Rad Reads

The ultimate Rory Gilmore-inspired TBR list

It's officially fall, aka the season of our fave dark academia girl: Rory Gilmore. Ever the bookworm, Rory reads 339 books over the course of seven seasons—seriously, a reading icon. We've rounded up some of the best titles out of her (very long) list for the ultimate autumn vibes: this Rory-inspired TBR is *guaranteed* to transport you straight to Stars Hollow.

The Bell Jar
Sylvia Plath

Just like Maeve from the show Sex Education, complex female characters are *totally* our thing, and The Bell Jar really doesn't disappoint on that front. Even though the book is set in 1950s NYC, the themes are still super resonant and impactful today. Following Esther Greenwood, a college student attending a summer internship as a guest editor of Ladies' Day magazine, this novel explores mental illness, societal norms and all the complexities of being a woman in society.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Mark Haddon

In this heartwarming book, Mark Haddon transports you into the mind of Christopher Boone, a 15-year-old boy with high-functioning autism trying to solve (spoiler alert) the mystery of who killed his neighbor's dog Wellington in the night-time. From the fact that its chapters are only numbered after primes, the inclusion of maths puzzles and diagrams and the narrative style itself, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time's quirks are just *absolutely* endearing.

The Joy Luck Club
Amy Tan

At this point, Amy Tan should be required reading for every English class. Her most famous book, The Joy Luck Club, follows four recently immigrated Chinese women in San Francisco who meet weekly to play mahjong and discuss their lives. The genius part? The book itself is structured like a Mahjong game, with four parts divided into four sections to create sixteen chapters. Talk about being on-brand.

The Picture of Dorian Gray
Oscar Wilde

Nothing screams dark academia more than this beloved classic. If you want to dive head-first into beauty, sin and everything in between, The Picture of Dorian Gray will 100% not disappoint. With absolutely breathtakingly beautiful writing, this book will make you completely forget you're reading a typical high school English requirement but rather an incredible story about a beautiful boy gone wrong.

The Razor's Edge
W. Somerset Maugham

Speaking of classics, here's one that is criminally underrated. The Razor's Edge follows American pilot Larry Darrell after World War I as he tries to navigate his trauma and make meaning of his life. Timeless, engrossing and surprisingly easy to get through, this book will make you think, reflect and appreciate the exploits of good writing. (P.S. This is also one of Emma Chamberlain's fave books—what can we say? She has amazing taste.)

Anna Karenina
W. Somerset Maugham

If you saw the name Tolstoy and automatically recoiled from the image of a hefty mammoth of a book, not to worry. Anna Karenina is so charming and compelling, you'll find yourself flying through it. The romance, the intrigue and the complete and utter drama will make you feel like you're there gossiping right there with the Russian aristocracy yourself. 

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Steven Chobsky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is the shyness and awkwardness of high school, the warmth and freedom of summer nights and the windows down, hair whipping in the wind feel jam-packed into one book. For all the wallflowers out there, this novel will make you feel nothing short of infinite—it's truly one of those books you will *never* forget, if only for the nostalgia of it alone.

Which of these is your fave? Tell us on Instagram @glbestiebookclub!

Slider via Netflix. All GIFs via GIPHY.


by Sophia Zhang | 10/11/2021