Hilary Winston

Three surprisingly earnest picks from the comedienne and author.



A writer and producer for NBC's Community, Hilary Winston was walking through a bookstore not too long ago when she found a novel written by her ex-boyfriend, containing a suspiciously familiar--and none-too-flattering--portrait of the protagonist's ex-girlfriend. She struck back with the uproarious (and only slightly vindictive) My Boyfriend Wrote a Book about Me. Here she lets her guard down and recommends three favorites while cautioning, "I think it's impossible to name your top books of all time; these are the top three books that have come at the exact right time in my life."


Books by Hilary Winston




She's Come Undone

By Wally Lamb


"I read this when I didn’t know who I was, and I was hoping the world would tell me. I was at college in Washington, DC, and even though the only thing I really loved was my comedy group, I thought I might become a serious professional who read The Economist by osmosis. I didn’t, and this book taught me no good comes from waiting for the world to tell you who you are."



The Missing Piece

By Shel Silverstein


"I'd forgotten about this story when I found it on my childhood bedroom bookshelf. I was home for Christmas right after my boyfriend of five years broke my heart. I read it cover-to-cover and cried. Shel Silverstein tried to teach me the lesson that nobody can complete you, yet I still hadn't learned it. I also hadn't learned the lesson of Sarah Sylvia Cynthia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out, which apparently was 'take your garbage out.'"



A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius: A Memoir Based on a True Story

By Dave Eggers


"I didn't know what this book was about when I brought it with me on a ten-hour plane trip to Turkey. I cracked it open and panicked when I started reading about his mother’s cancer because at the time my own mother had cancer. I thought two things: 1) Why couldn't I have just bought The Da Vinci Code? and 2) this is going to be a looooong plane trip. And it was, but it was just what I needed."


April 18: "[W]ould it be too bold to imagine that all warm-blooded animals have arisen from one living filament…?"

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

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Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.