Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Heroine's Bookshelf

The Heroine's Bookshelf by Erin Blakemore

Summary from Goodreads

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, they placed a premium on personality, spirituality, career, sisterhood, and family. When they were up against the wall, authors like Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott fought back—sometimes with words, sometimes with gritty actions. In this witty, informative, and inspiring read, their stories offer much-needed literary intervention to modern women.

Full of beloved heroines and the remarkable writers who created them, The Heroine's Bookshelf explores how the pluck and dignity of literary characters such as Jane Eyre and Lizzy Bennet can encourage women today.

Each legendary character is paired with her central quality—Anne Shirley is associated with irrepressible "Happiness," while Scarlett O'Hara personifies "Fight"—along with insights into her author's extraordinary life. From Zora Neale Hurston to Colette, Laura Ingalls Wilder to Charlotte BrontË, Harper Lee to Alice Walker, here are authors and characters whose spirited stories are more inspiring today than ever.

My Thoughts

This book is a delight! Erin Blakemore has done a fabulous job gathering some of the most beloved women characters and their authors to point out their strengths and how they relate to us today. I especially loved the chapters on Laura Ingalls Wilder and Jo of Little Women. I found each chapter full of insights that I had never thought of previously. The chapters are broken down as follows:

1. Self- Lizzy Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austin
2. Faith-Janie Crawford in Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston
3. Happiness- Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables, by Lucy Maud Montgomery
4. Dignity- Celie in The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
5. Family Ties- Francie Nolan in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith
6. Indulgence- Claudine in Colette's Claudine novels
7. Fight- Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
8. Compassion- Scout Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
9. Simplicity- Laura Ingalls Wilder in The Long Winter, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
10. Steadfastness- Jane Eyre in Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte
11. Ambition- Jo March in Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
12. Magic- Mary Lennox in The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

At the end of each chapter are suggestions as to when to read the book, some of which I found most hilarious. I love a good sense of humor and Erin Blakemore seems to have one. Also are other book suggestions at the end of each chapter. I found this delightful little book full of encouragement, inspiration and a few laughs too. I highly recommend this book! It would make a fabulous gift for fellow readers! This book has found a permanent home on my bookshelf. It's a keeper!

There is also a challenge being hosted by Janel at Bibliophibian - encouraging the love of books. I have not joined the challenge as of yet. I am trying not to join to many challenges this year but I sure am tempted to join up.


  1. That's it, I have to get this book. It sounds just wonderful. I've already picked my challenges but I may have to check this one out.

  2. So glad you liked this one! I loved it too!

  3. This sounds like a great book, the kind that be a keeper on my bookshelves.
    Thanks for the review :)

  4. I haven't heard of this one before, but it sounds really interesting! I must add this to my wish list.


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