Title: The Heroine’s Bookshelf: Life Lessons from Jane Austen to Laura Ingalls Wilder
Author: Erin Blakemore
Release Date: October 19, 2010
Genre: Non-Fiction, Essays
Source: Curled Up With a Good Book
Rating: 4 out of 5
In this little book, author Erin Blakemore discusses her favorite female authors from childhood, the remarkable heroines they created, and what women today can learn from both author and characters.
I was an avid reader as a child and learned a lot from the women I read about. From Anne Shirley to Laura Ingalls Wilder, I absolutely loved these characters; in some ways, they feel like home to me. Therefore, when I heard about The Heroine’s Bookshelf, I was intrigued. I was excited to discover what new nuggets of wisdom Erin Blakemore had for me regarding the authors and characters I grew up with.
In The Heroine’s Bookshelf, Blakemore focuses on the lives and circumstances of different female authors, from Harper Lee to Louisa May Alcott to Zora Neale Hurston, and tries to help the reader understand the places they were in when they wrote their books. Then she takes on the characters they wrote, the ones that she and so many others admire, and tries to discern how the character relates to the author, and what women can learn from them. It makes for interesting reading, especially if you are very familiar with the book that Blakemore is describing.
I learned a lot from The Heroine’s Bookshelf. There was one author I’d never even heard of, and I vowed to rectify that. I was taught little tidbits I didn’t know about the authors and books I loved – for example, Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote the Little House series as historical fiction, and not a memoir. Louisa May Alcott wrote Little Women in just a few weeks, for money. Blakemore also reminded me of the joys of rereading old favorites, something I haven’t done nearly as much since I’ve been blogging. This book made me want to pick up books such as The Secret Garden and Anne of Green Gables and find the delight in them that I did as a child.
The Heroine’s Bookshelf is a wonderful book that I recommend for any female who is an avid reader, regardless of age. For young women, this book may serve as an introduction to different authors and heroines and inspire them to learn what they can from these books. For more experienced readers, this book will be a wonderful reminder of the power of books and is a great tribute to a lifelong love affair with reading.