Bill

Bill Clinton and Mindy Kaling swap book lists on The Today Show Tuesday morning. (PHOTO: Screen Capture / The Today Show / NBC)

Former president Bill Clinton and funny woman Mindy Kaling appeared as an unlikely pair when they exchanged picks for the best books for the holiday season Tuesday morning.

Clinton and Kaling, both authors of new books this year (Back to Work and Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? respectively), sat down with Ann Curry on The Today Show to discuss all things books.

At first, Curry put the book discussion on hold, immediately asking the former president about his take on the passing of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il.

Cut to some two minutes later, things are back on track, and Curry asks Clinton about the importance of books.

It makes you think, it makes you feel. It gives you time where it's intensely personal, but you're completely involved, Clinton said, as Kaling uncomfortably grins in silence.

It's a wonderful way to sort of get away from the helter skelter of your life and throw yourself into something else, he added.

Kaling then is finally asked to reveal her top book picks for the holiday season, which includes Steven King's 11/22/63, Gwyneth Paltrow's My Father's Daughter and Tina Fey's Bossypants.

Tina Fey is the funniest person I think that I know, she's so funny, the book is so inspirational . . . to be a writer, performer and comedienne on NBC, it sort of behooves me to read a book like that, said The Office actress.

For sure the first four, I'd love to read them, Clinton said of Kaling's selection.

In contrast, his picks included Lincoln by David Herbert Donald, The Way of the World by David Fromkin, and Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, a book Clinton reads every year.

It's short, you can read it, it doesn't take long, Clinton said of the Aurelius book of personal writings.

I didn't know [Clinton's] list when I made my list, I would've made it more PhD-friendly, because Marcus Aurelius, the Roman emperor is one of your favorite authors? Kaling joked on the show.

Besides Curry's occasional mispronunciation of titles and authors, the video is quite entertaining to watch. Following the taping on Tuesday morning, Kaling took to Twitter to take a friendly stab at Curry's immediate question to Clinton about North Korea.

President Clinton and I talk our favorite holiday gift books on the @todayshow! And my thoughts on North Korea obviously, Kaling wrote.

Clinton's Back to Work and Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? are both in stores now.

Scroll down for the complete Today Show interview and their holiday book picks for 2011.

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Mindy Kaling's picks:
1) 11/22/63 by Stephen King
2) Bossypants by Tina Fey
3) Lady Gaga x Terry Richardson by Lady Gaga and Terry Richardson
4) My Father's Daughter by Gwyneth Paltrow
5) Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty by Andrew Bolton

Bill Clinton's picks:
1) Jerusalem by Simon Sebag Montefiore
2) Lincoln by David Herbert Donald
3) Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
4) The Way of the World by David Fromkin
5) The Cure at Troy by Seamus Heaney