Nine years after it left the air, Gilmore Girls returns this fall in a four-part series of 90-minute “episodes,” which correspond to each of the seasons. Lucky for us, today the first seven seasons are back on Netflix so we can binge the full series for oh I don’t know…the 27th time.
Known for its fast dialogue, witty quips, and pop-culture fluency, Gilmore Girls managed to reference over 339 books in seven seasons, which I wager has done more for literature than any other show on the WB/CW (low blow, I know). Rory Gilmore inspired thousands of girls to put their love of reading front and center, and showed us that we could have it all: our nose in a book and a hot boyfriend.
While we wait to catch up with Lorelai and Rory and the rest of the Gilmore/Stars Hollow gang in November, let’s talk about the books they’ve missed in the intervening years, and how things would have gone down.
Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay (August 2014)
Rory urges Lorelai to read Roxane Gay’s brilliant essay collection. After reading the introduction “Feminism (n.): Plural,” Lorelai enlists a number of the Stars Hollow women, including Miss Patty, Babette, and Lulu to form a book club with this as their first selection. Babette’s husband, Morey, receives an invite, and Luke not-so-politely declines.
But when Kirk finds out about the group from Lulu, he insists on being part of it. He shows up for the meeting the most prepared of all the members. He takes the book’s message to heart, going around town identifying himself as a feminist (much to Taylor’s consternation) to anyone who will listen as he clutches the book to his chest.
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein (January 2008)
Lorelai picks up this novel, told from the perspective of a Golden Retriever named Enzo who longs to drive race cars like his owner, thinking that it will better help her understand the psyche of Paul Anka, her rescued mutt. Unfortunately, she soon finds that Enzo poorly resembles Paul Anka, the latter an eccentric canine with a long list of anxieties and a prime candidate for puppy Xanax. Lorelai puts the book down after 50 pages. Soon after, Paul Anka kicks it under the couch as Lorelai struggles to put a leash on him, where it remains.
Hard Choices by Hillary Clinton (June 2014)
Rory reads every word of the 650+ page tome. And underlines. Would you expect anything less from the girl who once dreamed that former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was her mother?
While we’re at it, Rory takes time away from covering the 2012 presidential campaign to read Secretary Albright’s Prague Winter (April 2012).
Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple (August 2012)
This delightful romp, told from the perspective of a teenager whose agoraphobic mother disappears before a promised trip to Antarctica, inspires Lorelai to convince the recently widowed Emily to go on a cruise with her to Antarctica—or at least Alaska. Emily, to no one’s surprise, is unmoved.
A Natural Woman: A Memoir by Carole King (April 2012)
Do we even have to explain this one? Where she leads, we (and the Lorelai Gilmores) will follow.