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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



3.  Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll ⓡ

7.  Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

13.  Atonement by Ian McEwan



38.  A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess


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


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


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


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


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 ⓡ


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


238.  Quattrocento by James Mckean

239.  A Quiet Storm by Rachel Howzell Hall


240.  Rapunzel by Grimm Brothers

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


258.  Sacred Time by Ursula Hegi

259.  Sanctuary by William Faulkner

260.  Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay by Nancy Milford

261.  Say Goodbye to Daisy Miller by Henry James

262.  The Scarecrow of Oz by Frank L. Baum

263.  The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

264.  Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand

265.  The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir

266.  The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

267.  Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette by Judith Thurman

268.  Selected Hotels of Europe

269.  Selected Letters of Dawn Powell: 1913-1965 by Dawn Powell

270.  Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

271.  A Separate Peace by John Knowles

272.  Several Biographies of Winston Churchill

273.  Sexus by Henry Miller

274.  The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

275.  Shane by Jack Shaefer

276.  The Shining by Stephen King

277.  Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

278.  S Is for Silence by Sue Grafton

279.  Slaughter-house Five by Kurt Vonnegut

280.  Small Island by Andrea Levy

281.  Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway

283.  Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World by Barrington Moore

284.  The Song of Names by Norman Lebrecht

285.  Song of the Simple Truth: The Complete Poems of Julia de Burgos by Julia de Burgos

286.  The Song Reader by Lisa Tucker

287.  Songbook by Nick Hornby

288.  The Sonnets by William Shakespeare

289.  Sonnets from the Portuegese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

290.  Sophie’s Choice by William Styron

291.  The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

292.  Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov

293.  Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

294.  The Story of My Life by Helen Keller

295.  A Streetcar Named Desiree by Tennessee Williams

296.  Stuart Little by E. B. White

297.  Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

298.  Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust

299.  Swimming with Giants: My Encounters with Whales, Dolphins and Seals by Anne Collett

300.  Sybil by Flora Rheta Schreiber


301.  A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

302.  Tender Is The Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald

303.  Term of Endearment by Larry McMurtry

304.  Time and Again by Jack Finney

305.  The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

306.  To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingway

307.  To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

308.  The Tragedy of Richard III by William Shakespeare

309.  A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

310.  The Trial by Franz Kafka

311.  The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters by Elisabeth Robinson

312.  Truth & Beauty: A Friendship by Ann Patchett

313.  Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom


314.  Ulysses by James Joyce

315.  The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath 1950-1962 by Sylvia Plath

316.  Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

317.  Unless by Carol Shields


318.  Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann

319.  The Vanishing Newspaper by Philip Meyers

320.  Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

321.  Velvet Underground’s The Velvet Underground and Nico (Thirty Three and a Third series) by Joe Harvard

322.  The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides


323.  Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett

324.  Walden by Henry David Thoreau

325.  Walt Disney’s Bambi by Felix Salten

326.  War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

327.  We Owe You Nothing – Punk Planet: The Collected Interviews edited by Daniel Sinker

328.  What Colour is Your Parachute? 2005 by Richard Nelson Bolles

329.  What Happened to Baby Jane by Henry Farrell

330.  When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka

331.  Who Moved My Cheese? Spencer Johnson

332.  Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee

333.  Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire

334.  The Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum

335.  Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte


336.  The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

337.  The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

“Headmaster Charleston, faculty members, fellow students, family and friends, welcome. We never thought this day would come. We prayed for its quick delivery, crossed days off our calendars, counted hours, minutes and seconds and now that it’s here, I’m sorry it is, because it means leaving friends who inspire me and teachers who’ve been my mentors, so many people who’ve shaped my life, and my fellow students lives impermeably and forever.

I live in two worlds. One is a world of books. I’ve been a resident of Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County, hunted the white whale aboard the Pequod, fought alongside Napoleon, sailed a raft with Huck and Jim, committed absurdities with Ignatius J. Reilly, rode a sad train with Anna Karenina and strolled down Swann’s Way. It’s a rewarding world, but my second one is by far superior. My second one is populated with characters slightly less eccentric, but supremely real, made of flesh and bone, full of love, who are my ultimate inspiration for everything. 

Richard and Emily Gilmore are kind, decent, unfailingly generous people. They are my twin pillars, without whom I could not stand. I am proud to be their grandchild. But my ultimate inspiration comes from my best friend, the dazzling woman from whom I received my name and my life’s blood, Lorelai Gilmore. My mother never gave me any idea that I couldn’t do whatever I wanted to do or be whomever I wanted to be. She filled our house with love and fun and books and music, unflagging in her efforts to give me role models from Jane Austen to Eudora Welty to Patti Smith. As she guided me through these incredible eighteen years, I don’t know if she ever realized that the person I most wanted to be was her. Thank you, Mom: you are my guidepost for everything.”

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