke of sorts but in a "Can you believe she said that?" but "Oh, I just love her style" kind of way. Kelly is a self absorbed, Beyonce-esque diva who unwittingly lightens the mood among the more serious office brood. Mindy Kaling plays Kelly Kapoor and she's also a writer for The Office. I've always wondered how that works when an actor does double duty in front and behind the tv screen. When it comes to these multi-talented Tina Fey types, I wonder how much of the writers personality goes into the character? Where does Kelly Kapoor end and Mindy Kaling begin? 

I was pleased to learn more about Mindy in her aptly titled book Is Everyone Hanging Out With Me? And Other Concerns. In her memoir Mindy shares stories from her past as a timid child of immigrant parents. She shares her early stints as an impersonator and an Off-Broadway performer and playright. Mindy gives tips on relationships and shares how she deals with fame in the Hollywood spotlight. Mindy Kaling is a gal who is molded by sugar and spice and everything nice. That might sound kind of trite but Mindy admits to being as girly as they come. She surfs Etsy for fab finds and blogs about having a thing for heart-shaped baking pans but adds that she's not much into baking. To look at her styling fashions and red carpet glamour poses, you wouldn't guess Mindy got her television start staring as an androgenous child. I know you will want to learn more about this talented and witty actress and author but before you head out to pick up her book Is Everyone Hanging Out With Me? And Other Concerns you should take a look at the Q&A below and enter the marvelous mind of Mindy. If you want more Mindy you can check out her website The Concerns of Mindy Kaling, follow her on Twitter @MindyKaling, and find her on Facbook and Tumblr.
Q&A with Mindy Kaling
 What is this book about?
 In this book I write a lot about romance, female friendships, unfair situations that now seem funny in retrospect, unfair situations that I still don’t think are funny, Hollywood, heartache, and my childhood. Just that really hard-core, masculine stuff men love to read about. I wrote this book in a way that reflects how I think. Sometimes it’s an essay or story, and sometimes it’s a pliest, which is a piece with a list- y quality, a term I’ve just made up.
 Is this one of those guide books celebrities write for girls?
 Oh, hell no. I’m only marginally qualified to be giving advice at all. My body mass index is certainly not ideal, I frequently use my debit card to buy things that cost less than three dollars, because I never have cash on me, and my bedroom is so untidy it looks like vandals ransacked the Anthropologie Sale section. I’m kind of a mess. I did, however, fulfill a childhood dream of writing and acting in television and movies. Armed with that confidence, alongside a lifelong love of the sound of my own voice, yes, I’ve put some advice in this book.
However, you should know I disagree with a lot of traditional advice. For instance, they say the best revenge is living well. I say it’s acid in the face—who will love them now? Another old saying is that revenge is a dish best served cold. But it feels best served piping hot, straight out of the oven of outrage. My opinion? Take care of revenge right away. Push, shove, scratch that person while they’re still within arm’s reach. Don’t let them get away! Who knows when you’ll get this opportunity again?
 Do you offer up a lot of opinions in this book?
 A little bit. I do lay in some opinions here and there. For example, I don’t think it should be socially acceptable for people to say they are “bad with names.” No one is bad with names. That is not a real thing. Not knowing people’s names isn’t a neurological condition; it’s a choice. You choose not to make learning people’s names a priority. It’s like saying, “Hey, a disclaimer about me: I’m rude.” For heaven’s sake, if you don’t know someone’s name, just pretend you do. Do that thing everyone else does, where you vaguely say, “Nice to see you!” and make weak eye contact.
 So, is this book like a women’s magazine?
 Not really, but if it reads like a really funny magazine, I’ll be psyched. I love magazines. You can’t walk by a magazine and not sit down and read it. You try to throw away a magazine and if you don’t push it down in the trash enough, it somehow resurfaces on the fl oor of your TV room. I know this because I swear my house has been haunted by the same December 2004 issue of Glamour magazine for the past seven years.
 What else should I know about you?
 (1) There is no sunrise so beautiful that it is worth waking me up to see it.
(2) I would like to be friends with Beyoncé Knowles.
Well, I think I’ve covered everything and have still maintained an air of sexy mystery about myself. I feel good about this.
Love, Mindy Kaling
Random House Canada has copies of Is Everyone Hanging Out With Me? And Other Concerns to give to two lucky Bookalicious readers who share their favorite moment from The Office.
Yummy Rules and Regulations
You must be a Yummy Mummy Club member to win. Click to sign up! It's free and filled with perks. One comment per member. Entries accepted until February 3rd, 2012. Contest open to Canadian residents. Winners will be picked using www.random.org. Please mark the email [email protected] as a "safe sender" when you enter a Bookalicious giveaway and respond within 1 week to claim your prize!
Check out more great reads on the Random House of Canada website, follow @RandomHouseCA and @BookLounge on Twitter and find RHC on Facebook.
Relish reading,
Excerpt from Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling © 2011 published with permission from Random House Canada.

The Virgin Cure Book Club

Yummy Mummy Book Club Chats With Ami McKay

The Virgin Cure Book Club

The Yummy Mummy Book Club had the privilege to enjoy a Twitter talk with Ami McKay about her sophomore story The Virgin Cure. You may remember Ami as the author of the bestselling novel The Birth House which boasts a spot as a finalist in the 2011 Canada Reads Essential Canadian Novel of the Decade. Ami was a super star taking on the Twitter flow of questions from the eager #YMBC tweeters and she brought a whole new dimension to the chat with her considerable candor and charm. After reading and enjoying a novel it's so wonderful and insightful to have the opportunity to get into the head of an author. As an extra special treat for the #YMBC and fans of The Virgin Cure, Ami put together an edited and "storified" creation based on our #VirginCure Twitter transcript complete with photos of Ami's dog, a map of Moth's Manhattan and a gratuitous photo of Nathan Fillion, oh my! But wait, there's even more lovely links to share! You can check out videos of Erica Ehm @YummyMummyClub dishing about THE VIRGIN CURE with Ami at a recent Random House Canada lunch, Ami McKay's Book Signing Event in Greenwood, Nova Scotia and The Virgin Cure book trailer.

Some of the Twitter book chat participants reviewed The Virgin Cure and I would like to share their links here:

Paula Schuck @inkscrblr: Thrifty Momma's Brain Food

Alison DeLory @aldelory: alisondelory.com

Danielle Christopher @just_d_world: womenspost.ca

Lindsay Gentles @TTPBookReviews: Turning The Pages

Mad props go out to Ami from her peeps in the #YMBC! Special shoutouts to Cassandra Sadek @literalicious and Lindsey Reeder @ReederReads for helping arrange our virtual book club chat with Ami! Super congrats go to Sandy Pedrogao @sandyel and Stacey Kazmir @diduknowcanada for winning copies of The Virgin Cure courtesy of Random House Canada! 

For more info on the author and her work you can check out Ami McKay's website, follow @SideShowAmi on Twitter and find her on Facebook.

If you want to follow along with the #YMBC reading list and get in on free books then subscribe to the Bookalicious Newsletter, follow me @YMCbookalicious on Twitter and find the Bookalicious Page on Facebook. Thanks for stopping by to read my blog. Please feel free to leave a comment below before you takeoff to tackle your to-read pile.

Relish reading,

Wanda Lynne


Resolve To Solve Money Matters

Manage Your Money On a Debt Diet

Resolve To Solve Money Matters

It's a new year and once again we hear it's time to make resolutions. If prompted many people would say they would like to get in better shape, lose weight or organize their lives, but what about finances? Is it time to put yourself on a debt diet? If you think it's about time you take control of your money, stop wasting it away, find a way to decrease your debt and figure out where to invest to save for your retirement? Alison Griffiths can help you on your money mission with some sage advice in her new book Count On Yourself: Take Charge Of Your Money. Alison is the host of MAXED OUT on W Network, a finance columnist for the Toronto Star, and a bestselling author of several books including Wild Horse Annie and the Last of the Mustangs. The Count On Yourself introduction explains Alison's belief that you are the best person to manage your money and grow your investments. Read along and be inspired to make 2012 the start of monetary pro$perity!

COUNT ON YOURSELF by Alison Griffiths


The financial books that fly off the shelves tend to have zingy titles that include seductive words like rich, independence, wealth, retire early, millionaire—things we all yearn for. I struggled unsuccessfully to find my own title for this book until one day I sat down for lunch with my publishers, Kevin Hanson and Alison Clarke. We began talking about how helpless—even stupid—so many of us feel when it comes to money and investing. We are bombarded by financial products and expert opinions and by an army of advisers and fund managers cajoling us to hand over our money—and leave it to those who know what they are doing. To make matters worse, every day seems to bring an economic event in a far-flung country, or even just across the border, threatening to break the nest eggs we have worked so hard to accumulate.

We’ve also become convinced that we can’t take care of (in other words, invest) our hard-earned savings. It is too complex, we’re told. There are minefields everywhere. If we take on the task, we risk losing everything. Even financial paragons who file their taxes early, live completely within their means, save regularly, and never miss a bill payment are reluctant to take control of the money they are setting aside for retirement. That’s a job for those with lots of initials behind their names, or so the reasoning goes.

But I believe—no, I know—that when it comes to your money, there’s no one better to count on than yourself. If people could develop this confidence, I said to my publishers at lunch that day, they would be stronger financially and, eventually, richer. Kevin and Alison looked at each other, then said in unison, “That’s the book title—Count On Yourself!”

My goal in Count On Yourself is to give you the confidence and tools to set up and monitor a simple, safe, and low-fee investment portfolio. Or if you prefer to use an adviser, the tools and knowledge in this book will allow you to ask the right questions, which in turn will help you keep your fees low and enable you to evaluate the person who is making money from your money.

Most people shy away from investing because they are intimidated by the numbers. Since this is a book about investing, it’s impossible to write it without using any numbers at all. But I’ve kept them to a minimum because, in the end, my style of investing is far less about numbers and far more about who you are as a person. It’s about developing a plan you can understand and follow. I’ve also tried to de-jargonize the world of money. All the bafflegab, acronyms, and complex terms only benefit an industry that profits from our confusion.

The first part of Count On Yourself explores our attitudes toward money and the obstacles that stop us from being our own financial boss. Once you kick aside those obstacles—most of which have been set in our path to keep us from managing our own money—you will find that my simple investing program is not only doable but also refreshingly comprehensible.

The second part of Count On Yourself takes you through a financial closet cleaning. But don’t worry—I won’t hector you about debt, chide you for over-consumption, or harangue you about cost-cutting. There are plenty of personal finance books that do just that. Instead, I’ll give you some straightforward steps to help you become organized and to get you comfortable with the idea of taking control of your investments. This stage is about simplification and learning how to pay attention financially. Like warm-up exercises before a workout, these organizational steps will prepare your financial muscles to face what scares us most—investing our precious dough.

The third part of Count On Yourself shows you how to evaluate your situation and needs, which is a critical element in creating an investment portfolio that works for you. Here you will discover the true essence of smart investing and learn the money-making secrets that the financial services industry doesn’t want you to know.

The final part of Count On Yourself walks you through a straightforward process (called passive investing) and introduces you to a group of low-fee, low-stress, and understandable sample portfolios. These will outperform most mutual fund portfolios and even provide better returns than many of the complex stock and bond portfolios developed by wealth managers for high-net-worth clients.

When you are finished Count On Yourself,you will be able to take control of your investing life with a plan that strips away the confusion and unnecessary complexity so endemic in the financial industry today. Best of all, your low-fee, comprehensible investment portfolio will only require a maximum of thirty minutes a month to maintain. Yes, it will be that simple.

Count on yourself for thirty minutes a month. Everyone else is making money from your money, so maybe it is time you turned the tables and made some money for yourself. I know you can do it, and I’m here to help.


In January the #YMBC will be reading COUNT ON YOURSELF by Alison Griffiths. On February 1st we will be having our Twitter chat to share our thoughts with Alison! You can follow the author on Twitter: @AlisonOnMoney and find Alison on Facebook. To find out more about Alison's work check out her website: alisongriffiths.ca


Alison Griffiths will be in Toronto, Ontario on the dates below:

January 24 - 12:30pm at INDIGO 1 First Place Canadian Place Unit SM18

January 25 - 6:30pm at Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street

View Alison Griffith's videos for students, young professionals, new parents, and retirees.


I'm giving away 2 copies of COUNT ON YOURSELF courtesy of Simon & Schuster Canada. To enter the draw  leave a comment sharing how you would like to be more financially organized or benefit from the book. For more Simon & Schuster Canada books and author information visit their website simonandschuster.ca, follow @SimonSchusterCA on Twitter and find Simon & Schuster Canada on Facebook.


You must be a Yummy Mummy Club member to win. Click to sign up! It's free and filled with perks. One comment per member. Entries accepted until January 16, 2012. Contest open to Canadian residents. Winners will be picked using www.random.org. Please mark the email [email protected] as a "safe sender" when you enter a Bookalicious giveaway and respond within 1 week to claim your prize!