The Rory Gilmore reading list challenge 2017

I’m a recent fan of Gilmore Girls. Around 15 or so years behind everyone else, and prepping for a friend’s Gilmore Girls reunion show party, I recently watched every episode. I won’t work out how many episodes a day I’ve fitted in, or how many hours worth of watching this is, but it’s surely an achievement I should be slightly proud of?

I was asked at the party who my favourite character is, and I think it’s Rory. I admire her unapologetic love of reading and literature. It’s not something you often see especially in a teenage character and *especially* as something that isn’t ridiculed. She’s not the book geek waiting for her transformation makeover. That girl loves books.


I was delighted to see this BUST article a few day later where a reading list, created for Rory Gilmore,  is reproduced. It’s not all the books seen or mentioned on the show (this huge list exists elsewhere), instead it’s a more manageable size. I don’t know exactly what the criteria for inclusion has been. These may be books she is seen with, or mentions or may be linked to books the show creators thought Rory would read.


The list really caught my attention because it happens to include some of my favourite books that are also a little bit unusual. There is Mark Dunn’s Ella Minnow Pea, Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, and Devil In The White City by Erik Larson. In total there’s 22 books I’ve already read, and only 3 are not on my Super Favs book list. And even those 3 I’m glad I read, even if they were a chore. Well, except one, I hated one. Many of these books are ones that have been hovering near the top of my to read list. I own a lot of them already!

I’ve decided to make next years personal book challenge to read as many more of these as I can. Exceptions may have to be made for my book club as we take turns choosing, but the other books I read will be from this list. There are many books here I haven’t heard of, and given the form of the ones I have, I expect to find some fabulous gems. There are 98 I haven’t read. If I can read 20 next year I’ll be delighted! It will also make me read some that I think I already should have read. Here’s the list with red text for the ones I can already tick off:


• The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

• Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

• The Kitchen Boy by Robert Alexander

• Brick Lane by Monica Ali  

• Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood  

• Emma by Jane Austen  

• Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen  

• Oracle Night by Paul Auster  

• Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

• Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

• The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov  

• The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon

• The Awakening by Kate Chopin

• The Meaning of Consuelo by Judith Ortiz Cofer

• Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

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

• Cousin Bette by Honore De Balzac

• Song of the Simple Truth: The Complete Poems of Julia De Burgos by Julia De Burgos

• The Red Tent by Anita Diamant  

• David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

• Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky  

• An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser

• The Bielski Brothers by Peter Duffy

• The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas  

• Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn 

• The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco  

• Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

• The Sound and The Fury by William Faulkner

• Time and Again by Jack Finney

• The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald  

• A Passage to India by E.M. Forster

• Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

• Bee Season by Myla Goldberg

• Lord of the Flies by William Golding  

• Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy

• My Life in Orange by Tim Guest

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

• The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

• Sacred Time by Ursula Hegi

• The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

• Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

• Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand

• Rescuing Patty Hearst by Virginia Holman

• A Quiet Storm by Rachel Howzell Hall

• The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby

• Songbook by Nick Hornby

• The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini  

• The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo  

• Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

• How the Light Gets In by M. J. Hyland

• The Lottery: And Other Stories by Shirley Jackson

• Nervous System by Jan Lars Jensen  

• The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

• The Story of My Life by Helen Keller

• On The Road by Jack Kerouac

• One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

• Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes  

• The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd  

• A Separate Peace by John Knowles

• Extravagance by Gary Krist

• The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

• The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson  

• The Song of Names by Norman Lebrecht

• The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem

• Small Island by Andrea Levy

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

• A Month Of Sundays by Julie Mars

• Life of Pi by Yann Martel  

• Property by Valerie Martin

• The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham

• The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus         

• Quattrocento by James McKean

• Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller  

• Beloved by Toni Morrison

• Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov

• Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi

• The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger  

• How to Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer

• 1984 by George Orwell  

• When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka

• Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

• Truth & Beauty by Ann Patchett

• The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker

• My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

• The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath  

• Complete Tales & Poems by Edgar Allan Poe

• The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

• Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

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

• The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

• Empire Falls by Richard Russo

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

• Sybil by Flora Schreiber

• The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

• Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris

• Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

• Hamlet by William Shakespeare

• Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw

• Frankenstein by Mary Shelley  

• Unless by Carol Shields

• Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie

• The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

• A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

• Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

• Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

• Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

• The Opposite of Fate by Amy Tan

• Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray  

• Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy  

• A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

• The Song Reader by Lisa Tucker

• The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

• Just a Couple of Days by Tony Vigorito

• Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut

• Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

• Night by Elie Wiesel

• The Picture Of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde  

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

• Old School by Tobias Wolff

• The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon


12 thoughts on “The Rory Gilmore reading list challenge 2017

  1. audsley Post author

    Tried to get a head start on this by reading the only one available on my kindle cloud reader. Turns out I have The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, not Huckleberry Finn! D’oh!


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