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

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

4.1 8
by Erin Blakemore
 

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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

Overview

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, 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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Marketing consultant Blakemore finds that in moments of struggle and stress she revisits her favorite childhood women authors and their plucky heroines for respite, escape, and perspective. Jane Austen, who broke off an engagement and threw away her last chance at a respectable marriage, poked fun at polite society and its expectations of women in her novels, and she created a self-assured, self-respecting protagonist in Pride and Prejudice's Lizzy Bennet--who also doesn't need a man to complete her even if Lizzy does get a rich, handsome husband in the end. As Blakemore pushes against the boundaries of her own life, she also identifies with selfish Scarlett O'Hara, who, lacking in self-awareness and oblivious to the emotions of others, shoulders life's burdens and moves ahead, "her decisions swift, self-serving, and without compromise." The Little House on the Prairie series reminds Blakemore that when we focus on people and life instead of on material possessions, we learn to acknowledge what really counts. She finds inspiration, too, in Little Women, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, The Color Purple, and Anne of Green Gables, and offers some nuggets of wisdom, but for the most part, her observations are familiar and pat. (Nov.)
Lisa Bonos
Blakemore makes a charming case for rereading…
—The Washington Post
Beatrice.com
“[A] delightful guide to what the heroines of some of the great novels by women writers, and those writers themselves can teach us about life.”
New York Press
“If you’re stumped for your next pleasure book and want to submerse yourself in a literary past sprinkled with powerful, independent women like Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott, Blakemore’s book provides the perfect portal.”
Washington Post
“Blakemore finds comfort and inspiration in revisiting the tales of literature’s leading ladies and exploring the lives of the women who spun them. [She] makes a charming case for rereading.”
Library Journal
In this literary love letter to the heroines and authors of 12 works of classic children's and adult literature, freelance writer Blakemore makes the case that women today can find much inspiration in these characters, e.g., Mary of Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden and Janie of Zora Neal Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God. Among the characteristics she highlights are faith, dignity, compassion, and ambition—not just in the characters she surveys but in the legendary writers who created them, whose personal lives she also examines. Tavia Gilbert's (www.taviagilbert.com) narration is generally good, though she falters occasionally with some accents and dialects. An enjoyable bonus to each chapter are suggestions of additional fictional heroines to discover. For women's studies collections and for lovers of literature.—J. Sara Paulk, Wythe-Grayson Regional Lib., Independence, VA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061958762
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/19/2010
Pages:
200
Product dimensions:
7.66(w) x 11.46(h) x 0.83(d)

Meet the Author

Erin Blakemore learned to drool over Darcy and cry over Little Women in suburban San Diego, California. These days her inner heroine loves roller derby, running her own business, and hiking in her adopted hometown of Boulder, Colorado.

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Heroine's Bookshelf: Life Lessons, from Jane Austen to Laura Ingalls Wilder 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
retromom More than 1 year ago
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. 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!
Mcfan97 More than 1 year ago
I bought this book, thinking that it would be based on a lot of well known books. Only one "heroine" was from a novel that would be a well-read novel (Laura Ingalls Wilder). Would probably be a good book for someone who loved Jane Austen and other authors from that time, but not all that great for someone who loves more modern stories.
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Lady_V73 More than 1 year ago
I have found a new heroine for my bookshelf and her name is Erin Blakemore.
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