Mindy Kaling is an actor (and a writer and producer) for the American version of the TV show The Office. I've only watched the British version (which the American version is based on). Still, the title and cover grabbed me, and the book was sooo worth it.
Kaling talks about everything from being bullied by the popular Senagalese boy in her (Cambridge, MA) high school class to accidentally breaking her best friend's nose during a play, only to have the producer force them back on stage to perform the last ten minutes for the horrified audience. She describes a guy as being really cute, in a "hottest guy in AP-calculus kind of way." READ. THIS. BOOK.
For a rather awkward segue, I’ll throw out that Mindy Kaling says she was conceived in Nigeria, which happens to be the setting of the next book…
I Do Not Come To You By Chance by Adaobi Tricia NwaubaniGenre: general fiction
Kingsley graduates from university in Nigeria with an engineering degree, and struggles to find a job in a terrible economy. But then his father, who had been ill for years, dies in the hospital. The family is left with hospital bills they can’t pay, and as the oldest child Kingsley is now expected to support his mother and help clothe, feed and educate his younger siblings. Kingsley also wants to get married, but his girlfriend’s parents aren’t interested in her being with someone with no income or prospects.
So Kingsley takes up his uncouth cousin’s offer to become a 419 scammer (419 is the article of the Nigerian Criminal Code against financial fraud), and starts spending his days sending scam emails (with just the right number of misspellings and grammar mistakes) off to foreigners. He becomes a rich man. And then his troubles really begin…
I was so impressed with this book. Nwaubani managed to make Kingsley sympathetic without ever sugarcoating the fact that he was a criminal. Kingsley, Cash Daddy (the uncouth cousin), and the other 419ers are villains to their victims, heroes to those they help, irredeemably tainted to their more honest acquaintances – and altogether very human in their struggles.
And the book is funny!