The Heroine's Bookshelf: Life Lessons, from Jane Austen to Laura Ingalls Wilder - Erin Blakemore This book has been on my "currently-reading" shelf for forever now because I've been skipping around reading a chapter here and a chapter there. Each chapter is an essay on a famous heroine who has stood the test of time and inspired generations of women throughout the different stages of their lives. These heroines are the girls and women we turn to when we need comfort or familiarity; they are steadfast companions in our ever-changing lives. Erin Blakemore speaks to the reader like an old friend discussing some of her most cherished, favorite people. It's calming and soothing as well as refreshing to hear someone so passionate about the same books that I have loved too. She knows exactly how to articulate that warm fuzzy feeling I get when I read these books and attempts to explain why people love these characters so much. Blakemore also shines some light on the authors, giving interesting and surprising accounts of their lives and how they relate to their most famous characters. At the end of each chapter she gives some examples of times when you should read each specific book to best appreciate it, and then offers some literary sisters of the heroine you've just read about. I haven't read all the chapters yet because I haven't read all of the books they cover yet, so I don't want to ruin anything for myself. I love this book so far though and I'm very happy I purchased it. I'll definitely want to read it again in the future, especially after I've read one of the books she discusses. She points out things I missed in the novels and helps me better understand the women behind them. Here are the chapters and the morals/lessons that they teach (the bold ones are the essays/books I have yet to read):

1. Self: Lizzy Bennet in Pride and Prejudice
2. Faith: Janie Crawford in Their Eyes Were Watching God
3. Happiness: Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables
4. Dignity: Celie in The Color Purple
5. Family Ties: Francie Nolan in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
6. Indulgence: Claudine in Claudine
7. Fight: Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind
8. Compassion: Scout Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird
9. Simplicity: Laura Ingalls in The Long Winter
10. Steadfastness: Jane Eyre in Jane Eyre
11. Ambition: Jo March in Little Women
12. Magic: Mary Lennox in [b:The Secret Garden|2998|The Secret Garden|Frances Hodgson Burnett|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/5150Q2WZDFL._SL75_.jpg|3186437]