Nicole Holofcener: TOP TEN BOOKS


Nicole Holofcener is an American film and television director and screenwriter who has worked on shows like Sex and the City and Orange is the New Black, though she is best known for the five features films she has directed, among them Friends with Money and Enough Said—making her, as the New Yorker wrote, “beloved by those who identify with heroines whose humor, intellect, and sex appeal are offset by aimlessness, self-sabotage, and alternating strains of wickedness and remorse.” She was nominated for a 2019 Academy Award for Best Adapted screenplay for Can You Ever Forgive Me, starring Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant, another laded example of her flair for character-driven plots. 

Below are Nicole Holofcener’s favorite books, available to purchase individually or as a set.


A Confederacy of Dunces

John Kennedy Toole
The most unique, hilarious, lovable, hatable, and tragic leading man. Ignatius and his world, including all of the throughly entertaining, deranged characters, made me love this book very, very much. Ignatius in the Levy Pants factory is one of my favorite things in life.
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Half a Life: A Memoir

Jill Ciment
A wonderful story about growing up with a severely limited, yet fascinating and eccentric family. It's very funny and sad and most of the scenes are unforgettable. Some of them are so hard to believe—but they're real—and that makes the story even richer.
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Bel Canto

Ann Patchett
A surreal world of characters trapped in a house, the book felt more like a dream than a story. I loved it because it was so different from anything else I ever read. I was never particularly interested in Opera, but this story swept me away.
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Stones from the River

Ursula Hegi
So beautiful and intimate, written with such compassion.
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Bird by Bird

Anne Lamott
I keep buying this book because I can never find my various copies (I think I've lent them all out). Thank you Anne Lamott for always making me laugh when I can't write and my head won't shut up.
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Big Brother

Lionel Shriver
A relationship between a brother and a sister that spoke to me in so many ways. They have a very unique relationship and I just love well-written books about a family's unhealthy dynamics.
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The Talented Mr. Ripley

Patricia Highsmith
This book led me to all of her others and for that I am forever grateful. Her stories are cruel and sad and funny and very hard to put down. Highsmith has a very original perspective on the world—and it's not pretty. Her work is filled with fascinating sociopaths and lonely eccentrics, regular people like us revealing themselves to be sick or tortured in a variety of ways. She kind of feels like a sociologist; one who draws deeply dark and creepy conclusions.
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The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey

Walter Mosley
It is rare to find a book about the current life of an old and dying man written with this much grace, beauty and subtlety.
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Crime and Punishment

Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The darkest, most disturbing book that enthralled me as a teenager. Dostoyevsky brings the reader inside the mind of a seemly normal person who becomes tortured and ultimately ruined by a single act. Also, I was in love with the poor, tragic Raskolikov, and I think I still am.
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The Rosy Crucifixion: Sexus

Henry Miller
Yes, they're three books but not really. The trilogy introduced me to this brilliant and hilarious buddha man, who was like no one else on this planet. His philosophy about life impacted me a great deal when I was in my twenties and trying figure things out.
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