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How to Be a Heroine
How to Be a Heroine: Or, What I've Learned from Reading too Much | Samantha Ellis
52 posts | 47 read | 160 to read
While debating literatures greatest heroines with her best friend, thirtysomething playwright Samantha Ellis has a revelationher whole life, she's been trying to be Cathy Earnshaw of Wuthering Heights when she should have been trying to be Jane Eyre. With this discovery, she embarks on a retrospective look at the literary ladiesthe characters and the writerswhom she has loved since childhood. From early obsessions with the March sisters to her later idolization of Sylvia Plath, Ellis evaluates how her heroines stack up today. And, just as she excavates the stories of her favorite characters, Ellis also shares a frank, often humorous account of her own life growing up in a tight-knit Iraqi Jewish community in London. Here a life-long reader explores how heroines shape all our lives.From the Trade Paperback edition.
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EmilieGR
Pickpick

Part biography, part self help, part love letter to books

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RavenLovelyReads
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Busy month, but I finished my #LMPBC just in time! @suvata it was fun being in your group and thank you for hosting. Your book will be on its way home!

suvata You are very welcome! 12mo
suvata @RavenLovelyReads I never got How to be a Heroine back. Do you remember when you mailed it? I sure hope it didn‘t get lost in transit. 11mo
RavenLovelyReads Hi Sue- I apologize- it isn‘t lost...I‘ve had a crazy few weeks and haven‘t gotten to the post. I very much apologize and will send it right out. Again- I‘m so sorry for the delay. 11mo
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suvata @RavenLovelyReads That for letting me know. I will let you know when it arrives. 10mo
RavenLovelyReads Thanks for being so understanding- I wrote you a note, but I couldn‘t find a card anywhere in the house, soooo.....enjoy your Christmas card in April! 😜 Please let me know when it arrives 😘😘 10mo
RavenLovelyReads @suvata I‘m almost embarrassed to ask, but have you received your book yet? You should have gotten it by now- otherwise I can dig through my purses and look for the receipt from the post office and give them a call. 10mo
suvata @RavenLovelyReads Oh yes. I forgot to post something here but I got it a couple of days ago. Thank you so much. 10mo
49 likes7 comments
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RavenLovelyReads
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Sock Sunday!

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RavenLovelyReads
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Why so many purple books you ask? To support and raise awareness to eating disorders! In Canada, Feb 1-7 is eating disorder week and they are raising awareness by asking for purple posts- the color of the cause. #EDAwareness

Briget66 So pretty!! 13mo
RavenLovelyReads @Briget66 Thank you! 😘 13mo
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HardcoverHarlot
Pickpick

Loved it.

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HardcoverHarlot
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Hello, fellow #24in48 readathoners! I‘m going to casually do this readathon this weekend, so I doubt I‘ll hit 24 hours (I‘m not even going to track it), but I do hope to get some good reading time in before my next masters class starts on Monday. I‘m currently about a fourth of the way through this gem, so finishing this is my first goal of the ‘thon. Merry reading!

Godmotherx5 I like the casual idea. 13mo
26 likes1 comment
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RavenLovelyReads
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Wow! Look what I got in the mail today! My #LMPBC #Round4 buddies are amazing! I‘ll going to put mine in the mail tomorrow! @Kappadeemom Thanks- it got here safely! 😉

Kappadeemom 👍 13mo
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Kappadeemom
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collegecatlady
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Mehso-so

Just finished this up for #lmpbc and I just found it okay. I enjoyed the concept of an autobiography told through book heroines but it didn‘t come together for me. I had to force myself to finish it. I also haven‘t read many of the novels discussed in this book and now I feel no desire to because the author spoiled everything about the novels in her summaries of them. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

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suvata
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Pickpick

Read for Litsy Markup Postal Book Club (#LMPBC) Round 4 - Group M.

This was a great book about books. Upon reading it my TBR has grown exponentially.

RavenLovelyReads I‘m glad to hear that! I like books that make want to read other books 🙃 1y
suvata @RavenLovelyReads Me too. I just love books about books. For some reason I‘ve been reading a lot of them lately. 1y
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suvata
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#LMPBC Round 004 - Group M
@RavenLovelyReads @suvata @Collegecatlady @Kappadeemom

I‘m hoping you will bear with me for a week or so. In the last three weeks I have sold my house in South Florida, packed everything in Pods, bought a house in Tallahassee. We are closing on that house today. Then have half to have the Pods unpacked. Needless say, I‘m a bit overwhelmed. I suspect I can mail the book out within a week. Sorry for any inconvenience.

RavenLovelyReads Im sending yours out today- I totally understand...we just moved into our home last month. Can you please verify that I mail my book to you? Thank you. 1y
Kappadeemom Whoo Hoo! I work in Tallahassee! Small world! 1y
Wife Wow! Lots of changes for you. I hope all goes well! 🌹 1y
suvata Thanks, ladies. Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do. Moving is not one of my favorite things. But, in a month I‘ll probably feel right at home. LOL 1y
45 likes4 comments
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suvata
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Finally starting my #LMPBC Round 4 book. 💜

thegreensofa It all matches! 😍❤️ 1y
suvata @thegreensofa Can you tell you I love purple? LOL (edited) 1y
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suvata
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Hey, fellow Group M readers. I‘ve been thinking of reading this for Round 4.

#LMPBC Round 004 - Group M
@RavenLovelyReads @suvata @Collegecatlady @Kappadeemom

collegecatlady This sounds awesome! I would love to read this 1y
RavenLovelyReads Sounds great! 1y
kspenmoll Loved this book- think you will all enjoy- or I hope you do! (edited) 1y
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Suet624
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@kspenmoll has been a real heroine in my world. 😁 Over the last few months she‘s sent me books to read, toys for the little ones I spend my days with, and long letters to dive into. She offers such kindness and caring to a Litsy friend. 💕💕

TrishB The power of Litsy 💕 1y
Emilymdxn This is so lovely! And how to be a heroine is an amazing book too 1y
saresmoore So wonderful! ♥️♥️♥️ 1y
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batsy ❤️❤️ 1y
LeahBergen 💕💕💕 1y
Reggie Awesome!!!! 1y
rohit-sawant 💜💜 1y
kspenmoll Thank you my friend. ❤️❤️ 1y
kspenmoll @TrishB You are so right; the power of Litsy to open up new worlds, new friends, new books is beyond amazing. Such a caring community we have all be part of creating for each other. 💕💕💕 1y
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kspenmoll
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kspenmoll
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#MakeMeReadIt #rainnyday #coffeeandbooks #groundedcoffeeco
Back in Willimantic in Grounded Coffee Co. -wish it were closer. Flat White, Raisin bagel &!cream cheese.
About to dive into this book‘s next chapter titled “Esther Greenwood” Happy I reread The Bell Jar this spring with #thebelljarinas hosted by @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks & @Nuwanda

readordierachel Looks like a good morning! 2y
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kspenmoll
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#evening #birdsong #porchlife #MakeMeReadIt
One beautiful day, less hot, blue sky-rain rain rain ☔️ predicted for the next two weeks- so I am savoring tonight on my porch.Trying to be hopeful for a sudden weather change, splash of sun- even its its HOT!!!

Ellis continues to reflect on female characters in novels that provided models along the way as she grew & changed & struggled against the confines of her refugee Iraqi Jewish family & culture.

Cathythoughts Beautiful beautiful porch 2y
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kspenmoll
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#MakeMeReadIt #AnneJoLizzyJuliet
So thoroughly enjoying this book & the author‘s perspective.Her adult take on Little Women,& contrast between Louisa May Alcott‘s life and Jo March‘s,rings true.Not having read the book since childhood, my pleasure in it for sure would be different if I reread it after reading Ellis‘s perspectives.So much to process, review & reflect in as I read. Pic taken while at son‘s nutritionist. Wanted that portrait in pic!

LeahBergen You‘re making me want to pick this one up right away! 2y
Suet624 This book sounds so good. 2y
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kspenmoll
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#MakeMeReadIt #AnneandGilbert #Anneof GreenGables
Being transported back to Anne‘s world right now as I read about her through this author‘s eyes.
1 am reading 2 #MakeMeReadIt books at same time as I seem to need more brain power & attention when reading non fiction. Also reading Less.

rohit-sawant I have this on my shelf! Looking forward to start with it soon as I cross Valley of the Dolls & Cold Comfort Farm off my TBR. 2y
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kspenmoll
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#MakeMeReadIt
Only 21 pages in, but loving this author already. Her mother, an Iraqi Jew, fled Bagdad because of her persecution, and imprisonment. Successful at her second escape attempt, she got to London where she met and married her husband, another displaced Iraqi Jew at the age of 21. “ She was my first heroine.” States the author.

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Bathilda
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Perfect day for tea and reading on this rainy day.
#rain #tea #reading

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balletbookworm
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#riotgrams Day 3 - favorite title! After perusing my bookshelves (and laying on the floor of my office to ponder while my dinner digested), I have come to the conclusion that I don‘t have a favorite title? Eh? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ So I decided to pick a book I loved but haven‘t talked about in a while. A lovely memoir told through the books she read growing up in an Iraqi Jewish family in London. #books @bookriot

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EscapedAcademic
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1. Print. I always have an ebook going, and sometimes an audiobook, but nothing beats that feel of a real book in my hands.
2. The blue cushy chair I‘ve had for 10 years, where my cat likes to sit with me. 3. Hot black tea.
4. Multiple. Never know what mood I‘ll be in. Trying to keep it to four at the moment. 5. Day. I read a little at night but get sleepy too fast. Early Saturday afternoon is the best.

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Ke633
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#SpinePoetry #riotgrams I‘m clearly not a poet. 😂

Amabear Love it!!! 2y
34 likes1 comment
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rohit-sawant
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Recent #bookmail! It's going to be awhile before I'm able to crack it open, since I've only read some of the books Samantha Ellis discusses, and the rest on the right are still on my TBR.
Few issues into Anne of Green Gables on Serial Reader and loving it!
Extra motivated to wrap my Halloween TBR, which I'm still working through. 😳
#TBRwoes

LeahBergen I have this one (as you know 😄) and want to read a few that I‘ve somehow missed over the years, too (Cold Comfort Farm and What Katy Did are waiting on my shelves). 2y
batsy @LeahBergen I think you guys will love CCF 😊 2y
rohit-sawant @LeahBergen I have such a backlog of books as well. I fell in love with reading in my late teens and missed out on a lot of books I would've enjoyed as a kid and still have quite a few classics I need to catch up on. 2y
48 likes3 comments
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Lissa00
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@slategreyskies @DarcysMom @Beckys_Books These have all been on my tbr forever. Have you read any of them? #lmpbc

DarcysMom I haven't read any of them. They all look fascinating. 🤓 2y
suvata Bel Canto is so good 2y
irre I finally read The Sparrow a couple of months ago. I really liked it. 2y
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DreesReads I loved Bel Canto! 2y
slategreyskies They all look great! I‘ve had Bel Canto on my TBR for years! I‘d forgotten about it. 🌻 2y
Lcsmcat Sparrow is good, but Bel Canto is my favorite of these, hands down. 2y
jillannjohn Bel Canto is awesome. 2y
Beckys_Books I've read Bel Canto and The Sparrow. Loved them both. 2y
Alytrue Love love Bel Canto. And the Sparrow is on my TBR as well! 2y
CoffeeAndABook Bel Canto!! 2y
Dolly Just started Bel Canto 2y
LisaJo Read The Sparrow. Still haunts me. 2y
Lissa00 @DarcysMom @Beckys_Books @slategreyskies Thanks for the input. I want it to be a little surprise, but not something everyone read and disliked:) 2y
Lissa00 Thanks for the recs! I only wish there were more reading hours in the day😜📚. @suvata @irre @AudreyMorris @Lcsmcat @jillannjohn @Alytrue @CoffeeAndABook @Dolly @LisaJo 2y
Soubhiville The Sparrow is one of my favorites I‘ve read so far this year! 2y
JulAnna ❤️The Sparrow 2y
Kristelh I would recommend The Sparrow. Bel Canto is good, too but Sparrow is better. 2y
ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled Loved The Sparrow, bailed early on Bel Canto 🤷‍♀️ 2y
102 likes18 comments
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Ja_Mez
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Panpan

How to be a Heroine by Samantha Ellis.

The title and the content seems promising. A book about books. And one that summarizes and talks about the feminist roles in some of Ellis' favorite books and stories. Unfortunately, this read as a series of ramblings about stories such as Little Women or Wuthering Heights and how they loosely relate to Ellis' own journey in life.

#litsyatoz #letterh

Mommamanzi Ah man, I got this a while back guess I'm going to put it at the bottom of my tbr pile! Lol 3y
Ja_Mez @Mommamanzi I know. I got this a while back too and finally took the time to read it. Maybe if I had read more of the books that are referenced in this collection of musings, I might have been able to connect more. 3y
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Andrea313
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Pickpick

This is not only right up my alley, it's the friggin' map of my alley. #currentlyreading

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LeahBergen
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rubyslippersreads I think I need to reread the Scarlett chapter since the #gwtwreadalong. 😀 3y
Moray_Reads Love that cover! 3y
emilyhaldi Love this!! 3y
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Reviewsbylola Love this! 3y
Zelma That sounds like a lot of fun....Oh look, I had already stacked it. 🙄😆 3y
Avanders Oh! I have this in a new cover... didn't realize it'd been around for a while! Love that cover! 3y
Chrissyreadit I have been looking at the reviews for this book- and I really like this cover. Did you end up liking it? 13mo
LeahBergen @Chrissyreadit I haven‘t read it yet! 🙄 I loved her second (?) book, though 13mo
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Casmt
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I added this book to TBR months ago but decided I had some homework to do first. I had only read a few of the classics mentioned (looked at chapter headings) so this book feels a little more important than usual. No pressure.
Photo credit: https://www.google.com.au/amp/bookriot.com/2014/01/01/illustrated-guide-buying-c...

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Graciouswarriorprincess
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My library holds came in today!#bookhaul

Cortg Mine are out of control! 3y
Graciouswarriorprincess @Cortg Mine isn't only because the catalog isn't as big as AACPL, Baltimore County or Howard County. I miss you all and having access to three library systems. 😁 3y
Cortg @Graciouswarriorprincess Oh No! I do take the library access for granted here. I just returned and picked up an item from BCPL yesterday. 😘 3y
Graciouswarriorprincess @Cortg I love Cary but the library system just doesn't have what home had! 😉 3y
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Ellen
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Mehso-so

Finally finished this after months of dipping in and out! Loved the concept (and the subtitle) - revisiting favorite childhood literary heroines with an adult's perspective - but so it was disappointing that I didn't relate to the author and realized that I haven't read enough of the classics to be familiar with the heroines. Check to see if you've read enough of the books - I got much more out of those chapters. #booksaboutbooks

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jenniferw88

If any UK Littens are free this weekend there is this event at the British Library taking place. It's about unusual libraries and I know #LitsylovesLibraries. Unfortunately I can't make it but it looks interesting.
https://www.bl.uk/events/the-idler-presents-in-praise-of-unusual-libraries?utm_m...

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jenniferw88
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Pickpick

5 ⭐
I did warn you that I would complete this book in a day! 😂
#LitsyAtoZ E ✅
#ReadHarder2017 About Books ✅
@bookriot @BookishMarginalia

Casmt How goes the resolutions? I picked up this book months ago and decided to read the books mentioned first (the main chapter heading anyway!) So I hope I enjoy it, I've never done so much homework to read a book before! 3y
jenniferw88 @Casmact number of heroines found: 0; books read relevant to the resolutions: 9!! 3y
Casmt Haha! That's a start! Which classics are you reading? 3y
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jenniferw88 @Casmact have read Persuasion & Lady Chatterley's Lover, currently reading Agnes Grey & Les Misérables. 3y
Casmt Ooo I liked Agnes Grey, haven't read any of the others. 3y
jenniferw88 @Casmact Agnes might be my first heroine to go on the list! ☺️ 3y
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jenniferw88
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DuckOfDoom 😊😊 thanks for tagging me! Cute quote🐣 3y
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jenniferw88
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That moment when your favourite actress is mentioned in your book! 💕💞
At the rate I'm reading this book, I expect I'll have finished it by tonight!

annahenke Really enjoyed this book! 3y
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Tynx
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Pickpick

This one makes you think about your own heroines as much as the ones described by Ellis. A really fun and revealing read!

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Weaponxgirl
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https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/jan/30/baileys-drops-womens-prize-for-fic... just found this article on the guardian about how baileys is dropping their sponsorship for the women's prize for fiction. I personally love this prize but there's been a lot of talk about whether it's still needed or not. I'm wondering what other littens think on the subject?

jenniferw88 ☹️ 3y
Weaponxgirl @jenniferw88 they're saying the prize isn't in danger and are already in talks with other possible sponsors 3y
jenniferw88 That's good then! 3y
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KarenUK I love this prize too.... I've discovered a lot of wonderful and diverse books that have been championed by this prize.... 3y
Weaponxgirl @jenniferw88 @KarenUK yes, I think they've got even better at recommending diverse books. My dream is that they could expand again. They used to have a new writers section and I'd love if they could do a list of women in translation 3y
Aquedita One of my favourite literary prizes :) Constantly refer back to their lists. A section for women in translation would be fabulous though! 3y
Weaponxgirl @Aquedita yes, my dream would be to have more categories like the Costa prize for example. Biography and memoirs, science, ya. I would be in book heaven! 3y
53 likes7 comments
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ScientistSam
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Pickpick

I'd give this 4 stars. Ellis takes us through her journey rereading books that shaped her formative years. She is quite critical about many childhood favorites, so my gut reaction was to disagree with her quite a bit. But I also realized that I haven't reread most of those books since childhood and maybe I should see how I approach them as an adult - and isn't that kind of revisiting, fundamentally, what we want from literary criticism?

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ScientistSam

I've decided to try something new this year and do a reading challenge. I'm doing the Read Harder 2017 challenge plus, well, if I get close to doing the #LitsyAtoZ reading challenge, I'll do that one too! So for my first #readharder #readharder2017 challenge task of reading a book about a book, I read How to Be a Heroine. Review coming shortly!

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Humanatea
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Finally home on a #FunPhotoFriday! Since most of my books are still in the book tree, my only the #TBRs are in decent-enough shape to share! Not pictured is a mountain of ARCs for this year 📚😍📚

JoeStalksBeck ❤❤📚❤📚 3y
25 likes1 comment
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Christy2318
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I keep a list of what books I read each year but I don't make resolutions or goals. Reading is essential for me and it happens in some form every day. To read or not to read is never a question. I'm #currentlyreading something in one of those pictures. #bookishresolutions #readingislife #librarylove

Lacythebookworm "To read or not to read is never a question." Yes! Yes! Yes! ? 3y
32 likes2 comments
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Larkken
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We've all been there... Wasn't there an Internet article a bit ago about how ladies that read a lot of romance have unrealistic goals for personal romance? 🙄 pish. Nice to see something for the other side! Plus, it was a holiday gift last year from my MIL, who totally gets it #seasonsreadings2016. And look at those #coversilhouettes 😉

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annahenke
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#booktober #memorablememoirs #howtobeaheroine
The perfect read for book lovers everwhere! I thoroughly enjoyed it.

RealLifeReading Sounds fun! Stacked it 3y
BeckyK This looks great! :) 3y
whatthelog Omfg I love books about books!! 3y
Christy I liked this one. :) 3y
Alliterati I forgot I wanted to read this one, thanks for the reminder! =] 3y
150 likes64 stack adds5 comments
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HappyEchos
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Pickpick

Posted a blog post up about this book!!! https://happyechos.wordpress.com/

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MeganMarieWrites
Mehso-so

I really wanted to love this one! I enjoyed the commentary on the classics but some of the critiques were a little too off-putting for me.

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kissxxmyxxconverse
Mehso-so

I did really like this, and I learned a lot about different books I haven't read yet. But I know I won't be picking it up again.

queerbookreader Any specific reason why you won't be picking it up again? If not that's totally cool, I'm just wondering 🙈 4y
kissxxmyxxconverse @lemonlime799 not really. It just followed this one woman's life and how her heroines growing up affected her at certain points in her life. It was certainly interesting, and enjoyable, I just don't feel like Id need to read it again because I got it the first time lol. Ya know? 4y
queerbookreader @kissxxmyxxconverse Yeah I get what you mean. Thanks for responding! 4y
7 likes3 comments
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kissxxmyxxconverse
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Be Zoe Washburne.
But anyway, this book makes me want to pick up all my favorites as an adult to see if they still hold up!

Liberty 😍😍😍 4y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa Great actress and great show! 4y
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thatotherlisa
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Mehso-so

Mixed feelings on this one. I love the idea of revisiting classics with the perspective gained with age, but some of her critiques were really off-putting. Good (or bad, depending on your perspective) for TBR building though.

MyBookLife I love books about books!! You have any other suggestions? 4y
thatotherlisa Hmm...the only one that comes to mind that I've read is a collection of Nick Hornby pieces. I have a ton of books about books on my TBR tho! 4y
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the_book_wench
Pickpick

A fantastic story of woman and how literary woman helped her grow! A must read for anyone in love with literature and looking for personal growth! For my full review, visit https://thebookwench.com/2016/03/12/review-how-to-be-a-heroine-by-samantha-ellis...

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