10 Books Like Gilmore Girls

Books Like Gilmore Girls

Looking for some kickass reads that capture the charm and wit of Gilmore Girls? 

Dive into this curated list of books that evoke the same cozy small-town vibes, quick-witted dialogue, and heartwarming relationships. Whether you’re a die-hard fan of the beloved TV series or simply craving some literary companionship akin to the Gilmore world, we’ve got you covered. 

Let’s embark on a journey through literature that feels like coming home to Stars Hollow.

Books Like Gilmore Girls

1. “The Probable Future” by Alice Hoffman

This novel weaves the tale of the Sparrow women, who possess unique gifts that have shaped their family’s destiny for generations. Stella, the youngest of the lineage, inherits the ability to see how others will die, a gift that leads to both isolation and profound insight. 

As Stella struggles to come to terms with her ability, she, along with her mother and grandmother, confronts the challenges of love, family secrets, and the bonds that tie them together.

Major Similarities: 

“The Probable Future” shares with “Gilmore Girls” the theme of strong, multigenerational female relationships. The dynamic between Stella, her mother, and her grandmother mirrors the close-knit, complex relationship between Lorelai, Rory, and Emily Gilmore. 

Additionally, both the book and the show explore the challenges of dealing with unique family legacies and the journey toward self-discovery and acceptance within the context of these relationships.

2. “The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets” by Eva Rice

Set in the 1950s, this novel tells the story of Penelope Wallace, a young woman living in the shadow of her family’s former glory in a crumbling English estate. 

Penelope’s life takes a turn when she befriends the glamorous Charlotte, leading to a series of adventures that include rock ‘n’ roll, love, and discovering family secrets. As Penelope navigates these experiences, she learns about friendship, love, and finding her own way in the world.

Major Similarities: 

Like “Gilmore Girls,” “The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets” centers on themes of friendship, the mother-daughter relationship, and the pursuit of one’s dreams against a backdrop of societal expectations. 

The novel’s portrayal of strong female characters and their relationships, coupled with a charming and somewhat quirky community, echoes the heartwarming and humorous atmosphere found in Stars Hollow.

3. “Garden Spells” by Sarah Addison Allen

In the small town of Bascom, North Carolina, the Waverley family is known for their peculiar garden, which has a reputation for its magical influence. Claire Waverley has embraced her family legacy, using her talents to cater local events with her mystical edible flowers. 

When her long-lost sister Sydney returns to town with her young daughter, the two sisters must reconcile their past and navigate their futures. The novel is a blend of magic realism, romance, and family dynamics.

Major Similarities: 

“Garden Spells” captures the essence of small-town life and the complexity of female relationships, much like “Gilmore Girls.” Both stories feature strong, independent women facing life’s challenges while surrounded by a close-knit community that sometimes blurs the line between family and friends. 

The magical elements in “Garden Spells” parallel the whimsical, almost magical feel of Stars Hollow, with its unique traditions and quirky residents.

4. “The Friday Night Knitting Club” by Kate Jacobs

This novel centers around Georgia Walker, who runs a knitting store in Manhattan where she hosts a weekly knitting club. The club becomes a source of support, friendship, and empowerment for a diverse group of women who navigate various life challenges. 

As the members bond over yarn and stitches, they share their joys, heartaches, and love, ultimately creating a makeshift family.

Major Similarities: 

“The Friday Night Knitting Club” shares with “Gilmore Girls” the theme of community and the importance of female friendships and support systems. 

The knitting club, much like the community of Stars Hollow, provides a backdrop for the exploration of life’s ups and downs through the lens of strong, resilient women. The emphasis on the importance of a chosen family echoes the relationships seen in “Gilmore Girls.”

5. “The Bookish Life of Nina Hill” by Abbi Waxman

Nina Hill’s life is perfectly organized and peaceful, filled with work at a bookstore, her trivia team, and her beloved books. However, her world is turned upside down when she discovers the existence of a family she never knew about. 

As Nina ventures out of her comfort zone to connect with her new relatives, she confronts her anxieties, explores new relationships, and learns the value of embracing the unexpected.

Major Similarities: 

“The Bookish Life of Nina Hill” shares the witty dialogue, charming characters, and the theme of self-discovery found in “Gilmore Girls.” Both stories celebrate the importance of books and culture in shaping identity and connections. 

Nina’s journey to understand her place within her newfound family and the broader world mirrors Rory’s exploration of her ambitions and relationships outside of Stars Hollow.

6. “The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry” by Gabrielle Zevin

This novel tells the story of A.J. Fikry, the curmudgeonly owner of Island Books, whose life is transformed by a series of unexpected events, including the arrival of a mysterious package that forces him to reconsider his outlook on life. 

As A.J. opens his heart and his bookstore to the community, he discovers the power of transformation, love, and second chances. The story is a celebration of books and their ability to connect us.

Major Similarities: 

Similar to “Gilmore Girls,” “The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry” emphasizes the importance of community and the transformative power of relationships and literature. 

The small-town setting and the ensemble of quirky characters who gather around the bookstore echo the tight-knit community of Stars Hollow. 

Both narratives explore themes of personal growth, redemption, and the impact of a close community on individuals’ lives.

7. “The Weird Sisters” by Eleanor Brown

This engaging novel revolves around the Andreas family, particularly the three sisters who return to their childhood home to care for their ailing mother. 

As they confront their past and their uncertain futures, they grapple with their complex relationships with each other and their own identities, influenced heavily by their Shakespearean professor father. 

The story delves into family dynamics, the love of literature, and the paths we take in life.

Major Similarities: 

“The Weird Sisters” shares with “Gilmore Girls” a focus on family relationships, especially among women, and the impact of those dynamics on personal growth and life choices. Both narratives highlight the importance of coming to terms with one’s family and history. The emphasis on literature and its role in character development and storytelling mirrors the intellectual and cultural themes present in “Gilmore Girls.”

8. “The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend” by Katarina Bivald

When Sara travels from Sweden to the small town of Broken Wheel, Iowa, to meet her pen pal, Amy, she arrives only to find that Amy has passed away. 

Deciding to stay in the town, Sara opens a bookstore using Amy’s vast collection of books, which slowly begins to change the town and its inhabitants. This heartwarming tale explores themes of friendship, love, and the rejuvenating power of books.

Major Similarities: 

The novel captures the essence of a small community’s impact on an individual’s life, reminiscent of “Gilmore Girls.” 

The transformation of Sara and the town of Broken Wheel through the love of books and community spirit mirrors the transformative experiences of the characters in Stars Hollow. 

The emphasis on starting anew and the power of friendships and relationships aligns closely with the themes explored in “Gilmore Girls.”

9. “Attachments” by Rainbow Rowell

Set in the late 1990s, “Attachments” follows Lincoln, an IT guy who falls for Beth, a movie critic, by reading her email conversations at work. 

Although they have never met, Lincoln feels deeply connected to Beth through her words. The novel is a mix of romance and humor, exploring themes of love, destiny, and the ethics of privacy in a unique and engaging manner.

Major Similarities: 

Like “Gilmore Girls,” “Attachments” features witty dialogue and a focus on relationships developed in unconventional ways. The novel’s emphasis on character development through dialogue and internal monologues is reminiscent of the fast-paced, reference-laden exchanges between Rory and Lorelai. 

Both stories also explore the complexities of modern relationships and the idea of finding connection in unexpected places.

10. “Summer Sisters” by Judy Blume

“Summer Sisters” delves into the lives of Victoria “Vix” Leonard and Caitlin Somers, who form an unlikely friendship that spans many years and life stages. 

Their summers on Martha’s Vineyard are filled with secrets, love, and the pains of growing up. As they navigate the transition from adolescence to adulthood, their friendship is tested by the choices they make.

Major Similarities: 

The exploration of female friendship and the transition from youth to adulthood are central themes in both “Summer Sisters” and “Gilmore Girls.” 

The novel’s focus on the complexities of friendship, love, and personal growth mirrors the journey of Rory and Lorelai, as well as their relationships with others in Stars Hollow. 

The setting of Martha’s Vineyard, with its sense of community and place, shares the thematic importance of setting in shaping character and story as seen in “Gilmore Girls.”

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