The Dark is Rising

November 18, 2016 | Maureen

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I wish I could find the secret door in the back of my wardrobe that leads to another world. Winter is coming in this one. And it feels like the dark is rising. I need a fictional vacation destination. But to where? A holiday in the Shire would suit me, hiding in a cozy hobbit hole, with a steaming tea pot and plate of seed cake. But of course, the dark riders, the Nazgûl, would come. I could revisit Narnia, and sit by the fire with Mr. Tumnus, the faun, but it's always winter there, thanks to the terrifying white witch. Maybe some butter beer at the Three Broomsticks, not far from Hogwarts? On second thought, no. Some patrons of that establishment have allied themselves with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.

The dark is rising - Susan Cooper The fellowship of the ring - J. R. R. Tolkien The lion, the witch and the wardrobe - C. S. Lewis

Fantasy novels ooze darkness - like the real world. I need to escape to a world more fantastical than a fantasy novel - a place where there is no darkness. A place like Stars Hollow, the gentle dream of small town America that is the setting of the television show, Gilmore Girls. The worst crime in Stars Hollow was the theft of a lawn gnome. The town's religious leaders were pals who hung out in the local diner together. The town misanthrope hid a heart of gold under his crankiness. There was one unpleasant character: Taylor Doose - politician, business owner, real estate mogul all rolled up into one bossy, know-it-all package. But when Taylor starts turning into a self-serving petty dictator in a comfy sweater, local farmer Jackson challenges him in a race for town selectman, and the essentially goodhearted people of Stars Hollow hand him a landslide victory. Yep, Stars Hollow is the perfect place for a vacation from reality just now.   

Stars Hollow is, of course, the home town of book obsessed Rory Gilmore, who said, in her valedictorian speech, “I live in two worlds. One is a world of books.” Rory didn’t go anywhere without at least one book; she usually had several. All glammed up and off to a fancy party, Rory tucked a copy of The portable Dorothy Parker in her bag, just in case. Her tastes were eclectic  -- from Anna Karenina, to the comedy of P. G. Wodehouse, to Social origins of dictatorship and democracy. By one count, there were 339 books referenced in the series. I wonder what Rory will be reading in Gilmore Girls: A year in the life, which debuts on Netflix on November 25. Who knows, maybe she's written a book herself. After all, Lauren Graham, who plays her fictional mom Lorelai, has written two:

Talking as fast as I can - From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and everything in between - Lauren Graham Someday, Someday, Maybe - Lauren Graham


Here are some books referenced in Gilmore Girls, according to the website BuzzFeed:

An American tragedy - Theodore Dreiser A confederacy of dunces - John Kennedy Toole
Backlash - the undeclared war against American women - Susan Faludi One flew over the cuckoo's nest - Ken Kesey
Lies_and_the_lying_liars_cover The last empire - essays 1992-2000 - Gore Vidal
The divine comedy - Dante Alighieri The razor's edge - W. Somerset Maugham


Heart of darkness Inferno-bang1


The Godfather - Mario Puzo Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - Robert Louis Stevenson


The fountainhead Property - Valerie Martin


The second sex - Simone de Beauvoir The history of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire - Edward Gibbon
Moby Dick - Herman Melville Notes of a Dirty Old Man - Charles Bukowski


Howl and other poems - Allen Ginsberg Please kill me - The uncensored oral history of punk - by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain

When Gilmore Girls ended in 2007, Rory was about to embark on her first job as a journalist, filing reports for an online publication about Barack Obama's campaign for the Democratic nomination. Watch Alexis Bledel reprise her role as Rory, overwhelming First Lady Michelle Obama with her book lust:

You can borrow all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls in DVD format from the library. Good news! We've changed the loan period for DVD TV series from one week to two! Click to reserve a copy:

Gilmore Girls. The complete first season

Gilmore Girls. The complete second season

Gilmore Girls. The complete third season

Gilmore Girls. The complete fourth season

Gilmore Girls. The complete fifth season

Gilmore Girls. The complete sixth season

Gilmore Girls. The complete seventh season