Lovely Ladies of Literature — Literacy Month Edition

In a fairytale world where more and more little girls seem to be more interested in playing the “princess” than perusing the public library, we’re taking some time to honor women who, for some reason, haven’t managed to break through the doll and dress up aisle. Here we present a first, and hopefully not last, edition of the Lovely Ladies of Literature.

I must confess, this is my personal list of women writers who either inspired, frustrated or empowered me during my child and young adult-hood. I know the list of possible LLoL pageant contestants, those who are deserving of being included, is practically infinite. I encourage you all to create your OWN list by commenting below with a LLoL of your own. But, back to me– why did I single out these women? It wasn’t because I wanted to dress like them, wear make up like them, talk, walk or curtsy like them; it was that I wanted to live in the worlds they created. Or, perhaps I wanted to ask them WHY? Why would you write what I just read? I closed a book wanting to call them and challenge them about their plots and characters and process, or yell at them for something I thought was unjust. I had comfort, as I grew older knowing  that, even if I disagreed with them, I learned from them. I wanted to stand united with them knowing that they faced a tough road.

I wanted to travel that road myself – to create, challenge, or make another little girl think – to help a young lady understand that it isn’t a fashion magazine or a pink and purple sparkly dress that can define her femininity and spirit–  it  is a mind, a pen and paper.

So, here are our Literacy Month Lovely Ladies of Literature:


Row 1: Judy Blume, Willa Cather, Jane Austen; Row 2: Ursula LeGuin, Mary Shelley, Louisa May Alcott; Row 3: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madeline L’Engle, Margaret Atwood; Row 4: J.K. Rowling, Shirley Jackson, the Bronte sisters (Charlotte, Emily, and Anne)

Can you play dress up for the mind? If I could, I would want my mind to look like these.

Becky is Marketing Communications Manager at Half Price Books Corporate.
You can follow her on Twitter at @bexican75.

10 Heartthrobs of Literature We Love

Some we fall in love with as soon as they are written onto the page. Others we gradually grow to love as the story progresses. They are the men we wish would step out of the book and whisk us away. They are why we turn the page. You may ask, “Who are these men that make you devour a book in one sitting and then sigh wistfully as you read the last word?” Well, I can only speak for myself, but these are the men of literature that get my heart pumping.

77e4fdc96e72f7eff6fe0fff9c506106Fitzwilliam Darcy from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice— Sure, he’s proud. He is handsome, intelligent, and extremely wealthy.  What’s wrong with that?

jane-eyreEdward Rochester from Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre— Okay, so he keeps his crazy wife locked up in his house. Nobody’s perfect.

heathcliffHeathcliff from Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights— He is the epitome of passionate and consistent love, but he does have a mean streak. Hey, who doesn’t like a bad boy?

sense-and-sensibilityJohn Willoughby from Jane Austen’s Sense & Sensibility— Talk about love at first write. He gets “A”s in rescuing damsels in distress. He’s just not so good at marrying them.

angelAngel Clare from Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles— Okay, so he has really bad timing and makes a lot of poor decisions. Eventually, he will come around, even if it is after you’ve already given up on him.

Blakeney.jpgSir Percy Blakeney from Baroness Emmuska Orczy’s The Scarlet Pimpernel— Funny and fierce, this man definitely knows how to keep a secret.  Don’t you love a man who ends up being more than he seems?

anneGilbert Blythe from L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables series— (Sigh) Why do boys always seem to want the one girl they can’t have?

laurieTheodore Laurence (Laurie) from Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women— He’s the typical boy next door.  You know– rich, with a cranky grandfather, who spends most of his time with four little women.

edwardEdward Cullen from Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series— Hey, he’s a man who can read your mind.  So what if he has some dietary issues?

Peeta.pngPeeta Mellark from Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games Trilogy— There’s nothing sexier than a guy who’s willing to put himself in danger to protect you.  Real or not real?

Well, that’s my list. What’s yours? (I’m always looking for a few good books.)

– Julie

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