mindy kaling

Zoey Grossman

As a self-described “latchkey kid of busy immigrant parents in suburban Boston,” Mindy Kaling developed a deep love of books. “I wasn’t allowed to watch TV or play video games, and I was not particularly good at musical instruments or sports,” she says. “Reading was my only pastime.” The solitary hobby allowed her to “go on adventures” and “experience romantic entanglements that fogged my glasses,” she says. It also inspired her to become a writer.

It’s about time, then, that the prolific multi-hyphenate has entered the world of publishing with a new imprint. Starting today, Mindy’s Book Studio will publish titles from a diverse roster of new and established literary voices. In honor of the launch, Kaling is recommending some of her favorite recent reads that also happen to make great gifts. “I love Bridget Jones as much as Agatha Christie,” she says, “but all of my favorite books have one thing in common—they’re cinematic.”

Read on for Kaling’s picks, but first, some advice from the lifelong bookworm: “Never start reading at 10 p.m., or you won’t go to bed until 2 a.m. Great books are more addictive than anything.” Also, she advises, choose paperback whenever possible: “Hardcovers are too poke-y!”

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