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Rory's Bookshelf: Pilot 1.1

Updated: Oct 10, 2023

Hello and welcome to an extensive list of all things literature. Cue your inner Rory Gilmore, grab your cup of coffee (or tea, whatever. We don't judge here), and sit down, relax, and enjoy.

(if you'd like a complete list accompanied by more lists and reviews and everything in between, check out my Goodreads page).

On the Road by Jack Kerouac

In the beginning of this episode, Lorelai is approached by a random man who is traveling through town on his way to Hartford. She references that he's a regular Jack Kerouac. Jack Kerouac was an American writer best known for the novel On the Road, which became an American classic. This novel chronicles Kerouac's years traveling the North American continent with his friend Neal Cassidy.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

When Rory is in her high school class at Stars Hollow High, the teacher is talking about reading Huck Finn. This is referring to the classic novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by American writer Mark Twain. It was first published in the United Kingdom in December 1884 and in the United States in February 1885. It tells of a runaway boy and an escaped slave's travels on the Mississippi.

The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir

After Rory cleans out her locker, she drops a few books. One of those being The Second Sex by French existentialist Simone de Beauvoir, in which she discusses the treatment of women throughout history. Beauvoir researched and wrote the book in about 14 months between 1946 and 1949. She published it in two volumes, Facts and Myths and Lived Experience.

Mistress of Mellyn by Victoria Holt

Another book that our girl drops. Poor girl is a bit clumsy. This is the first Gothic romance novel written by Eleanor Hibbert under the pen name Victoria Holt.

Chikara by Robert Skimin

This is one of the last books Rory drops. Phew, at least she's good now. And met a cute boy all in the process. This is a historical novel about an epic family drama of the two great countries, America and Japan. Move aside Romeo and Juliet.

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

After talking with Dean for a minute, he asks her how she is liking Moby Dick. Also known as The Whale, Moby Dick is an 1851 novel by American writer Herman Melville. The book is the sailor Ishmael's narrative of the obsessive quest of Ahab, captain of the whaling ship Pequod, for revenge on Moby Dick, the giant white sperm whale that on the ship's previous voyage bit off Ahab's leg at the knee. Yeah, I'd probably name him that too.

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

By now, Dean has confessed to stalking Rory. Sorry, "watching." Last week it was Madame Bovary, which was originally published as Madame Bovary: Provincial Manners. It is the debut novel of French writer Gustave Flaubert, published in 1856. The eponymous character lives beyond her means in order to escape the banalities and emptiness of provincial life. Life is hard.

The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen

The girls (Lorelai and Rory) are in a bit of an argument and are about to begin the first of many infamous Friday Night Dinners (capitalizing that because it's iconic). Rory switches into sassy teenage girl mode and wonders if they're going to keep standing there re-enacting The Little Match Girl. This is a reference to literary fairy tale by Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen. The story, about a dying child's dreams and hope (wait, how is this a fairy tale?), was first published in 1845. It has been adapted to various media, including animated and live action films, television musicals, and video games (very confused on how they turned a dying child's hopes and dreams into a video game, but to each his own).

To a Mouse by Robert Burns

Rory has eavesdropped on Emily and Lorelai's conversation by now, and admits to basically hearing everything that was said. Lorelai replies with "well, the best laid plans." This is in reference to Robert Burn's (deep breath) "To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Next With the Plough, November, 1785." In short (thank God), "To a Mouse." It's a Scots-language poem written in 1785, and was included in the Kilmarnock volume and all of the poet's later editions, such as the Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect (I have no idea about any of what I just said either, but wikipedia does, so, let's fake smile and move on).

I appreciate you reading this far. If you're enjoying yourself, feel free to continue onto the next episode. No rules here. This is a fun space.

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