Blair Reads Books! #3- Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? and Chelsea Does

This week I admittedly went for a little more lighthearted reading and watching than strictly educational.  But hey, cultural things can be learning tools too!  This week is another that is linked topic wise, as I chose a Mindy Kaling book and Chelsea Handler's new docu-series to discuss!

Book: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling

I actually read Mindy Kaling's second book first, and I feel like I read reviews that said it was stronger than her first.  Now that I've read both...I don't know!  I think I somehow liked her first book more, and I loved her second book!  Let's break it down....
Why anyone would like this book: Mindy Kaling is awesome.  Need I say more?

How polarizing is this book? Not at all.  Unless you hate women who can write and have opinions.  But if that is you, you probably aren't reading this blog.



Summary and points of interest: After reading both of her books I'm genuinely confused now as to why Mindy Kaling and I are not best friends already!  I have such a weakness for smart and funny ladies, especially if they are self aware and can make astute cultural statements, and Mindy does not disappoint in that department.

  • I've read several books by comedians and this one probably had me fighting smirks of amusement or almost cackles while reading this book in public the most (on a train, in a waiting room, etc).  
  • She has a chapter on marriage, happily ever after, and divorce.  Kaling links this to the concept of a Shakespearian comedy versus tragedy, and how his comedies end in marriage.  She makes such an interesting statement, "But I think the actual reason Shakespeare ended them there is because he thought the journey leading up to marriage was more fun to watch than the one that begins after the vows are said." I think this says so much of how the entertainment world, whether it's time and tested plays or Hollywood movies play into our own psyche's about what we expect from an epic and enduring romance, and the following chapter explains this in such a succinct way.  
  • All of her topics are interesting, because even if it's well worn territory (most are not) she has a unique spin on things.


Would I recommend this book, and if so, to who? I think I could recommend this to anyone.  She says genuinely funny things that I believe transcend just girls loving and relating to this book.  

Things to look out for: Nothing.  This is a good and non-offensive book :)

Readability: Quick read.

Similar books I'd recommend:
  • Why Not Me?  by Mindy Kaling Very similar, and obviously written by the same author.  Obvious recommendation.
  • Are You There Vodka?  It's Me Chelsea by Chelsea Handler Handler is never not witty in her books, but I feel like this is my favorite of hers that I have read (I have not read all).  Different topics, but comparable wit.
  • Official Book Club Selection by Kathy Griffin This book is more of a memoir, but it has a similar tone and like Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? has a good balance of comedy and insight.
  • Any Chuck Klosertman book.  Hear me out: I get that Klosterman's forte is mostly music with a healthy dose of sports.  But his book schtick is that he writes books about music that are really about funny observations in culture.  I enjoyed reading Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? for similar reasons why I enjoy reading Klosterman to no end: so much wit and creative ways of looking at the world, all while keeping the finger to the pulse of what's going on in culture.  
Outfit Details:
Dress- Bernie Dexter (discontinued)
Brooch- Erstwilder
Belt- Target Style
Shoes- Nine West

Documentary: Chelsea Does
Is it polarizing? Probably.  But you've probably heard of Chelsea Handler either or, so you have an idea of what you're in for.  The topics are part light (marriage and Silicon Valley/technology) and then not so much (drugs and race).  I don't personally find any of it offensive, as all of the material is presented in an exploratory way that asks questions instead of preaching propaganda.  (Don't get me wrong though: some people she interviews are mildly to totally offense and she is baffled by them).

Worth noting:  She does interview a large variety of subjects with different points of views.  She is also filmed talking to a psychologist about her own experiences and viewpoints on the world in a remarkably candid way.  Say what you will about Chelsea, but the broad has balls and has a stunning capacity to be honest about herself, which is refreshing is celebrity culture.

Summary and points of interest:

There's no other way to explain the summary than to break it down by the four parts.

Marriage
This wasn't my favorite or least favorite.  It's not bad, but it didn't hold my attention too much.  It was definitely the most frothy and arguably the least funny episode (parts are very funny though).  It was fun to hear an ex-boyfriend of Chelsea's talk about her and where he thought she'd end up (with a husband and kids!).  

Basically Cheslea explores the marriage industry, different kinds of marriages, and interviews various couples who are married.

Silicon Valley
This one probably was my least favorite.  Technology is so broad, and while her quest to better understand technology is admirable, parts just weren't gripping for me.  I feel unless it's a whole series based on technology, as opposed to one episode, anyone would leave some stone's unturned with this topic.  I'm can't be mad at Chelsea for this.

In this episode Chelsea decides to travel to Silicon Valley, pitch an app, test her brain to see if technology is ruining it, and better learn how to use technology.  Parts are funnier than I probably sold it.

Race
This one was my favorite.  She actually covered a LOT of ground in this episode, which is no small feat.  Gawd, I'm not even sure how to review this because it's such a huge and important subject.  I am well aware racism exists, but one part in particular blew my mind: She travels to the south and interviews people who didn't believe slavery was "all that bad" while comparing how the owners would totally take care of their slaves, like they would their tractors, as proof that they were humane or something...all while missing the point that human beings aren't fucking tractors.  That kind of ignorance, stupidity, and compartmentalization is never not slightly baffling even if you're already well aware that people like that exist.  Chelsea is pretty horrified by these people, for what it's worth.

This episode involves footage of a black man being shot by the police before interviewing his family and touching on why black lives matter.  That footage, for me, was unexpected and certainly hard to watch, but effective and necessary.  It's heartbreaking, but a reality that too many people ignore.

There's other forms of racism covered; from other minorities in the US, to traveling to Israel where walls have been built to keep people out, and more.  

Drugs
This episode was interesting too, as most taboo topics are.  I found it to be more all over the place than some of the other topics, but parts were interesting.  Like technology, this is a very broad topic so some stones were unturned and all viewpoints weren't necessarily represented.  But it is one of the more entertaining episodes.  

Basically Chelsea does some drugs on camera, with Willie Nelson (naturally), a doctor monitoring her, and a shaman in Peru.  She also interviews people from former drug addicts, so it's not just one big drug fest on camera.  

Bottom line:  This isn't half bad.  I like that she departed from strictly celebrity culture and is venturing into deeper comics.  Why shouldn't she?  She's incredibly intelligent and her humor should be used for more than making fun of the Kardashians.  This wasn't a home run series for me, but my understanding is that there will be more (?), so I'm hopeful that in the future this show will find it's groove.  

Watchability:  It's the perfect blend of frothy in the sense that you may not realize you're watching something that's education, but does in fact cover real issues.

Would I recommend it?  Yes.  I don't think it would fall off the tip of my tongue, but if it came up I would.

Similar recommendations:
  • Religulous: I think Bill Maher sometimes just gets in trouble for being Bill Maher.  I'm not saying you wouldn't be at all offended if you are religious and saw this movie, but he asks more questions than he preaches in this movie and seldom--if ever--claims to have answers.  Chelsea Does was a similar level of entertainment meets issues in a way Religulous is.
  • Kathy Griffin My Life on the D List: This is a reality show, but hear me out.  This obviously makes the list of recommendations due to Griffin being another powerhouse female comic.  BUT while the show is largely frothy and surface level, occasional issues were brought up inadvertently and insight is given from Griffin herself.  To name a few instances I can off hand I can think of her brother's imprisonment being exposed while she's touring prisons, visiting vet hospitals and learning about solider's experiences on an uncomfortably real level, and grieving the death of her father. This show won Emmys for being more than funny...
  • Where in the World is Osama bin Laden? This is my favorite Morgan Spurlock documentary, and without having a left or right agenda (mostly), he travels to the Middle East and interviews every walk of life trying to piece together what that part of the world is truly like.  This movie is both hysterical and utterly fascinating and eye opening.
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Comments

  1. It's hard living in a society that is so obsessed with race... and racism. It's a real issues, and you're right, it's so often ignored :(

    You look lovely in that ensemble, I adore your hair!! Pretty braid!



    Amber
    All the Cute 🎀

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  2. so in love with your Dress
    http://carrieslifestyle.com

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  3. Love your dress and hairstyle Lauren!
    ♥♥♥
    Jeanne
    http://fashionmusingsdiary.com

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  4. Your dress is so cute, I love the pink
    xo
    www.laurajaneatelier.com

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  5. Gorgeous dress! Such a great style!
    Hugs,
    Love from www.trangscorner.com {a lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and food blog}

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  6. I like your blog, its really dope.
    Do you want to follow each other?
    If you want, than follow me, and let me know in comments, so I can follow you back with pleasure.
    We can follow each other on Instagram @andjela.dujovic, let me know in the comments so I can follow you back.

    www.bekleveer.com
    xoxo

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  7. Love the skirt!

    Xx,

    || FLOORTJELOVES ||

    www.floortjeloves.com
    www.facebook.com/floortjeloves

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  8. This book sounds really funny and entertaining on the overall! You look so cute and pretty by the way!

    Prudence
    www.prudencepetitestyle.com

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  9. Splendida 😊
    Chiara
    www.chiaraangiolino.it

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  10. Amazing photos! Your dress is beyond fabulous! Happy Monday!
    Much love, Len
    www.lenparent.com

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  11. You look so gorgeous in that pretty summer dress.
    xoxo
    Ramona

    http://www.ramona-strikeapose.blogspot.ie

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  12. You look beautiful as always, Lauren! The neckline on your dress is so unique, I really like it! This was such a great, thorough review, giving the perspective reader an idea on what the book is about without giving away much detail! Thanks so much for sharing and I hope you're having a great start to your Monday so far, beauty!

    XO,

    Jalisa
    www.thestylecontour.com

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  13. You look stunning! I love that dress, the shape and print is really pretty and the red brings out your hair!

    XO Chelsea http://www.shesaidhesaidfashion.com

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  14. I have read a few reviews on this book and they are a mixed of love and utterly not amused by it, there was no in the middle. Glad that you love it though!

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

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  15. You look so amazing in that dress. It's a beautiful dress, and you're a stunning lady - perfect match!
    I really want to read Mindy Kalings books. They are definitely on my to-read list now ;D
    Hope you have a lovely week.
    Much love,
    Mona

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  16. I haven't read either of these, and I need too! She is so funny. Loving the print of this dress.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

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  17. I have to check out Mindy's book! I'm always reading fiction and need to try something different. It sounds like a fantastic read. You're looking so chic and darling in this dress Lauren!

    Http://leftbankgirl.blogspot.com

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  18. Ooo the Mindy Kaling book sounds right up my alley! It's always so interesting learning about other peoples view points! The colours in your dress :O

    http://rainbow-roseblossom.blogspot.co.nz/

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  19. Such a stunning look babe!!

    Adi xx
    www.fancycorrectitude.com

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  20. This series is such fun to read! I laughed out loud when I got to your answer to "how polarizing is this book," because YES. I haven't watched that much Chelsea Handler, but I'm interested in most of the topics she's covered so far, so perhaps I will check that one out!

    It's funny -- I spent almost a decade talking about race, religion, economics, and politics for a living, and now that I'm doing something else, I am remembering how uncomfortable those topics make most people!

    Last of all: this dress is a treat!

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  21. You'vemadene want to read/watch these! I've seen a few Chelsea Late Night episodes, but never one of her specials. She was always very cool and chill on her show. Mindy's book, I definitely want to read both now. I always look at them and say I'll buy them at read them at some point, but i'm making it a priority now. Love the dress you have on too. Those colors are beautiful on you!

    amandabrezovsky.com

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  22. Nice dress **

    The Cutielicious
    http://www.thecutielicious.com
    Federica

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  23. I've heard such good things about Mindy's books- I need to read 'em! :)

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

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  24. Your blog is so cool!!
    And i'm in love with your super cute dress! It is lovely!!
    Kisses!!

    www.theclassykilla.blogspot.com

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  25. I really like your review of both books, but I think that the one about Chelsea is more interesting for myself, especially I got curious by the chapter about "Race" :) What's more, your hairstyle is STUNNING, dear, Lauren <3 :)

    http://crafty-zone.blogspot.com/

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  26. Great review, Lauren, need to check out the book. I love your OOTD, it's cute, it's adorable it's YOU.
    xox
    Lenya
    FashionDreams&Lifestyle

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  27. I love how you styled your hair! you look stunning!

    kelseybang.com

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  28. Great outfit! I love your outfit and style! you look gorgeous :) Such a great outfit inspiration :)

    xx Jamie| With Love, Jamie

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  29. I def want to check out Mindys book, it sounds great!

    Brooke
    pumps & push-ups

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  30. Great book review post - and warm weather outfit. Your hair is downright sensational styled in this sweet + elegant way.

    ♥ Jessica

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  31. I loved the second book! Read it in a day. She just writes in such a way that makes me want her as a BFF. Also, I am reluctant to watch the Chelsea Netflix show. She just seems a bit polarizing. While I know she's funny, I can't get myself to watch it.

    xx Yasmin
    http://banglesandbungalows.com

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  32. I love how you styled your hair dear, love the outfit too.
    Xo, Christianne
    Http://simplychristianne.com

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  33. I am downloading Mindy Kaling's books on my Kindle tonight! I've been meaning to read them for forever - after reading this I need to do this ASAP. :) And my goodness, can I have your hair, please? I love the way you styled it! And your dress is gorgeous too! I love the neckline. :)

    ~Lindsey
    http://have-clothes-will-travel.com/

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  34. You are the cutest! Another fab dress!
    xx
    Jen
    http://belledecouture.com

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  35. your look is amazing: dress & hairstyle!!! Love your hair!!! Kisses & have a nice week
    Sophia
    www.sophiasfashiondiary.com

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  36. Again with another super cute dress for spring! Ur hair looks amazing too:-)

    I'll have to check out these books - I usually love reading thriller novels.

    www.wunderbliss.com

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  37. Lovely dress and I think Mindy Kaling is so funny!

    xx Falasha
    Bite My Fashion ll Instagram ll Bloglovin' ll Join the Secret Guide

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  38. I haven't read either of Mindy's books yet, but I'm adding them to my "to-read" list now! She really is awesome.

    Nineteen Windsor

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  39. I hear endlessly great things about Mindy's book. I also heard that the race episode of Chelsea is supposed to be really good too. The tractor reference you mentioned was hard to hear but 100% not surprising at all which is sad and unacceptable. Some people are immune to reason.

    -M
    www.violetroots.com/blog

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  40. Lovely book review. Haven't read any of these books, yet. Also, I really like your dress.

    http://fashionradi.blogspot.com/

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  41. Great post and thanks for sharing :) & you look super gorgeous in that dress <3

    Kisses
    http://ashonfashionary.com/her-curiosity-boho-accessories/

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  42. LOVE this post! First of all, those pink shades in your vintage dress are adorable. Secondly, I am the biggest The Office fan and thus a huge Mindy Kaling fan, and I agree with you that I favor her first book a little more, but they're both good! Hope you have a good weekend!

    Chelsea
    Chow Down USA
    Instagram

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  43. First, that dress is lovely on you :)

    Second, great reviews! Both of Mindy's books are on my list to check out at the library when I get a little more time for reading.

    Away From The Blue Blog

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  44. One of my favorite posts, as I am into reading and watching documentaries, a lot! I would love to read both books by Mindy Kalig; as you said, funny moments are always worth and people with opinions and who can write, too! You are so right, i know some people who wouldn't read any book - one even said on her blog that "she's not a bookworm". But one doesn't need to be, to like some books, at least one, please :) I used to hang out with this person, but afer a while noticing that only meetings with like-minded girls, meaning only thinking of clothes, was the world of this person and that she despised me for having cultural interests, then no more, please :) It's fine, we all have our interests and respect for every opinion, shallow or not. I loved yours, and I liked to know about the documentary as well. I think I would like that part about Race as well. So there are some people who think that slavery wasn't bad at all... wow. I watched a documentary yesterday and the interviewer asked children about 7 years old, of various races, which one they wanted to belong to. All of them answered a particular one. That is, the concept of good/bad race that shouldn't exist, starts at home, at an early age. How strange is the world :( Hope you have a lovely Sunday, dear!
    DenisesPlanet.com

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  45. Mindy Kaling's books have been on my to read list for the looongest time. I love her on the Office and enjoyed the first season of her show (the same cannot be said for the later seasons...). Glad to hear that both of them were hits :) I've never really been a fan of Chelsea Handler but did find it cool that we graduated from the same high school :D Anyways, love your dress! The bold color combination looks fab with your locks :)

    Mili

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  46. Sounds like a great book! I will have to add it to my list :)

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  47. You look gorgeous in this dress and I love your hair up in braids like this. I have never seen Mindy's show, but I hear it's funny.

    astylishlovestory.blogspot.com

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