Readers like me have always seen a little bit of ourselves in Rory Gilmore. After the series ended, Rory Gilmore's reading challenge became a popular goal for book-loving fans, with good reason. Her taste in literature was perfectly balanced; she liked nonfiction, literary fiction, works in translation, horror, and everything in between. Over the course of the original series run, 339 books were referenced.
So naturally, when I learned that the Gilmore Girls revival was happening, I became incredibly excited to learn what Rory Gilmore is reading as an adult. If her taste was that refined at age 16, what would she be like as a 30-something?
(Spoilers ahead) In Gilmore Girls: Revival, Rory Gilmore is a struggling freelance writer and aspiring author. Though she's writing a book, Rory sadly doesn't seem to be reading many. Luckily, Rory isn't the only one seen reading or heard talking about books. Jess stills owns a publishing house, and he still carries a book in his back pocket. Paris still quotes lesser-known authors and books with authority. Lorelai drops an Oscar Wilde quote on one occasion, and an Edith Wharton reference on another.
I decided she'd probably trust the opinion of her friends when it comes to books, so for this Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge, I included the books referenced or read by any character. Happy reading:
Irvine Welsh: Trainspotting (Winter)
Mark Twain: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Winter)
Lorelai jokes that she hoped she'd find a "prequel to Huckleberry Finn " in Rory's luggage.
J.R.R. Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings (Winter)
Lorelai references The Argonath while teasing Emily about the size of the portrait she commissioned of Richard. But, because it's Lorelai, she was actually referring to the movie, directed by Peter Jackson. (Rory references the movie again in a conversation with Dean in the Fall episode.)
Walt Whitman: Leaves of Grass
A copy of Leaves of Grass was prominently displayed on Richard's coffin at his funeral. Some other favorites featured include Proust and Euclid.
Jack Kerouac: On The Road (Winter)
When Rory gives up her apartment, Lorelai describes her nomadic existence by referencing one of Jess' favorite authors: Jack Kerouac. "Pass the peyote," Lorelai jokes over Friday night dinner.
John McPhee (Winter)
When Rory tells Logan about her new project — a biography — he's overwhelming supportive. "It's not like I'm John McPhee," Rory says. "Yet," Logan adds.
Marie Konde: The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up (Winter)
Emily Gilmore references this book's famous mantra while cleaning out her mansion: "Does this bring me joy?"
"Aeschylus is hard, even when you're not tipsy," Logan responds.
Edith Wharton (Spring)
"I'm not Edith Wharton; I don't write letters," Lorelai tells her mother in a therapy session.
Sun Tzu: The Art of War (Spring)
"It's kill or be killed. I'm not talking about The Art Of War," Paris tells a class of students at Chilton during a guest lecture. "That's a tip-toe through the tulips compared to what you're going to find beyond these walls."
Dorothy Parker (Spring)
"Like that wouldn't make Dorothy Parker barf," Paris says, eloquently.
David Foster Wallace: "Consider The Lobster"
Rory meets with Conde Nast, and the editors interviewing her mention David Foster Wallace on more than one occasion. They specifically reference his famous essay, "Consider The Lobster."
Cheryl Strand: Wild (Summer & Fall)
Lorelai's choice of poolside reading.... which later influences a major life decision.
Leo Tolstoy: Anna Karenina (Summer)
Rory's slightly heavier choice of poolside reading.
Sholem Aleichem: Tevya The Dairyman and the Railroad Stories (Summer)
The stories of Sholem Aleichem were adapted by Joseph Stein for the stage in a play you may have heard of: Fiddler on the Roof. That's the play Babette references in her praise of the Stars Hollow musical: "Tevye, move over!"
Edward Albee: Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? (Summer)
Taylor – the playwright behind The Stars Hollow Musical — claims that Edward Albee mentored him in college. In reality, he just saw him at a restaurant once and gave him an unsolicited manuscript.
Emily Gilmore has a poem inscribed on Richard's gravestone: "That there hath pass'd away a glory from the earth."
The quote is attributed to Longfellow, but it's actually from a poem by William Wordsworth, "Ode: Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood."
No specific work by Dave Eggers is mentioned by either Rory or Jess, but you know they've both read him when they quip about him during a chat about the publishing house where Jess works.
Rory: "So you've got Dave Eggers shaking in his boots?" Jess: "Ha, if Dave Eggers even knows we exist, I'll be happy."
Only with Jess could Rory get away with a literary burn like this one.
Oscar Wilde: The Picture Of Dorian Gray (Fall)
Lorelai references Dorian Gray when talking about how Emily never, ever changes. "You don't move or change. There's a picture of you in the attic that Dorian Gray is consulting copyright lawyers about," she jokes.
Karl Ove Knausgaard: My Struggle
Before Lorelai and Luke's wedding, Jess drops by to see Luke and settles in with a copy of My Struggle by Karl Ove Knausgaard. Because, of course he does.
This post is being updated.
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