Gilmore Girls media (Source: Netflix)
Tuesday, January 28, 2020 Charleston County Library

Face it, everyday is a good day to spend some time in Stars Hollow if you're a book lover. If you've ever watched an episode of Gilmore Girls, you know that Rory Gilmore is a voracious reader. She even extolled her love of books in her valedictorian speech at Chilton!

Over the years, Rory has read more than 300 books on screen. We're going to share them all over the course of 2020! Of course, we'll link to all of those in our physical or digital collection to make it easy for readers ready for a reading challenge to take up the charge. 

Why share such a list now? Rory was a bit of a journalist at Chilton, and we heard that one of our local journalists set a goal to read more this year. We just want to help her reach that goal! And for those few titles we don't have in our collections, have you met InterLibrary Loan?

In alphabetical order, here are the first 28 books:

1984 by George Orwell

"The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command."

Winston Smith toes the Party line, rewriting history to satisfy the demands of the Ministry of Truth. With each lie he writes, Winston grows to hate the Party that seeks power for its own sake and persecutes those who dare to commit thought crimes. But as he starts to think for himself, Winston can't escape the fact that Big Brother is always watching...

A startling and haunting vision of the world, 1984  is so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the influence of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of multiple generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions--a legacy that seems only to grow with the passage of time.

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer's best friend, escapes down the Mississippi on a raft with the runaway slave, Jim. One of the iconic American novels, it caused a stir when published because of the vernacular used by Twain to characterize Jim and the people of the Mississippi. Twain's criticism of racial segregation and the treatment of slaves was thrown into turbulent criticisms at the turn of the century however, when he himself was accused of racist stereotyping and frequent use of the n-word.

 

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

This perennially popular Norton Critical Edition again reprints the 1897 editions of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass along with the 1876 edition of The Hunting of the Snark. Each text is fully annotated and the original illustrations are included.

An unusually rich "Backgrounds" section is arranged to correspond with three clearly defined periods in Lewis Carroll's life. Letters and diary entries interwoven within each period emphasize the biographical dimension of Carroll's writing. Readers gain an understanding of the author's family and education, the evolution of the Alice books, and Carroll's later years through his own words and through important scholarly work on his faith life and his relationships with women and with Alice Hargreaves and her family.

Reflecting the wealth of new scholarship on Alice in Wonderland and Lewis Carroll published since the last edition,Donald Gray has chosen eleven new critical works while retaining five seminal works from the previous edition. Two early pieces an essay by Charles Dickens and poem by Christina Rossetti take a satirical look at children's literature. The nine new recent essays are by James R. Kincaid, Marah Gubar, RobertM. Polemus, Jean-Jacques Lecercle, Gilles Deleuze, Roger Taylor,Carol Mavor, Jean Gattégno, and Helena M. Pycior.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon

With this brilliant novel, the bestselling author of The Mysteries of Pittsburgh and Wonder Boys gives us an exhilarating triumph of language and invention, a stunning novel in which the tragicomic adventures of a couple of boy geniuses reveal much about what happened to America in the middle of the twentieth century. Like Phillip Roth's American Pastoral or Don DeLillo's Underworld, Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is a superb novel with epic sweep, spanning continents and eras, a masterwork by one of America's finest writers.

It is New York City in 1939. Joe Kavalier, a young artist who has also been trained in the art of Houdini-esque escape, has just pulled off his greatest feat to date: smuggling himself out of Nazi-occupied Prague. He is looking to make big money, fast, so that he can bring his family to freedom. His cousin, Brooklyn's own Sammy Clay, is looking for a collaborator to create the heroes, stories, and art for the latest novelty to hit the American dreamscape: the comic book. Out of their fantasies, fears, and dreams, Joe and Sammy weave the legend of that unforgettable champion the Escapist. And inspired by the beautiful and elusive Rosa Saks, a woman who will be linked to both men by powerful ties of desire, love, and shame, they create the otherworldly mistress of the night, Luna Moth. As the shadow of Hitler falls across Europe and the world, the Golden Age of comic books has begun.

The brilliant writing that has led critics to compare Michael Chabon to John Cheever and Vladimir Nabokov is everywhere apparent in The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. Chabon writes "like a magical spider, effortlessly spinning out elaborate webs of words that ensnare the reader," wrote Michiko Kakutani of The New York Times about Wonder Boys-and here he has created, in Joe Kavalier, a hero for the century. Annotation. With this brilliant novel, the bestselling author of The Mysteries of Pittsburgh and Wonder Boys gives us an exhilarating triumph of language and invention, a stunning novel in which the tragicomic adventures of a couple of boy geniuses reveal much about what happened to America in the middle of the twentieth century. Like Phillip Roth's American Pastoral or Don DeLillo's Underworld, Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is a superb novel with epic sweep, spanning continents and eras, a masterwork by one of America's finest writers.

An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser

Few novels have undertaken to track so relentlessly the process by which an ordinary young man becomes capable of committing a ruthless murder and the further process by which social and political forces come into play after his arrest. In Clyde Griffiths, the impoverished, restless offspring of a family of street preachers, Dreiser created an unforgettable portrait of a man whose social insecurities and naive dreams of self-betterment conspire to pull him toward act of unforgivable violence. The murder that he commits on a quiet lake in the Adirondacks is an extended scene of overwhelming impact, and it is followed by equally gripping episodes of his arrest and trial. Throughout, Dreiser elevates the most mundane aspects of what he observes into emotionally charged, often harrowing symbols.

Around Clyde, Dreiser builds an extraordinarily detailed portrait of early twentieth-century America, its religious and sexual hypocrisies, its economic pressures, its political corruption and journalistic exploitation. The sheer prophetic amplitude of his bitter truth-telling, in idiosyncratic prose of uncanny expressiveness, continues to mark Dreiser as a crucially important American writer. An American Tragedy, the great achievement of his later years, is a work of mythic force, at once brutal and heartbreaking.

Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt

"When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood."

So begins the luminous memoir of Frank McCourt, born in Depression-era Brooklyn to recent Irish immigrants and raised in the slums of Limerick, Ireland. Frank's mother, Angela, has no money to feed the children since Frank's father, Malachy, rarely works, and when he does he drinks his wages. Yet Malachy -- exasperating, irresponsible and beguiling-- does nurture in Frank an appetite for the one thing he can provide: a story. Frank lives for his father's tales of Cuchulain, who saved Ireland, and of the Angel on the Seventh Step, who brings his mother babies. Perhaps it is story that accounts for Frank's survival. Wearing rags for diapers, begging a pig's head for Christmas dinner and gathering coal from the roadside to light a fire, Frank endures poverty, near-starvation and the casual cruelty of relatives and neighbors--yet lives to tell his tale with eloquence, exuberance and remarkable forgiveness.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

In 1872 the mistress of a neighbouring landowner threw herself under a train at a station near Tolstoy's home.

This gave Tolstoy the starting point he needed for composing what many believe to be the greatest novel ever written. In writing Anna Karenina he moved away from the vast historical sweep of War and Peace to tell, with extraordinary understanding, the story of an aristocratic woman who brings ruin on herself. Anna's tragedy is interwoven with not only the courtship and marriage of Kitty and Levin but also the lives of many other characters. Rich in incident, powerful in characterization, the novel also expresses Tolstoy's own moral vision. `The correct way of putting the question is the artist's duty', Chekhov once insisted, and Anna Karenina was the work he chose to make his point. It solves no problem, but it is deeply satisfying because all the questions are put correctly.

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank's remarkable diary has since become a world classic--a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. 

In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the "Secret Annex" of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death. In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and amusing, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short.

The Archidamian War by Donald Kagan

This book, the second volume in Donald Kagan's tetralogy about the Peloponnesian War, is a provocative and tightly argued history of the first ten years of the war. Taking a chronological approach that allows him to present at each stage the choices that were open to both sides in the conflict, Kagan focuses on political, economic, diplomatic, and military developments. He evaluates the strategies used by both sides and reconsiders the roles played by several key individuals.

 

 

The Art of Fiction by Henry James (offsite)

Henry James’s “The Art of Fiction” remains one of the most influential statements on the theory of the novel. The essay concisely assesses the condition of the genre up to his own time and accurately anticipates the direction of its future development. Much as Edgar Allan Poe did for the short story a generation earlier, James establishes the novel as a serious artistic genre, identifies its unique characteristics, and lays out the fundamental principles for its critical analysis. Prior to that time, the novel was treated as an inferior literary form, considered at best as light entertainment and at worst as pandering to escapism and immorality; in either case, it was generally regarded as unworthy of serious critical analysis.

The Art of War by Sun Tzu

For more than two thousand years, The Art of War has stood as a cornerstone of Chinese culture, a lucid text that reveals as much about psychology, politics, and economics as it does about battlefield strategy. The influence of Sun-tzu's text has grown tremendously in the West in recent years, with military leaders, politicians, and corporate executives alike finding valuable insight in these ancient words. In this new translation, scholar John Minford brings this seminal work to life for modern listeners, presenting the core text in two formats. First are the thirteen chapters of the original work by Sun-tzu, followed by the same text with extensive running commentary by classical Chinese scholars as well as by Minford himself. The result is an opportunity for Western readers to apply Sun-tzu's work to the many aspects of our lives.

As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

Several years ago, a ruptured tumor almost killed Richard John Neuhaus. During a series of complicated operations, weeks in critical condition, and months in slow recovery, he was brought face to face with his own mortality. As he lay dying and, as it turned out, recovering, he found that despite his faith he had been quite unprepared for the experience. This book traces his efforts to understand his own reactions and those of his friends and family, and explores how we as a culture understand and deal with death.As I Lay Dying testifies that dying is-and is not-part of living. We can and should live our dying. Neuhaus interweaves his own story with thoughtful inquiry, circling through philosophy, psychology, literature, theology, and his own experiences to create provocative meditations that explore the many aspects of dying: the private and public experience, the separation of the soul from the body, grief, surrender, and mourning. The result is a book that shakes the foundations of our being-and yet is oddly and convincingly tranquil.

Atonement by Ian McEwan

On the hottest day of the summer of 1935, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis sees her older sister Cecilia strip off her clothes and plunge into the fountain in the garden of their country house. Watching Cecilia is their housekeeper’s son Robbie Turner, a childhood friend who, along with Briony’s sister, has recently graduated from Cambridge.

By the end of that day the lives of all three will have been changed forever. Robbie and Cecilia will have crossed a boundary they had never before dared to approach and will have become victims of the younger girl’s scheming imagination. And Briony will have committed a dreadful crime, the guilt for which will color her entire life.

In each of his novels Ian McEwan has brilliantly drawn his reader into the intimate lives and situations of his characters. But never before has he worked with so large a canvas: In Atonement he takes the reader from a manor house in England in 1935 to the retreat from Dunkirk in 1941; from the London’s World War II military hospitals to a reunion of the Tallis clan in 1999.

Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy

This powerful memoir is about the premium we put on beauty and on a woman's face in particular. It took Lucy Grealy twenty years of living with a distorted self-image and more than thirty reconstructive procedures before she could come to terms with her appearance after childhood cancer and surgery that left her jaw disfigured. As a young girl, she absorbed the searing pain of peer rejection and the paralyzing fear of never being loved.

 

 

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

Part of a collection of Chopin's works, The Awakening is the 1899 novel about Edna Pontellier, a Victorian-era wife and mother who is awakened to the full force of her desire for love and freedom when she becomes enamored with Robert LeBrun, a young man she meets while on vacation, and includes thirty-two short stories by Kate Chopin, drawn from throughout her career.

 

 

Babe: The Gallant Pig by Dick King-Smith

Knopf is proud to present a handsome 20th-anniversary edition of Dick King-Smith’s bestselling novel that became an Academy Award–nominated movie. When Babe arrives at Hogget Farm, Mrs. Hogget’s thoughts turn to sizzling bacon and juicy pork chops—until he reveals a surprising talent for sheepherding, that is. Before long, Babe is handling Farmer Hogget’s flock better than any sheepdog ever could. Babe is so good, in fact, that the farmer enters him into the Grand Challenge Sheepdog Trials. Will it take a miracle for Babe to win?

Complete with the original text and stunningly reillustrated by acclaimed artist Maggie Kneen, this anniversary edition of Babe is perfect to introduce a new generation of readers to the magical story of a pig like no other.

Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women by Susan Faludi

This is actually a Study Guide for Susan Faludi's "Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women," excerpted from Gale's acclaimed Nonfiction Classics for Students. This concise study guide includes plot summary; character analysis; author biography; study questions; historical context; suggestions for further reading; and much more. For any literature project, trust Nonfiction Classics for Students for all of your research needs.

 

 

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress  is an enchanting tale that captures the magic of reading and the wonder of romantic awakening. An immediate international bestseller, it tells the story of two hapless city boys exiled to a remote mountain village for re-education during China's infamous Cultural Revolution. There the two friends meet the daughter of the local tailor and discover a hidden stash of Western classics in Chinese translation. As they flirt with the seamstress and secretly devour these banned works, the two friends find transit from their grim surroundings to worlds they never imagined.

 

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

Somewhere in South America, at the home of the country's vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of Mr. Hosokawa, a powerful Japanese businessman. Roxanne Coss, opera's most revered soprano, has mesmerized the international guests with her singing. It is a perfect evening -- until a band of gun-wielding terrorists breaks in through the air-conditioning vents and takes the entire party hostage. But what begins as a panicked, life-threatening scenario slowly evolves into something quite different, as terrorists and hostages forge unexpected bonds and people from different countries and continents become compatriots. Friendship, compassion, and the chance for great love lead the characters to forget the real danger that has been set in motion and cannot be stopped.

Ann Patchett's award winning, New York Times bestselling Bel Canto balances themes of love and crisis as disparate characters learn that music is their only common language. As in Patchett's other novels, including Truth & Beauty and The Magician's Assistant, the author's lyrical prose and lucid imagination make Bel Canto a captivating story of strength and frailty, love and imprisonment, and an inspiring tale of transcendent romance.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

The Bell Jar chronicles the crack-up of Esther Greenwood: brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under -- maybe for the last time. Sylvia Plath masterfully draws the reader into Esther's breakdown with such intensity that Esther's insanity becomes completely real and even rational, as probable and accessible an experience as going to the movies. Such deep penetration into the dark and harrowing corners of the psyche is an extraordinary accomplishment and has made The Bell Jar a haunting American classic.

This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.

Beloved by Toni Morrison

Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby.

Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe's new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement.

 

Beowulf: A New Verse Translation by Seamus Heaney

A brilliant and faithful rendering of the Anglo-Saxon epic from the Nobel laureate.

Composed toward the end of the first millennium of our era, Beowulf is the elegiac narrative of the adventures of Beowulf, a Scandinavian hero who saves the Danes from the seemingly invincible monster Grendel and, later, from Grendel's mother. He then returns to his own country and dies in old age in a vivid fight against a dragon. The poem is about encountering the monstrous, defeating it, and then having to live on in the exhausted aftermath. In the contours of this story, at once remote and uncannily familiar at the end of the twentieth century, Seamus Heaney finds a resonance that summons power to the poetry from deep beneath its surface.

Drawn to what he has called the "four-squareness of the utterance" in Beowulf and its immense emotional credibility, Heaney gives these epic qualities new and convincing reality for the contemporary reader.

The Bhagavad Gita

'I have heard the supreme mystery, yoga, from Krishna, from the lord of yoga himself.'Thus ends the Bhagavad Gita, the most famous episode from the great Sanskrit epic, the Mahabharata.

In its eighteen short chapters Krishna's teaching leads the warrior Arjuna from perplexity to understanding and correct action, in the process raising and developing many key themes from the historyof Indian religions.The Bhagavad Gita is the best known and most widely read Hindu religious text in the Western world. It considers social and religious duty, the nature of sacrifice, the nature of action, the means to liberation, and the relationship of human beings to God. It culminates in an awe-inspiring vision ofKrishna as God omnipotent, disposer and destroyer of the universe

The Bielski Brothers: The True Story of Three Men Who Defied the Nazis, Built a Village in the Forest, and Saved 1,200 Jews by Peter Duffy

In 1941, three young men -- brothers, sons of a miller -- witnessed their parents and two other siblings being led away to their eventual murders. It was a grim scene that would, of course, be repeated endlessly throughout the war. What makes this particular story of interest is how the survivors responded. Instead of running or capitulating or giving in to despair, these brothers -- Tuvia, Zus, and Asael Bielski -- did something else entirely. They fought back, waging a guerrilla war of wits and cunning against both the Nazis and the pro-Nazi sympathizers. Along the way they saved well over a thousand Jewish lives.

Using their intimate knowledge of the dense forests surrounding the Belorussian towns of Novogrudek and Lida, the Bielskis evaded the Nazis and established a hidden base camp, then set about convincing other Jews to join their ranks. When the Nazis began systematically eliminating the local Jewish populations -- more than ten thousand were killed in the first year of the Nazi occupation alone -- the Bielskis intensified their efforts, often sending fighting men into the ghettos to escort Jews to safety. As more and more Jews arrived each day, a robust community began to emerge, a "Jerusalem in the woods." They slept in camouflaged dugouts built into the ground. Lovers met, were married, and conceived children. The community boasted a synagogue, a bathhouse, a theater, and cobblers so skilled that Russian officers would wait in line to have their boots reshod.

But as its notoriety grew, so too did the Nazi efforts to capture the rugged brothers; and on several occasions they came so near to succeeding that the Bielskis had to abandon the camp and lead their massive entourage to newer, safer locations. And while some argued in favor of a smaller, more mobile unit, focused strictly on waging battle against the Germans, Tuvia Bielski was firm in his commitment to all Jews. "I'd rather save one old Jewish woman," he said, "than kill ten Nazis."

In July 1944, after two and a half years in the woods, the Bielskis learned that the Germans, overrun by the Red Army, were retreating back toward Berlin. More than one thousand Bielski Jews emerged -- alive -- on that final, triumphant exit from the woods.

Bitch: In Praise of Difficult Women by Elizabeth Wurtzel

From the author of the bestselling Prozac Nation comes one of the most entertaining feminist manifestos ever written. In five brilliant extended essays, she links the lives of women as demanding and disparate as Amy Fisher, Hillary Clinton, Margaux Hemingway, and Nicole Brown Simpson. Wurtzel gives voice to those women whose lives have been misunderstood, who have been dismissed for their beauty, their madness, their youth.

Bitch is a brilliant tract on the history of manipulative female behavior. By looking at women who derive their power from their sexuality, Wurtzel offers a trenchant cultural critique of contemporary gender relations. Beginning with Delilah, the first woman to supposedly bring a great man down (latter-day Delilahs include Yoko Ono, Pam Smart, Bess Myerson), Wurtzel finds many biblical counterparts to the men and women in today's headlines.

A Bolt from the Blue and Other Essays by Mary McCarthy

Spirited and insightful essays from the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of Memories of a Catholic Girlhood. Gathered here are three collections of her personal essays and literary criticism.

Occasional Prose: McCarthy imbues this collection with her unique gifts of clear-eyed observation, sharp insight, and heartfelt passion as she gives us the story of La Traviata in her own words, reviews a charming and practical book on gardening, revisits Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, and eulogizes friends, including Hannah Arendt.

The Writing on the Wall: With engaging and thought-provoking essays on Madame Bovary, Macbeth, Vladimir Nabokov, George Orwell, William S. Burroughs, J. D. Salinger, and Hannah Arendt, this collection of literary reactions is distinguished by McCarthy's savage intelligence, clarity of thought, and utter lack of pretension.

Ideas and the Novel: In this lively, erudite book, McCarthy throws down the gauntlet: Why did the nineteenth century produce novels of ideas while the twentieth century is so lacking in serious fiction? Could Henry James be a big part of the problem? With verve and passion, McCarthy provides a critique of how the novel has evolved-or not-in the last century.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Aldous Huxley's profoundly important classic of world literature, Brave New World is a searching vision of an unequal, technologically-advanced future where humans are genetically bred, socially indoctrinated, and pharmaceutically anesthetized to passively uphold an authoritarian ruling order--all at the cost of our freedom, full humanity, and perhaps also our souls.

"A genius [who] who spent his life decrying the onward march of the Machine" (The New Yorker), Huxley was a man of incomparable talents: equally an artist, a spiritual seeker, and one of history's keenest observers of human nature and civilization. Brave New World, his masterpiece, has enthralled and terrified millions of readers, and retains its urgent relevance to this day as both a warning to be heeded as we head into tomorrow and as thought-provoking, satisfying work of literature. Written in the shadow of the rise of fascism during the 1930s, Brave New World likewise speaks to a 21st-century world dominated by mass-entertainment, technology, medicine and pharmaceuticals, the arts of persuasion, and the hidden influence of elites.

Brick Lane by Monica Ali (audiobook)

Nazneen is forced into an arranged marriage with a much older man whose expectations of life are miserably low. When they flee the oppression of their Bangladeshi village for a high-rise block in the East End, she finds herself cloistered and dependent on her husband. It soon becomes apparent that of the two, she is the real survivor and more able to deal with the ways of the world and the vagaries of human behavior. Through her friendship with another Asian girl, she begins to understand the unsettling ways of her new homeland.

 

Keep an eye on the CCPL website and social media for the release of the next set of books from this list!