The Heroine's Bookshelf
The literary canon is filled with intelligent, feisty, never-say-die heroines, and legendary female authors. Like today's women, they too placed a premium on personality, spirituality, career, sisterhood, and family. When their backs were against the wall, characters like Scarlett O'Hara, Jo March, Jane Eyre, and Elizabeth Bennet fought back—sometimes with words, sometimes...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
Each chapter takes on a characteristic of a modern day heroine, and then shows how a famous author and the beloved classic heroine she wrote embody those characteristics. So the chapter about compassion talks about Harper Lee and Scout; the chapter about dignity talks about a fighting spirit concerns Margaret Mitchell and Scarlet O'Hara, etc. I found the biographical information about the authors to be the most interesting parts- I was astounded to discover that Lucy Maud...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
I am ashamed to admit that half the stories in this book have yet to be read by me. That IS something I intend to fix (and one reason why this book should be sitting on your shelf – it has a fantastic list of titles inside that should make up an important part of your TBR list).
So, I did not read every essay – mostly because I don’t want to spoil the stories. I did, however, read every essay of the books I’ve read and I found them enchanting.
One of the things I’m learn...more
Part biography, part history lesson, Blakemore reveals each a...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
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
4 1/2 STARS! This book packs wisdom, life lessons and the joy of reading all into a delightful package. Erin Blakemore takes famous literary writers, their fictional main characters, and translates the combination into coping mechanisms for today’s modern world. “The Heroine’s Bookshelf” explains twelve authors’ biographies and mixes their imaginary leading ladies to create 12 life lessons.
In real life, we discover that Louisa May Alcott was over worked, used morphine, and, had to write “Little...more
She includes background of the author as well. This was perhaps my favorite part, learning things about authors I've long held in high esteem and reminding me tha...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
Self: Lizzy Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
Faith: Janie Crawford in Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston
Happiness: Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables, by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Dignity: Celie in The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
Family Ties: Francie Nolan in A Tree Grows in Brookl...more
Really, Erin had me at the first page.....
"In times of struggle, there are as many reason not to read as there are to breath. Don't you have better things to do? reading, let alone rereading, is the terrain of milquetoasts and mopey spinsters. At life's uglies junctures, they ver act of opening a book can smack of cowardly es...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
The Heroine's Bookshelf was a great read. Blakemore weaves the unknown stories of s...more
I enjoyed some chapters more t...more
Yes, that means I have never read Anne of Green Gables or Pride and Prejudice or most of the other works covered. But I've read many a book review that left me eager and willing to read the book discussed. The author didn't write he...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