Rene's Reviews > The Heroine's Bookshelf: Life Lessons, from Jane Austen to Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Heroine's Bookshelf by Erin Blakemore
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Feb 05, 12

really liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction, book-club-books
Read on February 05, 2012

I was a little skeptical about this book at first. But words in the introduction sang to me and gently tapped my heart, "I am here to posit that it's exactly in these moments of struggle and stress that we need books the most. There's something in the pause to read that's soothing in and of itself. A moment with a book is basic self-care, the king of skill you pass along to your children as you would a security blanket or a churchgoing habit. . . . It reads differently at different junctures in your life, but that's part of the fun." I had not read all the books from which Ms. Blakemore draws her heroines, but I enjoyed reading what she had to say about those I had read. I enjoyed the background on the authors and how they were influenced by events in their lives as they created their fictional characters. Hopefully, I'll pick up the other books she mentions.

I loved the qualities each heroine represented: self, faith, happiness, dignity, family ties, indulgence, fight, compassion, simplicity, steadfastness, ambition, and magic. At the end of each chapter, she recommends times in life when it would be good to read that particular book. The author also suggests literary sisters to each of the heroines she chose for her book offering us another list of recommended books to read for each quality.

The chapters I read included: Anne of Green Gables, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Gone With The Wind, The Long Winter, and Little Women. I can't remember enough details from Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre or To Kill a Mockingbird to claim them though I read them many years ago. I'll have to reread them before going to these essays. I hope to read the others and then some of the additional recommended books.

The other thing I like about the edition I have is that it measures 5 1/4" x 7 3/8". I think there was wisdom in printing the book this size: it's a little treasure.
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Heather Oh I'm so glad you liked this book!


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