Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Heroine's Bookshelf, by Erin Blakemore

The Heroine's Bookshelf: Life Lessons, from Jane Austen to Laura Ingalls WilderFor many female readers, the women in the books we read are more than characters, they are role models.  This book highlights an assembly of heroines, and the life lessons they can teach us.  Who better to teach us about happiness than Anne Shirley?  And no one embodies compassion quite like Scout Finch.  Each woman the brainchild, a literary daughter of a female writer, using her creation to explore some part of herself, and share it with all of us.

I love love pink puffy heart love this book.  First of all I think it is an incredibly inventive concept.  For literary inclined people, who were once literary children like me, these women were more like friends than some of the people with whom I attended school.  I am a sucker for anything Anne Shirley, so I loved that she was included in this tome.

I thought it interesting how Blakemore wove the authors' back stories into the chapters, and was surprised how sometimes they mirrored the stories they wrote and sometimes they were so different.  I also love that each section includes suggestions for when to read the book covered, and other heroines who might be found to embody the same trait.  While many of these books I had already read, I did find a handful of new treasures, as well as some old favorites that bear revisiting.

The book is very female centric, all female writers, all female characters, even in times when women had to struggle to be heard.  Yet it is not overly feminist.  In other words, it would not put off a male reader.  It would however be a great addition to a women in literature class reading list!

In short, I loved the book so much, I wish I was like Ernest Hemingway's cats so I could give this book 4 thumbs up.


A touring review copy of this book was made available by Crazy Book Tours.