The Gilmore Girls Reading Challenge

rory-gilmore-challengeThis challenge is quite simply to read every book that the characters Lorelai and Rory Gilmore (but let’s face it, mostly Rory) read or reference on the TV show Gilmore Girls. There are various versions of the “Rory List” floating around the Internet but I wanted to be sure my list was correct, so I have edited it as I rewatch the show. I’ve also split the list into books/stories, plays and authors. (This list is the outcome of a pretty detailed spreadsheet I keep of every book or film referenced – which character, which episode, etc. Let me know if you have questions about where a book is referenced and I’ll look it up!)


The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain – read in 2003, but I also half remember my Dad reading it to me and my sister many years earlier
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll – read multiple times, originally when at primary school
All the President’s Men by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward
All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy – TBR
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabonread in 2010
American Steel by Richard Preston
An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt – read in my teens
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoyread in 2018
The Apocalyptics by Edith Efron
Archidamian War
 by Donald Kagan
The Art of Eating by M L K Fisher
The Art of Fiction by Henry James
The Art of War by Sun Tzu
As I Lay Dying by William Faulknerread in 2010
Atonement by Ian McEwan – read
Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
The Awakening by Kate Chopin – read for my degree
Bad Dirt by Annie Proulx
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie – read 2009-ish
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plathread in 2010
Beloved by Toni Morrison – read
Beowulf A New Verse Translation by Seamus Heaney – TBR
The Bielski Brothers by Peter Duffy
Bitch in Praise of Difficult Women by Elizabeth Wurtzel
A Bolt from the Blue and Other Essays by Mary McCarthy
Brick Lane by Monica Ali – read, I think, almost certain
Brigadoon by Alan Jay Lerner
Call Me Crazy by Anne Heche
Candide by Voltaireread in 2011
The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer – I’ve read the odd extract but not enough to strike this off
Carrie by Stephen King – read in my teens
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller – started, did not finish
The Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger – read
The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County by Mark Twain
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl – read several times as a child
Charlotte’s Web by E B White – read when I was at school
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens – read multiple times
Cinderella by Charles Perrault – read this and various other versions
The Collected Short Stories by Eudora Welty
The Collected Works by Edgar Allan Poe – I’ve read several including all the titles mentioned in the show
The Complete Poems by Anne Sexton
The Complete Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornbyread in 2012
Complete Stories by Dorothy Parker
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
Contact by Carl Sagan
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas père – read
Cousin Bette by Honore de Balzac
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevskyread in 2013
The Crisis by David Harris
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon – read in 2003
Daisy Miller by Henry James
Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
Deenie by Judy Blume
Defensor pacis by Marsilius of Padua
Delta of Venus by Anaïs Nin – read
Demons by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
Dialogues by Seneca
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frankread multiple times
The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band by Mick Mars, Neil Strauss, Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, and Vince Neil – started, did not finish
The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes – started, did not finish
Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson – read in my teens
Eleanor Roosevelt by Blanche Wiesen Cook
Ella Minnow Pea: a Novel in Letters by Mark Dunn
Elmer Gantry by Sinclair Lewis
Eloise by Kay Thompson
Emily the Strange by Roger Reger
Emma by Jane Austenread in 2016
Empire Falls by Richard Russo
Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
Ethics by Spinoza
Eva Luna by Isabel Allende
Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
The Executioner’s Song by Norman Mailer
Extravagance by Gary Krist
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury – read
The Fall of the Athenian Empire by Donald Kagan
Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World by Greg Critser
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S Thompson – read 2002-ish
Firewall by Lawrence E Walsh
The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom – read
Fletch by Gregory McDonald
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes – read 2008-ish
The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand – read 2008-ish
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley – read multiple times, originally for my A levels in 1998
Franny and Zooey by J D Salinger – read
Frida by Hayden Herrera
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flaggread in 2012
Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut
Gender Trouble by Judith Butler
George W Bushism: the Slate Book of the Accidental Wit and Wisdom of our 43rd President by Jacob Weisberg
Gidget by Fredrick Kohner
A Girl from Yamhill by Beverly Cleary
Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen
The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Alvin Granowsky
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford – read for my degree
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens – read multiple times, originally in my teens
The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald – read
The Group by Mary McCarthyread in 2018
Haiti: State Against Nation: Origins and Legacy of Duvalierism by Michel-Rolph Trouillot
Hansel and Gretel by the Grimm Brothers – read
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers – read
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conradread in 2014
Helter Skelter: the True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby – read
History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides
The History of Tom Thumb by anonymousread
The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien – read multiple times
Holidays on Ice: Stories by David Sedaris – read 2015
The Holy Barbarians by Lawrence Lipton
House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III
The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allenderead in 2013
How to Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr Seuss
How the Light Gets in by M J Hyland
Howl by Allen Ginsberg – read 2004
How We Are Hungry by Dave Eggers
The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
The Iliad by Homer
I’m With the Band by Pamela des Barres
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote – read
Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E Lee
Iron Weed by William J Kennedy
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë – read multiple times
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair – started, did not finish
Just a Couple of Days by Tony Vigorito
The Kitchen Boy: a Novel of the Last Tsar by Robert Alexander
Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdainread 2020
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini – read
The Knight, Death and the Devil by Ella Lellund
Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D H Lawrence – read
The Last Empire: Essays 1992–2000 by Gore Vidal
The Last Word by Graham Greene
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman – read for my degree
Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilkeread 2016
Life of Pi by Yann Martel – read
Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C S Lewis – read
Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
The Little Locksmith by Katharine Butler Hathaway
The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen – read
Little Red Riding Hood – read
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – read multiple times
Living History by Hillary Rodham Clinton
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov – read
The Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkien – read
The Lottery: and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert – read
The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon
The Manticore by Robertson Davies
Marathon Man by William Goldman
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov – started, did not finish
Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter by Simone de Beauvoir
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedarisread in 2014
The Meaning of Consuelo by Judith Ortiz Cofer
A Mencken Chrestomathy by H R Mencken
Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka – read
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides read in 2011
Mildred Pierce by James M Cain
The Miracle Worker by William Gibson
Mistress of Mellyn by Victoria Holt
Moby Dick by Herman Melville – started, did not finish
Molière: a Biography by Hobart Chatfield Taylor
Monsieur Proust by Celeste Albaret
A Month of Sundays: Searching for the Spirit and My Sister by Julie Mars
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf – read
My Lai 4: a Report on the Massacre and Its Aftermath by Seymour M Hersh
My Life in Orange: Growing Up with the Guru by Tim Guest
My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoultread in 2013
The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco – read 2004-ish
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
The Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene – read many of the series as a child
The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin
Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West by William Cronon
Nervous System: Or, Losing My Mind in Literature by Jan Lars Jensen
New Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson – read some of them, not all
Newspaper Days by H R Mencken
Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens
Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
Night by Elie Wiesel
No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen – read for my degree
Novels 1930–1942: Dance Night/Come Back to Sorrento/Turn, Magic Wheel/Angels on Toast/A Time to be Born by Dawn Powell
November of the Heart by LaVyrle Spencer
Notes of a Dirty Old Man by Charles Bukowski
Of Human Bondage by W Somerset Maugham
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingwayread in 2010
Old School by Tobias Wolff – read
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens – read
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquezread in 2011
On the Road by Jack Kerouacread in 2013
The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life by Amy Tan
Oracle Night by Paul Auster
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwoodread in 2013
Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens – read for my degree
The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War by Donald Kagan
Out of Africa by Isak Dineson (Karen von Blixen-Finecke) – started, did not finish
The Outsiders by S E Hinton
Paradise Lost by John Milton – read excerpts for my degree
A Passage to India by E M Forsterread in 2016
The Peace of Nicias and the Sicilian Expedition by Donald Kagan
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chboskyread in 2013
The Persian Puzzle by Kenneth M Pollack
Personal History by Katharine Graham
Peyton Place by Grace Metalious – read in 2018
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilderead in 2013
Pigs at the Trough by Arianna Huffington
Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi – read
Please Kill Me: the Uncensored Oral History of Punk by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain
Poems by Alfred Lord Tennyson
The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker
The Portable Nietzche by Friedrich Nietzche
The Price of Loyalty: George W Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O’Neill by Ron Suskind
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austenread in 2011
Primary Colors by Joe Klein
Property by Valerie Martin – read
Pushkin: a Biography by T J Binyon
Quattrocento by James Mckean
A Quiet Storm by Rachel Howzell Hall
The Razor’s Edge by W Somerset Maugham
Reading Lolita in Tehran: a Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi – read
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurierread multiple times
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wigginread in 2015
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
Rescuing Patty Hearst: Memories From a Decade Gone Mad by Virginia Holman
A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolfread in 2011
Sacred Time by Ursula Hegi
Sailing Alone Around the Room by Billy Collins
Sanctuary by William Faulkner
Savage Beauty: the Life of Edna St Vincent Millay by Nancy Milford
Saving the Queen by William F Buckley Jr
The Scarecrow of Oz by Frank L Baum – read
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne – read for my degree
The Scorpion and the Frog by Aesop – read
Seabiscuit: an American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand
The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kiddread 2017
Secrets of the Flesh: a Life of Colette by Judith Thurman – TBR
Selected Letters of Dawn Powell: 1913–1965 by Dawn Powell
Selected Poems by Lord Byron
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
A Separate Peace by John Knowles
Sexus by Henry Miller
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon – read
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
Small Island by Andrea Levy – read
The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingwayread in 2010
Snow White and Rose Red by the Grimm Brothers – read
Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World by Barrington Moore
The Song of Names by Norman Lebrecht
Song of the Simple Truth: the Complete Poems by Julia de Burgos
The Song Reader by Lisa Tucker
Songbook by Nick Hornby [31 Songs in the UK] – read in 2013
The Sonnets by William Shakespeare – read
Sonnets from the Portuguese by Elizabeth Barrett Browningread in 2015
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov
Stalin: a biography by Robert Service
Stiff: the Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
The Story of O by Pauline Réage
The Story of O Part Two: Return to the Chateau by Pauline Réage
Summer of Fear by T Jefferson Parker
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
Superman by LaVyrle Spencer
Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust
Swimming with Giants: My Encounters with Whales, Dolphins and Seals by Anne Collett
Sybil by Flora Rheta Schreiber
Taken Hostage by David Farber
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens – read
Tender is the Night by F Scott Fitzgerald – read
Theatre by W Somerset Maugham
Thunder by James Grady
Time and Again by Jack Finney
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger – read 2005-ish
To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingwayread in 2013
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – read
Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain – read
Tom Thumb – read
The Town and the City by Jack Kerouac
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
The Trial by Franz Kafka – read
Trouble in Our Backyard: Central America and the United States in the Eighties by Martin Diskin
The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters by Elisabeth Robinson
Truth & Beauty: a Friendship by Ann Patchett
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
Ulysses by James Joyce – read for my degree
The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath 1950–1962 by Sylvia Plath – TBR
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera – read
Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe – read for my degree
Unfinished Business: Memoirs 1902–1988 by John Houseman
United States: Essays 1952–1992 by Gore Vidal
Unless by Carol Shields
US Foreign Policy and the Iran Hostage Crisis by David Patrick Houghton
The Vanishing Newspaper by Philip Meyer
Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray – started, did not finish
The Velvet Underground and Nico (Thirty Three and a Third series) by Joe Harvard
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
Walden by Henry David Thoreau – read for my degree
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane by Henry Farrell
When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka
Wicked: the Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Frank L Baum – read
Working by Studs Turkel
Written in Blood: the Story of the Haitian People 1492–1995 by Nancy Gordon Heinl, Robert Debs Heinl
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didionread in 2014

Books: 322
Read: 115


Angels in America by Tony Kushner
Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare – read for my degree
Caroline, or Change by Tony Kushner
The Children’s Hour by Lillian Hellman
A Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare – watched on stage
The Crucible by Arthur Miller – watched on stage
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Gas Light by Patrick Hamilton
Hamlet by William Shakespeare – read
Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare – read for my degree and watched various versions on stage
Macbeth by William Shakespeare – read
The Mourning Bride by William Congreve
Othello by Shakespeare – read for my degree and watched it on stage starring Lenny Henry
Pygmalion by George Bernard Shawread in 2012
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare – read multiple times, originally for school in 1994, and watched on stage
A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams – watched on stage
The Tragedy of Richard III by William Shakespeare – read for my degree and watched on stage
Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett – watched it on stage starring Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan. It was amazing.
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee

Plays: 19
Read: 8


Christiane Amanpour
Francis Bacon
Clive Barker
Roland Barthes
Robert Benchley
Charles Bukowski
Robert Burns – read several poems
Noam Chomsky
Deepak Chopra
Michael Crichton – read a few of his books in my teens
Jacques Derrida
Maureen Dowd
Nora Ephron – read I Remember Nothing
Susan Faludi
Syd Field
Zelda Fitzgerald
Sigmund Freud
Betty Friedan
Robert Frost – read the odd poem
Emma Goldman
Bob Graham
Václav Havel
Stephen Hawking
O Henry
Lynn Hirschberg
David Hume
Tama Janowitz
Peter Jennings
Samuel Johnson – read The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia and extracts of other works
Ben Jonson
Garrison Keeler
Bill Keller
Helen Keller – read The Story of My Life
Søren Kirkegaarde
Fran Lebowitz
Niccolò Machiavelli – read The Prince
Christopher Marlowe – read The Jew of Malta and Hero and Leander for my degree
Harold Pinter – read The Birthday Party
Alexander Pushkin
Dan Rather
George Sand
José Saramago – read The Gospel According to Jesus Christ
Arthur Schopenhauer
Gloria Steinem
Jonathan Swift – read Gulliver’s Travels
Dylan Thomas – read the odd poem
David Foster Wallace – read a couple of short stories
Barbara Walters
John Webster
P G Wodehouse – read Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves
W B Yeats – read many of his poems, studied a few for my degree

Authors: 52
Read: 12

I first posted about this challenge in 2012. I found out about it from It’s Time to Read, which in turn adopted the list from the Book Club Forum.