The Heroine's Bookshelf: Life Lessons, from Jane Austen to Laura Ingalls Wilder
An exploration of classic heroines and their equally admirable authors, The Heroine's Bookshelf shows today's women how to tap into their inner strengths and live life with intelligence and grace.
Jo March, Scarlett O'Hara, Scout Finch—the literary canon is brimming with intelligent, feisty, never-say-die heroines and celebrated female authors. Like today's women, the...more
Here's the full lineup:
Self - Austen, P&P, Elizabeth Bennet
Faith - Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie Crawford
Happiness - L.M. Montgomery, Anne of GG, Anne Shirley
Dignity - Alice Walker, The Color Purple, Celie
Family Ties - Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Francie Noaln
It was interesting to read about the lives of the authors (which is why this gets two stars instead of one), but the lack of references disturbed, even incensed, me. There is no way Erin Blakemore did original research on the ...more
But I sat and read this (in one sitting) and actually found myself enjoying it. It's not the deepest thing I've read all year, but then Blakemore never claims it is. What she want ...more
I strongly disagree with the author's worldview, and I didn't expect the book to be steeped in such a relativistic, hedonistic, secular ideology. She constantly returns to the theme of self-fulfillment as being the highest good, and "self" as being the only constant. As a Christian, that ...more
Obviously, this is something that I completely believe. While I haven’t read every novel referenced in this book, I’ve read most of them and it was delightful to get to see my friends again. (And yes, I DO think of Mary Lennox, Francie ...more
Call me a coward if you will, but when the line between duty and sanity blurs, you can usually find me curled up with a battered book, reading as if my ment ...more
In her introduction, Blakemore talks abut the need to read and find inspiration, especially when times are difficult. She also mentions how she has turned to literary heroines throughout her own life in times of upheaval ...more
With heroines as varied as Scout Finch and Jane Eyre, created by women who have little in common with one another beyond gender, there is much to see here. Blakemore provides some biographical information on each of the authors, talking about some of the diffi ...more
Each chapter is devoted to a life lesson learned from a particular favorite book. We learn about each writer's life & specific book, then Blakemore gently intersperses bits about her own life into the narrative to demonstrate how this book enriched her life. My favorite elements were learning about each writer. I had no idea that L.M. Montgomery suffered so from depression or actually didn't die of heart failure, but took her own life. How Collette's heroine ...more
I really enjoyed how each chapter started with a little bit about the author and then tied it into her heroine in the second half of each chapter.
I'd read some reviews that thought this read like an essay, but I thought it was a light and fun, and the author's love of reading and these particular books was really infectious.
The Heroine's Bookshelf by Erin Blakemore
This book is a book for book lovers. The author chronicles major female characters (Jo March, Scout Finch, Jane Eyre) and details what these characters have taught her and brought to her life. She ends each character section with recommendations of when to read these books and what other books readers may enjoy. It was a nice, quick literary read.
Review originally posted at The Librarian Next Door:
Classical literature is classic for a reason: the stories – and characters – have weathered the changes in time and history and yet have still remained beloved. Fictional characters become real to readers, forging literary friendships and delighting us over and over again with adventures that never seem to grow old. Indeed, where would I be – where would any of us be – without Lizzie Bennett, Anne Shirley or Laura Ingalls? There heroines played ...more
In this book, the author has skillfully collected little vignette biographies (no more than 15-20 pages each) of 12 classic authors - all women, who wrote about women. In addition to the author biographies, author Blakemore also engages one of their famous heroines, and then passionately sets forth a case as to what life lesson we can still continue to derive from said heroine, and draws analogies to other similar heroines, ripe for the re-reading. The ...more
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Call me a coward if you will, but when the line between duty and sanity blurs, you can usually find me curled up with a battered book, reading as if my mental health depended on it. And it does, for inside the books I love I find food, respite, escape, and perspective.”