Bill Clinton, Mindy Kaling offer holiday gift-giving advice on 'Today'

bill-clinton-mindy-kaling-today-nbc.jpgMorning TV can make for strange bedfellows and Tuesday's (Dec. 20) "Today" gave us an unlikely couple in the former president of the United States, Bill Clinton, and "The Office's" Mindy Kaling.

Both authored books in 2011 ("Back to Work" and "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?" -- we'll leave it to you to determine who wrote which) and were there to share their favorite books for anyone who has a last minute gift to buy this holiday season. In fact, having the two of them was a bit of inspired booking since it was a safe bet that there would be no crossover between their selections.

Which were ...

Mindy Kaling's Picks

  • "11/22/63," Stephen King
  • "Bossypants," Tina Fey
  • "Lady Gaga X Terry Richardson," Lady Gaga and Terry Richardson
  • "My Father's Daughter: Delicious, Easy Recipes Celebrating Family & Togetherness," Gwyneth Paltrow
  • "Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty," Andrew Bolton
  • "The Girl in the Green Raincoat: A Tess Monaghan Novel," Laura Lippman
  • "The Marriage Plot: A Novel," Jeffrey Eugenides
  • "Look I Made a Hat: Collected Lyrics (1981-2011) with Attendant Comments, Amplifications, Dogmas, Harangues, Digressions, Anecdotes and Miscellany," Stephen Sondheim
  • "The Art of Fielding," Chad Harbach
  • "What to Wear, Where: The How-to Handbook for Any Style Situation," Hilary Kerr and Katherine Power

Bill Clinton's Picks

  • "Jerusalem," Simon Sebag Montefiore
  • "Lincoln," David Herbert Donald
  • "Meditations," Marcus Aurelius
  • "The Way of the World: From the Dawn of Civilizations to the Eve of the Twenty-First Century," David Fromkin
  • "The Cure at Troy: A Version of Sophocles' Philoctetes," Seamus Heaney
  • "One Hundred Years of Solitude," Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • "King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa," Adam Hochschild
  • "Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny," Robert Wright

In defense of our own literary tastes while we want to read more of Kaling's picks, we have read more of Clinton's.

Although the pairing of Kaling and Clinton was amusing, the most entertaining moment of the segment came when Ann Curry awkwardly asked Clinton, "Before we actually get to the list of books, let me quickly get your take on how concerned we should be about the stabilization in north korea given the events of Kim Jong-Il's passing?"

For the record, Clinton thinks we should be concerned but that the "wait-and-see" approach is the best for now.
Photo/Video credit: NBC