Tuesday, April 29, 2014

"Aren't we hooked on phonics?" - Top Ten Tuesday, Gilmore Girls and Books


I originally wrote this post two years ago. I have reposted it here, because it kind of almost fits the theme for this week's Top Ten Tuesday, hosted at The Broke and the BookishTop Ten Books If You Like a TV show / movie / play, etc.
These are books you should read if you like Gilmore Girls, but not because they're like Gilmore Girls. These are books referenced on the TV show. If you've seen it you know how literature-centric anything Rory does is. And the kind of books, movies and songs they like says a lot about the characters. So - if you loved Rory and Lorelai like I did, you'd want to read on: 

Gilmore Girls is undoubtedly the most bookish TV show I have ever come across. While the eccentric towns-people, the best-friend Mom and the regular small-town shindigs never fail to irritate me, I do love the witty, pop-culture-laden dialogue and the coffee love.

Rory Gilmore has an admirable amount of books stacked on her bookshelf and is always seen with a book in her hand. Dean liked watching Rory read and Jess and Rory bonded largely over books. There are, naturally, many Rory Gilmore Reading Challenges and Book Clubs out there. In fact, WB had released a list of Rory Gilmore's reads. I only discovered them very recently.

But I have, over time, read a lot of books and authors because my favourite characters (mostly Jess and Rory) from Gilmore Girls mentioned reading and liking them:

1. Swann's Way by Marcel Proust - Lorelai borrows this from Max Medina (Ah, Max, and his very English-Professor-ey bookshelf) Proust was a huge but definitely rewarding read.

2. Post Office by Charles Bukowski - Paris and Jess argued over this one. According to Paris, it's a typical guy response to worship Kerouac and Bukowski, but never try anyone like Jane Austen. And then Jess says that he has read Jane Austen and that she would have liked Bukowski.

3. On the Road by Jack Kerouac - Kerouac is mentioned a lot throughout the series. According to Rory, the Beats expose you to a world you wouldn't have otherwise known; that's what great writing is about. This book was good, though somewhat pretentious, but I preferred Bukowski's style to Kerouac's.

4. Please Kill Me - The Uncensored Oral History of the Punk Movement by Legs McNeil & Gillian McCain - The book is just (and you wouldn't find this word in my usual vocabulary) insane. It's the history of punk music written through and by people who actually lived it. Jess recommends this to Rory.

5. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy - I chose reading this book over War and Peace, of which my sister has a copy also, because it is one of Rory's favourite books. Dean thinks it's impossible that every name in the book ends with "sky", and Rory convinces him to read it, because Tolstoy apparently wrote it for the masses, so you don't have to be very literary to get it. I did love the book, but I disagree.

6. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain - This is another of Rory's favourites; though I don't remember where this is mentioned. I do remember that Rory made Lorelai celebrate Rory's twelfth birthday in a Mark Twain museum!

7. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens - I'd read an abridged version a long time ago, but I re-read it when I watched that Gilmore Girls episode where Rory calls Jess "Dodger" for stealing her book (Howl.) Incidentally, I also read Terry Pratchett's Dodger, which I adored, by the way. 

8. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut - This is the book that Jess is reading when he enters a class late, and is supposed to be writing a test. He borrows a pencil from Lane, tilts the book and starts writing (notes, probably) in the margin.

9. Howl and other Poems by Allen Ginsberg - This is the first book of poetry I have ever dared and managed to read; and only because, Jess is supposed to have read it "about forty times", which automatically means it's good.

10. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway - I read Ernest Hemingway basically because of the time Rory promises to give "the painful Ernest Hemingway a try" if Jess finishes reading The Fountainhead. Jess also tells Rory, "Ernest only has lovely things to say about you."

Some of the authors mentioned or featured on the show that I still want to read are John Steinbeck, Tom Woolfe, Hunter Thompson and Alexander Pushkin.

("Aren't we hooked on phonics?" is what Jess comments when he first sees Rory's overflowing bookshelf!) 

As you can probably see, Gilmore Girls has influenced a lot of my reading. Actually, it has also influenced a lot of my music and movie tastes. Do you like the show or any of the books I have mentioned? And would you recommend any other bookish television show or movie?

14 comments:

comicbookgeek said...

The most bookish movie has to be League of Extraordinary Gentlemen!

Laura said...

I want to read the book that Jess wrote! Not that it's real... I love that you read some of these books because of Gilmore Girls though, because I always used to read books that characters I admired also read! I love Gilmore Girls, so I might have to have a read of some of these books :) (ps I so wanted Jess and Rory to be together forever- I LOVE JESS!)

Fireflywishes said...

You know I haven't really even seen the Gilmore Girls at all. From everything I ever heard of it, it seemed like sort of a shallow show. But that is so cool there are so many bibliophiles in it - and references to books, etc! That rocks. I might have to give GG another try - and read some of the books mentioned.

Thanks so much for dropping by my blog -I really like yours!

April @ My Shelf Confessions

Priya said...

Well, it doesn't have as much about books as it is made up of books!

Priya said...

I really do love Jess too; Jess and Rory make the perfect couple. Dean was okay only as a first boyfriend and Logan was too much of a jerk for Rory! You know, I really do wish they had actually released Jess's book!!

Priya said...

It's not exactly the best show out there, but I do like the bookishness!
Glad you stopped by :)

buzzzzzzzzz... said...

love your blog and the post,, plus that thing u said about life being bertie bott's all flavored beans...why dint i eva think of it that way???
nice work,, one more follower for you..tada!

Priya said...

The thing is, Harry Potter is basically my whole world, so it naturally follows that I should think of life that way!! Thanks for stopping by! :)

Bear Allen said...

I started working my way through all books mentioned through all seven years in September! So much fun!

http://blackwhitereadbookchallenge.blogspot.com/

Vishy said...

Nice post, Priya! I haven't seen 'Gilmore Girls' but I hope to, someday, because of the bookish references. From your list I have only read 'Slaughterhouse Five' by Kurt Vonnegut and 'The Sun also Rises' by Ernest Hemingway. I liked both of them, but I didn't like Vonnegut's book as much as I had hoped to. I am reading 'Swann's Way' now and it is pretty good. I don't know any TV series which is very bookish (it is a shame really - they should make more such series), but I always love it when a TV series character talks about a book, especially an unlikely and unconventional one (for example when Alan Shore from 'Boston Legal' reads Aphra Behn's plays before going to sleep, and Rachel from 'Packed to the Rafters' discovers Janet Frame's 'An Angel at my Table' through a fellow book reader which leads to some interesting conversational moments). One book that I read because it was mentioned in a movie was Ann Racliffe's 'The Mysteries of Udolpho'. It was mentioned in the movie 'The Jane Austen Book Club' and that is the first time I had heard about it and I couldn't resist getting it and reading it.

Fence said...

I've never watched the Gilmore Girls, but I do like it when tv mentions books, or vice vearsa. I read Slaughterhouse Five at some point, but I don't remember much of it, and I think I was too young at the time. Same goes for Anna Karenina which I remember nothing of, so its really as though I never read it.

I want to read some Hemmingway because I read The Paris Wife for my book club and thought he was such an insecure-trying-to-be-macho asshole that it might be interesting to see what he actually wrote.

Priya said...

Vishy - I know, there should definitely be more book lovers on TV - I mean, who wouldn't love to read what their favourite character likes? I've been told Lost has a lot of pop cultural, bookish references, but I've never watched it.
It took me a long time to read Swann's Way - I don't remember the exact details of any of it, it was so long winded, but I doubt I've ever read such complicated metaphors and allusions and such beautiful vivid prose. In Gilmore Girls, though, Lorelai stops reading it because the first sentence is 20 pages long. :D Thanks for mentioning those books and that movie, I'll definitely watch that one.

Fence - I couldn't have read either of the two when I was "too young." Ohh - he seems just that in the book too, The Sun Also Rises is pretty much a memoir, the one I've always wanted to read is The Old Man and the Sea! Anyway, thanks for stopping by. :)

Angela's Anxious Life said...

I used to try to read all the books on this list. I got through maybe 10-15. I was reading along with the group on goodreads. It was fun. Eventually the group kinda started not having much participation so ... it was a bummer. Great picks!

Angie
Angela's Anxious Life

Priya said...

Angie - The official lists are too long, especially those even including books seen on Rory's shelf. I just read those I actually remembered. The Goodreads group sounds like fun, too bad there's not enough participation!

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