How Rory are you?

Rory Gilmore Books

I don’t know how many of my readers have ever watched an episode of ‘The Gilmore Girls’ and of those, how many have actually liked it enough to get to know the characters but if any of you are or ever have been a Gilmore Girl junky, you’ll know that young Rory is as much in love with books and words as you and I. She’s a nerd, a book-loving freak of nature, an aspiring journalist.

Throughout all seven seasons of the popular television show, Rory Gilmore shared with us all her passion for the intellectual side of life: magazines, books, debates, politics, the arts, journalism, Yale, ambition, studying, the classics, poetry, film, essays and writing. Of course she talked of boys and friends and family but the predominating theme of Rory’s ‘Gilmore Girls’ journey was her rise through the ranks of an aspiring writer. And along the way, we all got a fine dose of delicious nerdiness.

Countless books were referenced by Rory throughout the series and this morning I stumbled across a blog post that compiles a complete list of all of Rory Gilmore’s reads. So, the question is: How Rory are you?

    • 1984  (George Orwell)
    • A Confederacy of Dunces (John Kennedy Toole)
    • A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (Dave Eggers)
    • Mencken Chrestomathy (H.L. Mencken)
    • A Month Of Sundays: Searching For The Spirit And My Sister (Julie Mars)
    • A Passage to India (E.M. Forster)
    • A Quiet Storm: A Novel (Rachel Howzell Hall)
    • A Room of One’s Own (Virginia Woolf)
    • A Separate Peace (John Knowles)
    • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn [Betty Smith]
    • American Tragedy (Theodore Dreiser)
    • Anna Karenina (Leo Tolstoy)
    • Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl (Anne Frank)
    • Atonement: A Novel (Ian McEwan)
    • Autobiography of a Face (Lucy Grealy)
    • Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress: A Novel (Dai Sijie)
    • Bee Season: A Novel (Myla Goldberg)
    • Bel Canto (Ann Patchett)
    • Beloved (Toni Morrison)
    • Beowulf
    • Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
    • Brick Lane (Monica Ali)
    • Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
    • The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty (Eudora Welty)
    • Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales & Poems (Edgar Allan Poe)
    • Cousin Bette (Honoré de Balzac)
    • Crime and Punimensht (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
    • Daisy Miller (Henry James)
    • David Copperfield (Charles Dickens)
    • Dead Souls (Nikolai Gogol)
    • Death of a Salesman (Arthur Miller)
    • Demons (Fyodor Dostoevsky)
    • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Robert Louis Stevenson)
    • Eleanor Roosevelt (Blanche Wiesen Cook)
    • Ella Minnow Pea: A Progressively Lipogrammatic Epistolary Fable (Mark Dunn)
    • Emma (Jane Austen)
    • Empire Falls (Richard Russo)
    • Ethan Frome (Edith Wharton)
    • Rick Steves’ Europe Through the Back Door 2007: The Travel Skills Handbook (Rick Steves)
    • Extravagance: A Novel (Gary Krist)
    • Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury)
    • Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World (Greg Critser)
    • Flowers for Algernon
    • Frankenstein (Mary Shelley)
    • Franny and Zooey (J.D. Salinger)
    • Galapagos (Kurt Vonnegut)
    • Hamlet (William Shakespeare)
    • Heart of Darkness (Joseph Conrad)
    • Holidays on Ice: Stories (David Sedaris)
    • How the Light Gets in (M. J. Hyland)
    • How to Breathe Underwater (Julie Orringer)
    • Howl (Allen Ginsberg)
    • Inherit the Wind (Jerome Lawrence)
    • Jane Eyre (Charlotte Brontë)
    • Just a Couple of Days (Tony Vigorito)
    • Leaves of Grass (Walt Witman)
    • Letters to a Young Poet (Rainer Maria Rilke)
    • Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
    • Little Dorrit (Charles Dickens)
    • Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
    • Living History (Hillary Rodham Clinton)
    • Lord of the Flies William Golding)
    • Madame Bovary (Gustave Flaubert)
    • Me Talk Pretty One Day (David Sedaris)
    • Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter (Simone de Beauvoir)
    • Middlesex (Jeffrey Eugenides)
    • Moby-Dick (Herman Melville)
    • Monsieur Proust (Celeste Albaret)
    • Mrs. Dalloway (Virginia Woolf)
    • My Lai 4: A Report on the Massacre and Its Aftermath (Seymour M. Hersh)
    • My Life in Orange: Growing Up with the Guru (Tim Guest)
    • My Sister’s Keeper (Jodi Picoult)
    • Nervous System: Or, Losing My Mind in Literature (Jan Lars Jensen)
    • New Poems of Emily Dickinson (Emily Dickinson)
    • Night (Elie Wiesel)
    • Dawn Powell: Novels 1930-1942 (Dawn Powell)
    • Of Mice and Men (John Steinbeck)
    • Old School (Tobias Wolff)
    • Oliver Twist (Oliver Twist)
    • On the Road (Jack Kerouac)
    • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Ken Kesey)
    • Oracle Night (Paul Auster)
    • Oryx and Crake (Margaret Atwood)
    • Othello (William Shakespeare)
    • Out of Africa (Isak Dinesen)
    • Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk (Legs McNeil)
    • Property (Valerie Martin)
    • Pushkin: A Biography (T.J. Binyon)
    • Pygmalion (George Bernard Shaw)
    • Quattrocento (James Mckean)
    • Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books (Azar Nafisi)
    • Rescuing Patty Hearst: Memories From a Decade Gone Mad (Virginia Holman)
    • Romeo and Juliet (William Shakespeare)
    • Rosemary’s Baby (Ira Levin)
    • Sacred Time (Ursula Hegi)
    • Sanctuary (William Faulkner)
    • Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay (Nancy Milford)
    • Seabiscuit: An American Legend (Laura Hillenbrand)
    • Sense and Sensibility (Jane Austen)
    • Siddhartha (Hermann Hesse)
    • Slaughterhouse-Five (Kurt Vonnegut)
    • Small Island (Andrea Levy)
    • The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories (Ernest Hemingway)
    • Song of the Simple Truth: The Complete Poems of Julia de Burgos (Julia de Burgos)
    • Songbook (Nick Hornby)
    • Speak, Memory (Vladimir Nabokov)
    • Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers (Mary Roach)
    • Swann’s Way (Marcel Proust)
    • Swimming With Giants: My Encounters With Whales, Dolphins, and Seals (Anne Collett)
    • Sybil (Flora Rheta Schreiber)
    • A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens)
    • Tender Is the Night (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
    • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Mark Twain)
    • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (Michael Chabon)
    • The Art of War (Sun Tzu)
    • The Awakening (Kate Chopin)
    • The Bell Jar (Sylvia Plath)
    • The Bielski Brothers: The True Story of Three Men Who Defied the Nazis, Built a Village in the Forest, and Saved 1,200 Jews (Peter Duffy)
    • The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
    • The Code of the Woosters (P.G. Wodehouse)
    • The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexander Dumas)
    • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Mark Haddon)
    • The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America (Erik Larson)
    • The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (Tom Wolfe)
    • The Five People You Meet in Heaven (Mitch Albom)
    • The Fortress of Solitude (Jonathan Lethem)
    • The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
    • The God of Small Things (Arundhati Roy)
    • The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
    • The Group (Mary McCarthy)
    • The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
    • The Holy Barbarians (lawrence lipton)
    • The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (Victor Hugo)
    • The Jungle (Upton Sinclair)
    • The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar (Robert Alexander)
    • The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
    • The Last Empire: Essays 1992-2000 (Gore Vidal)
    • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C.S. Lewis)
    • The Little Locksmith: A Memoir (Katharine Butler Hathaway)
    • The Lottery: And Other Stories (Shirley Jackson)
    • The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
    • The Manticore (Robertson Davies)
    • The Master and Margarita (Mikhail Bulgakov)
    • The Meaning of Consuelo (Judith Ortiz Cofer)
    • The Metamorphosis (Ovid)
    • The Naked and the Dead (Norman Mailer)
    • The Name of the Rose (Umberto Eco)
    • The Namesake (Jhumpa Lahiri)
    • The Nanny Diaries (Emma McLaughlin)
    • The Opposite of Fate (Amy Tan)
    • The Picture of Dorian Gray (Oscar Wilde)
    • The Polysyllabic Spree (Nick Hornby)
    • The Portable Dorothy Parker (Dorothy Parker)
    • The Portable Nietzsche
    • The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O’Neill (Ron Suskind)
    • The Razor’s Edge (W. Somerset Maugham)
    • The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
    • The Rough Guide to Europe 2006 (Various Authors)
    • The Scarecrow of Oz (L. Frank Baum)
    • The Scarlet Letter (Nathaniel Hawthorne)
    • The Second Sex (Simone De Beauvoir)
    • The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Kidd)
    • The Shadow of the Wind (Carlos Ruiz Zafon)
    • The Song of Names (Norman Lebrecht)
    • The Song Reader (Lisa Tucker)
    • The Sound and the Fury (William Faulkner)
    • The Story of My Life (Helen Keller)
    • The Sun Also Rises (Ernest Hemingway)
    • The Time Traveler’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
    • The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters (Elisabeth Robinson)
    • Unabridged Journals (Sylvia Plath)
    • The Year of Magical Thinking (Joan Didion)
    • Time and Again (Jack Finney)
    • To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
    • Truth & Beauty: A Friendship (Ann Patchett)
    • Uncle Tom’s Cabin (Harriet Beecher Stowe)
    • Unless (Carol Shields)
    • Vanity Fair (William Makepeace Thackeray)
    • War and Peace (Leo Tolstoy)
    • When the Emperor Was Divine (Julie Otsuka)
    • Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Edward Albee)
    • Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (Gregory Maguire)
    • Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (Rebecca Wells)


I’ve crossed out the books I’ve read in their entirety and indicated in bold the books that I’ve either mentally made a note of to one day read or that I’ve actually gone so far as to add to my ‘Books to Read in 2012’ list. So, out of 186 Rory Gilmore books, I’ve read nine and plan to read thirty-six making me not quite as Rory-ish as I originally thought.

What are your totals?

31 thoughts on “How Rory are you?

  1. I’ve read 57 and there are quite a few on my to-read list. But I am a LOT older than you … Great list, anyway, and thanks for posting it! And yes, I have seen every episode of the GIlmore Girls.

  2. I count about 35 that I’ve read and a lot more on my TBR list! Gilmore Girls has always been like my guide to life, I just want to be Rory! She is just like me only way cooler lol.
    Great post!

    • Wow, that’s an impressive total! I’m so behind! And I agree, Rory is actually quite an inspiration. The show’s had quite a profound impact on my life. Glad to hear someone else feels the same. Thank you!

  3. I’ve read 28… but I’ll admit most of those were for school assignments or were suggestions from my husband. I almost never pick up a classic on my own (which is a pity)!

  4. Pingback: Gilmores Read More | Books Speak Volumes

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