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  • Writer's pictureZoe

The Best Books From Rory Gilmore's Reading List

Probably the first word that comes to mind when you think of Rory Gilmore is bookworm.

Over the course of the series, it's estimated that Rory read and referenced around 339 books!

The blog Copper Boom created this gorgeous free printable of all the books on Rory Gilmore's reading list.

But, as Rory would say, don't wig out! You don't have to read every book on the list. (Well, unless you want to.) Today, I've picked a few of my favorite books on the Rory Gilmore reading list, along with what Rory said about them. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll probably end up eating copious amounts of take-out, like a true Gilmore girl.

The Collected Stories by Eudora Welty

Rory's reference: The Collected Stories is one of the books Rory takes to school to read (Season 2 Episode 7) and Rory cites Eudora Welty as one of her role models in her graduation speech (Season 3 Episode 22)

You'll love: the beautiful imagery and complex characters

Amazon description: "Eudora Welty wrote novels, novellas, and reviews over the course of her long career, but the heart and soul of her literary vision lay with the short story, and her National Book Award-winning Collected Stories...confirmed her as a master of short fiction...The forty-one pieces collected in this new edition...showcase Welty’s incredible dexterity as a writer. Her style seamlessly shifts from the comic to the tragic, from realistic portraits to surrealistic ones, as she deftly moves between folklore and myth, race and history, family and farce, and the Mississippi landscape she knew so well, her wry wit and keen sense of observation always present on the page."

Rory's reference: Rory nicknames the secret Chilton society, the Puffs, as the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (Season 2 Episode 7). When Lorelai wants to show Rory solitary, she yells "Ya-Ya!" (Season 3 Episode 1)

You'll love: the hilarious childhood stories and the dexterity with which Wells describes mother-daughter relationships

Amazon description: "Rebecca Wells’s Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood is a classic of Southern women’s fiction to be read and reread over and over again. A poignant, funny, outrageous, and wise novel about a lifetime friendship between four Southern women, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood brilliantly explores the bonds of female friendship, the often-rocky relationship between mothers and daughters, and the healing power of humor and love...If you haven’t yet met the Ya-Yas, what are you waiting for?"

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Rory's reference: Lorelai compares Rory going to a Chilton party to staying home and reading The Bell Jar (Season 1 Episode 17), as The Bell Jar is a story about a young woman's depression.

You'll love: gripping descriptions and poignant emotions

Amazon description: "The Bell Jar chronicles the crack-up of Esther Greenwood: brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under—maybe for the last time. Sylvia Plath masterfully draws the reader into Esther’s breakdown with such intensity that Esther’s insanity becomes completely real and even rational, as probable and accessible an experience as going to the movies. Such deep penetration into the dark and harrowing corners of the psyche is an extraordinary accomplishment and has made The Bell Jar a haunting American classic."

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Rory's reference: Rory and Dean debate Rory's recommendation of Anna Karenina. Dean complains about the length of the book but Rory insists it's one of her favorite books. (Season 1 Episode 16)

In Rory's Chilton graduation speech, she says, "I live in two worlds. One is a world of books." She then cites Anna Karenina as one of the worlds she was able to step into through reading.

You'll love: complex character arcs and gripping storyline

Amazon description: "Described by William Faulkner as the best novel ever written and by Fyodor Dostoevsky as “flawless,” Anna Karenina tells of the doomed love affair between the sensuous and rebellious Anna and the dashing officer, Count Vronsky. Tragedy unfolds as Anna rejects her passionless marriage and thereby exposes herself to the hypocrisies of society. Set against a vast and richly textured canvas of nineteenth-century Russia, the novel's seven major characters create a dynamic imbalance, playing out the contrasts of city and country life and all the variations on love and family happiness."

Other notable mentions:

Have you ever tried to conquer Rory Gilmore's reading list? Let me know in the comments! Ciao, Zoe.

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