Share 13 Book Recommendations from the Gilmore Girls Themselves

13 Book Recommendations from the Gilmore Girls Themselves

Erin Flaaen is a corporate marketing assistant at Simon and Schuster. Despite her innocent appearance, she loves dark stories, having been strongly influenced by Flannery O'Connor and William Faulkner as a teenager. Originally from Arizona, she moved to New York in 2014 and now spends her days being constantly confused by the weather, craving Mexican food, and reading books on trains.

In May 2007, my sister and I gathered around the TV for what we thought would be one last trip to Stars Hollow and one last visit with the Gilmores. Now, with the “Gilmore Girls” reboot coming to Netflix on November 25, I can’t contain my excitement. Lorelai, Rory, Luke, and all the rest were extraordinary bookworms, mentioning a whopping 339 books in their first 7 seasons! To celebrate their return, I’ve compiled a list of some of the best books on their reading lists.


The Kitchen Boy
by Robert Alexander
I always knew “Gilmore Girls” had a significant impact on me, but now I wonder how much it affected my reading habits, too. Could my love of historical fiction have come from Rory Gilmore’s shelves? In THE KITCHEN BOY, the tragic story of the final days of Nicholas and Alexandra Romanov is shown through the eyes of their young kitchen boy, Leonka.
The Kitchen Boy
Robert Alexander

Robert Alexander re-creates the tragic, perennially fascinating story of the final days and brutal murder of the Romanovs as seen through the eyes of their young kitchen boy, Leonka. Historically vivid and compelling, THE KITCHEN BOY is also a touching portrait of a loving family that was in many ways similar, yet so different, from any other.

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The Namesake
by Jhumpa Lahiri

I thought my first exposure to Jhumpa Lahiri’s masterful take on the experiences of Indian immigrants was in college, but I should have known better. The Gilmores pay tribute to Lahiri through a mention of her powerful story about the Ganguli family as they travel from their traditional life in Calcutta to their fraught transformation into Americans.

The Namesake
Jhumpa Lahiri

I thought my first exposure to Jhumpa Lahiri’s masterful take on the experiences of Indian immigrants was in college, but I should have known better. The Gilmores pay tribute to Lahiri through a mention of her powerful story about the Ganguli family as they travel from their traditional life in Calcutta to their fraught transformation into Americans.

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The Opposite of Fate
by Amy Tan

As a budding journalist with a definite book obsession, it’s no wonder Rory once read this memoir of a young writer. Amy Tan, author of THE JOY LUCK CLUB, uses her talent and humor to share insights into her own life as the daughter of immigrants and her journey to becoming an acclaimed author.

The Opposite of Fate
Amy Tan

As a budding journalist with a definite book obsession, it’s no wonder Rory once read this memoir of a young writer. Amy Tan, author of THE JOY LUCK CLUB, uses her talent and humor to share insights into her own life as the daughter of immigrants and her journey to becoming an acclaimed author.

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By Erin Flaaen | November 22, 2016

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He's Just Not That Into You
by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo
With the number of complicated relationships the Gilmore girls fall into throughout 7 seasons, there’s the ever-present question of who each will be with at the start of “A Year in the Life.” We can only hope that by now they’ve read this tough guide for smart women on how to tell if a man just isn’t into you.
He's Just Not That Into You
Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo

A book before a movie, He’s Just Not That Into You is Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo’s guide to relationships. Reexamining typical mindsets and analyzing common scenarios, the two dole out the tough love so that women can stop making excuses for a person who might not even be interested and go find the one who is.

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The Devil in the White City
by Erik Larson
The 1893 World’s Fair could be an amazing source of inspiration for one of Yale’s Life and Death Brigade’s escapades. Maybe that’s why Rory was reading this true story of a serial killer who used the fair to lure his victims to their deaths.
The Devil in the White City
Erik Larson

On Elizabeth’s wish list

As days grew shorter and nights colder I (naturally) began listening to more podcasts and watching documentaries about a cheery subject: serial killers. I’m excited to curl up with THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY because of Erik Larson’s fantastic eye for character, storytelling, and impeccable research in his true-crime investigation into the serial killer who haunted the 1893 World’s Fair. Cocoa and killers go well together, right?

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Angela's Ashes
by Frank McCourt
While Frank McCourt’s Pulitzer Prize–winning memoir describes his upbringing as the son of poor Irish-Catholic immigrants in Depression–era Brooklyn and Lorelai Gilmore was born into a life of riches, it’s not hard to imagine Lorelai enjoying McCourt’s humor and compassion as he tells his story of a less-than-conventional upbringing.
Angela's Ashes
Frank McCourt

"When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood." So begins the luminous memoir of Frank McCourt, born in Depression-era Brooklyn to recent Irish immigrants and raised in the slums of Limerick, Ireland. Frank's mother, Angela, has no money to feed the children since Frank's father, Malachy, rarely works, and when he does he drinks his wages. Yet Malachy -- exasperating, irresponsible and beguiling-- does nurture in Frank an appetite for the one thing he can provide: a story. Frank lives for his father's tales of Cuchulain, who saved Ireland, and of the Angel on the Seventh Step, who brings his mother babies. Perhaps it is story that accounts for Frank's survival. Wearing rags for diapers, begging a pig's head for Christmas dinner and gathering coal from the roadside to light a fire, Frank endures poverty, near-starvation and the casual cruelty of relatives and neighbors--yet lives to tell his tale with eloquence, exuberance and remarkable forgiveness. Angela's Ashes, imbued on every page with Frank McCourt's astounding humor and compassion, is a glorious book that bears all the marks of a classic.

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The Road
by Cormac McCarthy
In this profoundly moving story, a father and son take a trip across a post-apocalyptic America. With nothing but each other, they are held together by love in the face of complete devastation. Lorelai and Rory may not face the same horror as this father-son duo, but they definitely maintain the same bond. Maybe that’s why Rory connected so strongly with this novel.
The Road
Cormac McCarthy

Cormac McCarthy was long an influence of mine before this novel. It is one of the few books I can recall that has kept me awake at night. It is bleak, gritty, hurtful, and I think extraordinarily human.

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The God of Small Things
by Arundhati Roy
Considering Rory appears to have read almost all the classics throughout her years at Chilton and Yale, it’s no surprise that she also picked up this Booker Prize–winning novel. The story begins with an affluent Indian family forever changed by an event that leads to an illicit liaison and tragedies in a country drifting toward unrest.
The God of Small Things
Arundhati Roy

Arundhati Roy’s debut novel has become a modern classic. Equal parts family saga, forbidden love story, and political drama, it chronicles in exquisite, atmospheric detail an affluent Indian family forever changed by one fateful day in 1969.

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Girl, Interrupted
by Susanna Kaysen
It’s clear that Rory is a fan of all things memoir, particularly those involving strong women. In GIRL, INTERRUPTED, after one session with a psychiatrist, Susanna Kaysen is sent to McLean Hospital where she spends most of the next two years in a psychiatric facility known for its famous clientele—Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, James Taylor, and Ray Charles.
Girl, Interrupted
Susanna Kaysen

In 1967, Susanna Kaysen spent almost two years in a psychiatric hospital as renowned for its famous clientele—Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, James Taylor, and Ray Charles—as for its progressive methods. With vivid portraits of her fellow patients and their keepers, Kaysen's searing memoir gives us an up-close view of mental illness and the road to recovery.

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A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
by Dave Eggers
In the space of five weeks when he was a college senior, Dave Eggers lost both of his parents to cancer and became responsible for his eight-year-old brother. Perhaps this moving memoir made Rory feel that her time at Yale wasn’t so difficult after all.
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Dave Eggers

When Dave Eggers was a college senior, in the space of five weeks, he lost both of his parents to cancer and became the guardian of his 8-year-old brother. His moving memoir manages to be a simultaneously hilarious and deeply heartfelt story of the love that holds a family together. How is this hot dude not ugly-crying on the train?

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Carrie
by Stephen King
I could see Rory reading this classic Stephen King novel and plotting her revenge against Paris Geller, at least in their pre-friendship days. Even if you have seen the movie, this novel about a girl who uses her telepathic powers as a weapon of horror and destruction is a great read—whether or not you are reminiscing about your own old high school nemesis.
Carrie
Stephen King

Carrie White may have been unfashionable and unpopular, but in the face of unbearable humiliation, her gift of telepathy is turned into a weapon of horror and destruction that her classmates would never forget. The terror of Stephen King's legendary debut novel makes for a timeless thriller.

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Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
by Rebecca Wells
While “Gilmore Girls” takes place in New England, it has much in common with this classic piece of Southern women’s fiction. Both beautifully explore the bonds of female friendship, the rocky, ever-evolving relationship between mothers and daughters, and the healing power of humor and love.
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
Rebecca Wells

No one explores the often rocky relationship between mothers and daughters, and what it means to be lifelong friends, better than Rebecca Wells. Poignant, funny, and outrageous, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood is a classic you’ll want to read again and again.

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The Year of Magical Thinking
by Joan Didion
As the premiere approaches, none of us can forget the ever-present sadness over the passing of Edward Hermann, and consequently, Richard Gilmore. This mesmerizing memoir chronicles Joan Didion’s grief following the death of her husband while her daughter lay unconscious in a nearby hospital. Maybe Didion’s portrait of grief will help Rory, Lorelai, and Emily handle their own.
The Year of Magical Thinking
Joan Didion

“Life changes fast.”

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7 Book Recommendations From the Gilmore Girls Themselves was originally published on PopSugar.

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