As if you weren't excited enough to return to the quaint little town of Stars Hollow and be reunited with the best mother-daughter duo of all time, the official title of the long-awaited revival has been announced, and it sounds like a book title out of Rory's extensive collection — Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. Every week seems to bring with it new and exciting details about the upcoming Netflix series, but if you need something to distract you from all your burning questions about Lorelai and Luke's future, turn your attention to Rory's personal library and try to divert your attention with these books to read while you wait for the Gilmore Girls revival to be released.
Its no secret that books and reading have always been an important part of the Gilmore Girls universe. From the very first episode, Rory is introduced as the kind of girl who wouldn't leave the house without a backpack full of books. She reads Madam Bovary on her lunch break, and considers A Room of One's Own perfect commuter reading material. Book nerd viewers everywhere saw themselves in her character. Then, in Season 2, when Jess, everyone's favorite bookworm heartthrob, was introduced with a chip on his shoulder and a paperback in his hand, book-lovers across the nation collectively swooned. First, a likable heroine we could relate to, and then a bookish boyfriend of our dreams? TV doesn't get much better than that.
From Anna Karenina to Howl, from Leaves of Grass to The Children's Hour, books have influenced the personal growth, romances, friendships, and family relationships in Stars Hollow. While you anxiously wait to see what happened to the residents of your favorite small town, and more importantly, what they've been reading, here are 12 books to keep you busy. Don't worry, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life will be here soon.
1. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
If you have always been on #TeamJess, then you better read up on The Beats. Jack Keroac's On the Road, the author's most famous novel, is based on his own travels as well as the adventures and his fellow Beats. It's one of those books Jess probably keeps in the saddlebag of the motorcycle we all know he's riding today.
2. Unless by Carol Shields
Rory Gilmore reads everything from essay collections to modern classics, but somewhere on her vast reading list is Unless, Carol Shield's highly acclaimed novel about the complicated relationship between a 44-year-old woman and her 19-year-old daughter, a young college drop out who has turned to life on the streets. Perfect for the reader who loves Gilmore Girls for its family story lines, Unless is a stirring, emotional novel that will keep you busy while you wait for Rory and Lorelai's relationship to capture your attention again.
3. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
One of the most widely referenced novels in the series, Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar has to be in your Gilmore Girls TBR pile. A classic feminist text about womanhood, growing up, and mental illness, it's required reading if you ever want to keep up in a conversation with either of the Gilmore women.
4. Empire Falls by Richard Russo
If you liked Gilmore Girls for its setting, then you'll love Richard Russo's Empire Falls, a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about a small town not too unlike Stars Hollow. Featuring characters who know everything about their neighbors and a restaurant where everyone's considered a regular, Empire Falls is a captivating, heartbreaking story that will make you cry more than the Gilmore Girls series finale.
5. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
This classic story of love and heartache may not be the most lighthearted read, but it is Rory's favorite, which makes it a must-read for Gilmore Girl fans. A true masterpiece of storytelling that clocks in at over 900 pages, Anna Karenina is certainly long enough to keep you occupied until Netflix releases A Year in the Life.
6. Small Island by Andrea Levy
An international bestseller, Andrea Levy's Small Island tells the story of two married couples in post-WWII Britain — one, black Jamaican immigrants, and the other, white middle class home owners. Though the two couples may be completely different on the outside, their internal struggles, emotional conflicts, and inextinguishable hope make them more similar than they appear. A fascinating and stirring tale, Small Island was also adapted into a two-part BBC series, so you no only have something to read to keep you occupied, but now you also have something to watch.
7. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
If Rory Gilmore had a book club, The Lovely Bones would be on the reading list. A heartbreaking story about a girl's murder and her family's quest to find the truth, The Lovely Bones is a lighter read than Rory is used to, but hey, even literary geniuses enjoy pleasure reading, right?
8. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
A beautiful and moving novel about the immigrant experience, Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake is on Rory's bookshelf, but that isn't the only reason you should read the Pulitzer Prize winner's first book. A deeply emotional novel that tells the story of one young man's life as defined by his name, Gogol, The Namesake is a deeply human story fans of Gilmore Girls will be captivated by.
9. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
While Rory is often seen reading or heard talking about older classics like Moby Dick and Candide, the girls has a knack for picking out some pretty great modern classics as well. Among them, Arundhati Roy's masterpiece, The God of Small Things, the story of two fraternal twins growing up in India in a time of Communism, a strict caste system, and religious discrimination. Heavy with themes of loyalty, betrayal, and forbidden love, The God of Small Things is one of Rory's best reading selections yet.
10. A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf
From the empowering women role models to the strong female friendships, it's no secret that Gilmore Girls is a feminist show in many ways. Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own is one of the many feminist texts read and talked about during the show, and, if it isn't already, it should be a book you have as part of your own feminist library.
11. Carrie by Stephen King
Throughout the series, Rory read a surprising amount of Stephen King books, including Christine, Cujo, Rita Hayworth, and even The Shining. If you're going to read any of them, though, make it Carrie, because you, Rory, and the book's characters all understand one thing: high school is a bitch.
12. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
As if you needed another reason to revisit Jane Austen's canon, Gilmore Girls gives you one. Though many Austen novels were featured on the series, Northanger Abbey is by far the funniest. Just like the show, it's a satirical and clever, the ideal novel to make you laugh until Rory and Lorelai come back to put a smile on your face.