Anyone who is a lover of “Gilmore Girls” knows that Rory is a bookworm. In her valedictorian speech at Chilton, she said, “I live in two worlds; one is a world of books.” And now with the recent revival of the series for a four-part Netflix comeback, there was no way I could pass up the chance to do a Rory-centric column.
In 2013, writer Patrick Lenton gathered all the books Rory had ever mentioned during the seven-season show, and he came up with 337 novels. The link to this list sat in my “to-do” Pinterest for quite some time before I actually decided to make my way through it.
While I’m still working on it (I keep getting caught up with tough novels like Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment or Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol), there are a few books on her list that are must-reads.
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini This isn’t exactly the type of book you read on a light afternoon. This book realistically intertwines the political nature of Afghanistan, the history of the last 30 years and the bond between two friends. The book is very sad and has a few trigger warnings for rape, beatings and a public execution, but the book is about protagonist Amir’s need to fix his wrongs and the guilt and anguish that go with them. The book is a deep, heartbreaking and completely incredible novel.
The Nanny Diaries by Nicola Kraus and Emma McLaughlin I know, the “The Nanny Diaries” sounds like it falls in line with the likes of “Twilight” and the genre of tweenie fiction. In reality, the book is a snappy, clever “Devil Wears Prada”-esque novel that pulls you into the drama. The movie version, though it had Chris Evans, was not very good, but the book is fun and humorous. The novel is filled with funny stories and catchphrases that the nanny comes up with. The daily dynamics of this wealthy family’s everyday life will keep you interested until the very last page.
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan “The Joy Luck Club” is the seamless amalgamation of sixteen stories, four families and their struggles. The book, although fictional, is likely rooted in Tan’s experiences as an Asian-American daughter of Chinese immigrants. The Joy Luck Club is the mahjong group that the mothers of the families are in and the reason their stories are intertwined. The language of the novel is beautiful and authentic, increasing the perspective of the dichotomy between Asian and American culture. The book is also often hailed as a feminist work because of the strong female characters, all of whom play a part in the brilliant presentation of the cultures, adding a whole lot of heart.
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut “Slaughterhouse-Five” is a satirical novel, mostly stemming from Vonnegut’s experiences during World War II, disguised as an interesting science-fiction novel. The book is a relatively easy read with an underlying complex story form, creating a satisfying blend of both comic relief and hard tragedy. The book discusses the realities of war and the struggles for power, while conveying Vonnegut’s still-relevant political ideals.