It was the fourth meeting of The Eleven-Books Club last night, this time for the book Sherene picked, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, by Mindy Kaling. I don't know what all to say in these event recaps; it happened? I'd try to capture the spirit of the thing, but I don't think I really can. I'll start with roll call, in order of appearance! Terra was here first, followed by littlewashu & Amber, then fordmadoxfraud; the six of us, counting Jenny, gathered at the window to figure out who would step out of the cab outside. It was Beatrice! Meaning that Sherene was last in, but she brought the food, so we forgave her. Oh man, the food! I don't know that Mindy Kaling's book was so much an ethnic memoir-- it really wasn't, in fact, which is something Sherene found to be, paradoxically, something that spoke to her youth growing up an Indian kid in New Jersey. That it was a real fact that impacted her childhood, but it wasn't like, a cliche of overbearing parents dominating her life. Anyhow, we had Indian food, & it was really delicious & really spicy. Luckily, Kerry made guacamole so we had that to cool down with. There were buckets of wine flowing; Jenny made fun of me because my notion of being a good host is making sure everyone's cup was full at all times. Aggressively so. That is...true. That is how I roll. Beatrice has never seen The Office, so we watched the clip where Kelly explains Netflix as an example. We watched a weird performance of Matt & Ben too; a lot of us remember when it was on, when it was advertised, but none of us went or anything.
We spent a big chunk of the evening talking about how the book was shelved; sorry, we're publishing & bookselling & former library nerds! Well, most of us all; Kerry I think didn't understand why the book wasn't its own thing, which is fine, but I think that the approach & context of a book is important. For instance, I really liked it! A lot! But I also came to it in the best circumstances; I was hip deep in a clunky scholarly book of Medieval litcrit & so it was like a weight off my shoulder. Plus, I was on a train going deep into New Jersey & the book kept me company the whole trip. I have oodles of fondness. I think David liked it the least, but he read it before he started watching The Office & I think he upgraded it from "I hate this" to "this wasn't my cup of tea" between when he read it & when he got to the club. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe he still hates it. Then Scott came to pick Terra up, & he stuck around for a minute, but that was the moment the balloon popped & people started trickling out. Not before we lined everyone up in order of where we think they fall on the autism spectrum. When everyone was gone, Jenny & I watched a few clips from Mindy Kaling's Top Ten list-- which I liked because it was all from the last decade or so, meaning it was the stuff she actually thinks is funny, but David thought that a "comedy nerd" should have a weirder & more curated list. Anyhow, I totally agree with Mindy about Paul Rudd in Wet Hot American Summer, & I find myself quoting this bit from Old School & Amy Poehler's "Kaitlin" all the time. Which, by the way, we all agreed was the best part of the book-- all the times Mindy Kaling talked about how awesome Amy Poehler is. True. Followed by the list of movie pitches.