The reading lists of ten fictional characters

Rory Gilmore, Gilmore Girls

Rory reads everything, from contemporary literature to criticism to biographies to classics. She’s probably the most literate person we feel like we know. Just a sampling:

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Beloved by Toni Morrison
The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty by Eudora Welty
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Finnegans Wake by James Joyce
Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
Old School by Tobias Wolff
Pushkin: A Biography by T. J. Binyon
The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
Tender Is The Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

Margot Tenenbaum, The Royal Tenenbaums

Obviously, Margot is a bit ahead of her time, and, being a playwright herself, has a particular penchant for drama.

The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov
The Iceman Cometh by Eugene O’Neill
The Sharks of North American Waters by Jose I. Castro
A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen
Plays by George Bernard Shaw

Daria Morgendorffer, Daria

Another avid reader, with more than a slight leaning towards the dark side — see a bigger list here.

Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre
Being and Nothingness by Jean-Paul Sartre
The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafak
Our American Cousin by Tom Taylor
The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
Fifth Business by Robertson Davies
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi Di Lampedusa
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Walden by Henry David Thoreau

Don Draper, Mad Men

We don’t exactly think of Don as an intellectual, but he definitely reads more than anyone else on Mad Men — or maybe that’s just because we spend the most time with him. Either way, he always has a stolidly masculine book by his side.

Meditations in an Emergency by Frank O’Hara
Odds Against by Dick Francis
The Berlitz Self-Teacher: French
The Chrysanthemum and the Sword by Ruth Benedict
Exodus by Leon Uris
The Best of Everything by Rona Jaffe
The Fixer by Bernard Malamud
The Spy Who Came In From The Cold by John Le Carré

Matilda Wormwood, Matilda

After Matilda whets her palate on The Secret Garden and Great Expectations, Roald Dahl lays it out for us.

“Over the next six months, under Mrs. Phelps watchful and compassionate eye, Matilda read the following books:”

Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
Gone to Earth by Mary Webb
Kim by Rudyard Kipling
The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Good Companions by J.B. Priestley
Brighton Rock by Graham Greene
Animal Farm by George Orwell

She also reads:
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling
The Red Pony by John Steinbeck

And, if the film is to be believed, Moby Dick by Herman Melville.

Lisa Simpson, The Simpsons

Imagine turning all these pages with so few fingers.

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Master of the Senate by Robert A. Caro
The Harry Potter series
The Rise and Fall of the Third Riech by William L. Shirer
Moneyball by Michael Lewis
The Adventures of Tintin, Hergé
Ghost World, Daniel Clowes
The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath
Ethan Frome, Edith Wharton
The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen
A Separate Peace, John Knowles

See the full list (so far) over at the Lisa Simpson Book Club.

Stewie Griffin, Family Guy

The reading list of a true overlord.

The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli (obviously)
The Art Of War by Sun Tzu (obviously)
The Bible

Sawyer, Lost

No matter how much of a grown up you are, we bet if you were stranded on an island, you’d eventually pick up Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret too. Admit it.

The Invention of Morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares
Lancelot by Walker Percy
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Watership Down by Richard Adams
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Evil Under The Sun by Agatha Christie

Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek: The Next Generation

If you were trapped on a flying tin can for seven seasons, which two books would you bring? We think Picard has the right of it.

Ulysses by James Joyce
Every Shakespeare play ever, considering that he always (yes, the book appears in all 7 seasons) has his copy of The Globe Illustrated Shakespeare: The Complete Works by Howard Staunton open to a different page.

Lucas Scott, One Tree Hill

This is just the perfect semi-outsider, semi-tortured, semi-intellectual high school reading list.

The Winter Of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Call of the Wild by Jack London
Sherlock Holmes: The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle


This reminds me that I'm five books behind on my reading challenge for this year