THE RORY GILMORE READING CHALLENGE

I have taken on the challenge to become better-read.


My post-college ambitions included waking up prior to six in the morning, hustling to and from the metro station and K Street, and arriving home post seven in the evening. Somewhere in the vortex that is city ambition and adulting, my love of reading became a forgotten and unnoticed lost indulgence.


Earlier this year I began a resolution with myself to read the classics that I hadn't studied in all of my schooling, an aspiration that directed me to an understanding of the immensities of content that I had sadly missed in all of great literature. I then willingly and dutifully led myself down the rabbit hole of a forlorn and obsessive quarter-life crisis; this steered me to a boundless search of reading content and a variant of book challenges, to which I then found one entirely too long and seemingly unattainable, which of course, by then, fit the bill instantly. Being an avid fan of the bookish Rory Gilmore, a girl who made smart cool, since Gilmore girls premiered like an after-school special on ABC Family (because I missed the WB years), I've taken it upon myself to become not only well-read but also well-directed in my endeavors.


Amy Sherman-Palladino created a truly fantastic, false-reality world that is the show Gilmore girls, which has created its own cult-like following. This brings me to the core of my choosing this particular challenge first, this show is brilliant. Gilmore girls exemplifies how brilliant ASP is, simply by how well the dialogue is written, and good writing comes from reading, and reading in mass. Alas, here I will postmark my reading challenge and contribute any synopses linked below from the books she purposely chose to include in each episode as props and character development enhancement.


According to Australian writer Patrick Lenton, there are 337 books captured from the complete seven seasons of the Gilmore Girls series. While I know that this list of 337 books is not absolutely correct in entirety, I plan to use the list as a catalyst and edit as I see fit. Although I would aspire to read them in the order they are presented, I am following along with The Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge on Goodreads. It presents a read-along and discussion every month on any listed book and also a chosen quarterly catch-up book. Follow my progress on my Goodreads account here. I plan to read each book with the group, but I am subject to pick up any listed book that strikes my fancy intermittently, including those from AYITL. The books are alphabetically organized below for reference.


2020 UPDATE: Click for the true, updated, and edited list here: The Gilmore Project. This page is dedicated to a correct and curated list of books as referenced and mentioned in the entirety of ASP's Gilmore girls. I have distinguished which authors, actual books, and movies are mentioned throughout the show for the most accurate list of all references. I have also signaled which books are physically read by each character and which movies were watched during the multitude of Gilmore movie nights. As a bonus, I also denote which textbooks are featured as they are seen. What can I say? I like to be thorough.


ⓡ = referenced book pertaining to general pop culture, no visual or mention of being read

ⓜ = referenced movie pertaining to general pop culture, context of being seen or watched


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#

1.  1984 by George Orwell


A

1. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

3.  Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll ⓡ

4.  The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon

6.  Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt

7.  Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

8.  Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

9.  Archidamian War by Donald Kagan

10.  The Art of Fiction by Henry James

11.  The Art of War by Sun Tzu

12.  As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

13.  Atonement by Ian McEwan

14.  Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy

15.  The Awakening by Kate Chopin


B

16.  Babe by Dick King-Smith

17.  Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women by Susan Faludi

18.  Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie

19.  Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

20.  The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

21.  Beloved by Toni Morrison

22.  Beowulf: A New Verse Translation by Seamus Heaney

23.  The Bhagava Gita

24.  The Bielski Brothers by Peter Duffy

25.  Bitch in Praise of Difficult Women by Elizabeth Wurtzel

26.  A Bolt from the Blue and Other Essays by Mary McCarthy

27.  Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

28.  Brick Lane by Monica Ali


C

29.  Candide by Voltaire

30.  The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer

31.  Carrie by Stephen King

32.  Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

33.  Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White

34.  The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

35.  The Children’s Hour by Lillian Hellman

36.  Christine by Stephen King

37.  A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

38.  A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

39.  The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse

40.  The Collected Stories by Eudora Welty

41.  The Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare

42.  Complete Novels by Dawn Powell

43.  The Complete Poems by Anne Sexton

44.  Complete Stories by Dorothy Parker

45.  A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

46.  The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (only mentioned as a sandwich!)

47.  Cousin Bette by Honoré de Balzac

48.  Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

49.  The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber

50.  The Crucible by Arthur Miller

51.  Cujo by Stephen King

52.  The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon


D

53.  Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende

54.  David and Lisa by Dr Theodore Issac Rubin M.D

55.  David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

56.  The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

57.  Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol

58.  Demons by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

59.  Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

60.  Deenie by Judy Blume

61.  The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson

62.  The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band by Tommy Lee, Vince Neil, Mick Mars and Nikki Sixx

63.  The Divine Comedy by Dante

64.  The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells

65.  Don Quixote by Cervantes

66.  Driving Miss Daisy by Alfred Uhrv

67.  Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson


E

68.  Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales & Poems by Edgar Allan Poe

69.  Eleanor Roosevelt by Blanche Wiesen Cook

70.  The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe

71.  Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters by Mark Dunn

72.  Eloise by Kay Thompson ⓡ

73.  Emily the Strange by Roger Reger

74.  Emma by Jane Austen

75.  Empire Falls by Richard Russo

76.  Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective by Donald J. Sobol

77.  Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

78.  Ethics by Spinoza

79.  Europe through the Back Door, 2003 by Rick Steves

80.  Eva Luna by Isabel Allende

81.  Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer

82.  Extravagance by Gary Krist


F

83.  Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

84.  Fahrenheit 9/11 by Michael Moore

85.  The Fall of the Athenian Empire by Donald Kagan

86.  Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World by Greg Critser

87.  Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson

88.  The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien

89.  Fiddler on the Roof by Joseph Stein

90.  The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

91.  Finnegans Wake by James Joyce

92.  Fletch by Gregory McDonald

93.  Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

94.  The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem

95.  The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

96.  Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

97.  Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger

98.  Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers


G

99.  Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut

100.  Gender Trouble by Judith Butler

101.  George W. Bushism: The Slate Book of the Accidental Wit and Wisdom of our 43rd President by Jacob Weisberg

102.  Gidget by Fredrick Kohner

103.  Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen

104.  The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels

105.  The Godfather: Book 1 by Mario Puzo

106.  The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

107.  Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Alvin Granowsky

108.  Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

109.  The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford

110.  The Graduate by Charles Webb

111.  The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

112.  The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald ⓡ

113.  Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

114.  The Group by Mary McCarthy


H

115.  Hamlet by William Shakespeare

116.  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling

117.  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling

118.  A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers

119.  Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

120.  Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry

121.  Henry IV, part I by William Shakespeare

122.  Henry IV, part II by William Shakespeare

123.  Henry V by William Shakespeare

124.  High Fidelity by Nick Hornby

125.  The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon

126.  Holidays on Ice: Stories by David Sedaris

127.  The Holy Barbarians by Lawrence Lipton

128.  House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III

129.  The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

130.  How to Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer

131.  How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

132.  How the Light Gets in by M. J. Hyland

133.  Howl by Allen Ginsberg

134.  The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo ⓡ


I

135.  The Iliad by Homer

136.  I’m with the Band by Pamela des Barres

137.  In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

138.  Inferno by Dante

139.  Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee

140.  Iron Weed by William J. Kennedy

141.  It Takes a Village by Hillary Clinton


J

142.  Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

143.  The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

144.  Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare

145.  The Jumping Frog by Mark Twain

146.  The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

147.  Just a Couple of Days by Tony Vigorito

148.  The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar by Robert Alexander

149.  Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain

150.  The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini


L

151.  Lady Chatterleys’ Lover by D. H. Lawrence

152.  The Last Empire: Essays 1992-2000 by Gore Vidal

153.  Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

154.  The Legend of Bagger Vance by Steven Pressfield

155.  Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis

156.  Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke

157.  Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al Franken

158.  Life of Pi by Yann Martel

159.  Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens

160.  The Little Locksmith by Katharine Butler Hathaway

161.  The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen

162.  Little Women by Louisa May Alcott by Louisa May Alcott

163.  Living History by Hillary Rodham Clinton

164.  Lord of the Flies by William Golding

165.  The Lottery: And Other Stories by Shirley Jackson

166.  The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

167.  The Love Story by Erich Segal


M

168.  Macbeth by William Shakespeare

169.  Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

170.  The Manticore by Robertson Davies

171.  Marathon Man by William Goldman

172.  The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

173.  Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter by Simone de Beauvoir

174.  Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman by William Tecumseh Sherman

175.  Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

176.  The Meaning of Consuelo by Judith Ortiz Cofer

177.  Mencken’s Chrestomathy by H. R. Mencken

178.  The Merry Wives of Windsro by William Shakespeare

179.  The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

180.  Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

181.  The Miracle Worker by William Gibson

182.  Moby Dick by Herman Melville

183.  The Mojo Collection: The Ultimate Music Companion by Jim Irvin

184.  Moliere: A Biography by Hobart Chatfield Taylor

185.  A Monetary History of the United States by Milton Friedman

186.  Monsieur Proust by Celeste Albaret

187.  A Month Of Sundays: Searching For The Spirit And My Sister by Julie Mars

188.  A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

189.  Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

190.  Mutiny on the Bounty by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall

191.  My Lai 4: A Report on the Massacre and It’s Aftermath by Seymour M. Hersh

192.  My Life as Author and Editor by H. R. Mencken

193.  My Life in Orange: Growing Up with the Guru by Tim Guest

194.  Myra Waldo’s Travel and Motoring Guide to Europe, 1978 by Myra Waldo

195.  My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult


N

196.  The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer

197.  The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

198.  The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

199.  The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin

200.  Nervous System: Or, Losing My Mind in Literature by Jan Lars Jensen

201.  New Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson

202.  The New Way Things Work by David Macaulay

203.  Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich

204.  Night by Elie Wiesel

205.  Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

206.  The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism by William E. Cain, Laurie A. Finke, Barbara E. Johnson, John P. McGowan

207.  Novels 1930-1942: Dance Night/Come Back to Sorrento, Turn, Magic Wheel/Angels on Toast/A Time to be Born by Dawn Powell

208.  Notes of a Dirty Old Man by Charles Bukowski


O

209.  Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

210.  Old School by Tobias Wolff

211.  On the Road by Jack Kerouac

212.  One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

213.  One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

214.  The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life by Amy Tan

215.  Oracle Night by Paul Auster

216.  Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

217.  Othello by Shakespeare

218.  Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens

219.  The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War by Donald Kagan

220.  Out of Africa by Isac Dineson

221.  The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton


P

222.  A Passage to India by E.M. Forster

223.  The Peace of Nicias and the Sicilian Expedition by Donald Kagan

224.  The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

225.  Peyton Place by Grace Metalious

226.  The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

227.  Pigs at the Trough by Arianna Huffington

228.  Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi

229.  Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain

230.  The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby

231.  The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker

232.  The Portable Nietzche by Fredrich Nietzche

233.  The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O’Neill by Ron Suskind

234.  Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

235.  Property by Valerie Martin

236.  Pushkin: A Biography by T. J. Binyon

237.  Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw


Q

238.  Quattrocento by James Mckean

239.  A Quiet Storm by Rachel Howzell Hall


R

240.  Rapunzel by Grimm Brothers

241.  The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

242.  The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham

243.  Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi

244.  Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

245.  Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin

246.  The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

247.  Rescuing Patty Hearst: Memories From a Decade Gone Mad by Virginia Holman

248.  The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien

249.  R Is for Ricochet by Sue Grafton

250.  Rita Hayworth by Stephen King

251.  Robert’s Rules of Order by Henry Robert

252.  Roman Holiday by Edith Wharton

253.  Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

254.  A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf

255.  A Room with a View by E. M. Forster

256.  Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin

257.  The Rough Guide to Europe, 2003 Edition


S