There’s something about returning to your childhood home for the holidays that instantly transforms you into your younger self. It makes no difference if you’ve been out of the house for years now—as soon as you step through the door, you’re sixteen again. From pop psychology to pop culture, regressing to adolescence over the holidays is a recurring theme. And if we can’t avoid it, we might as well embrace it.
We’re channeling our holiday regression with our favorite heroine from high school: Rory Gilmore. Fifteen years ago, when Gilmore Girls first premiered on the WB, Rory made for an atypical leading lady on a primetime teen-based drama. She was intelligent, introverted, and best of all, a voracious reader. As her mom says in season 3, “If you see a teen walking around with a halo and a book, that’s my daughter, Rory.” This holiday season, ditch the teenage angst and make like Rory with a few throwback reads from our high school years.
When the family feuds start sparking, make like a “wallflower” and retreat with this cult-favorite coming of age story.
You may have Spark Noted-ed this one back in high school, but now it’s time to give Dickens’s classic a full-fledge read.
Doubles as a passive aggressive statement for those whose childhood rooms were transformed into an at-home gym.
Simultaneously hilarious and profoundly moving, Dave Eggers’s debut will make you appreciate even the most exasperating moments with family.
Family got you down? Laugh out loud with with this collection of comedic essays from David Sedaris.
A title that tells mom, “Don’t bother me, I’m reading.”
Find more “solitude” away from family time with Gabriel García Márquez’s widely beloved and acclaimed novel.
What would a Rory Gilmore book list be without Leo Tolstoy’s classic story of doomed love? Ironically, she mentions this as one of her favorite reads to then-boyfriend Dean (ugh) in season one.