It is true that for some of us books are our biggest comfort.  Just looking around my apartment at the stacks of books makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, and getting to spend hours curled up with one is a luxury, a blessing and sometimes even a cure.  In today’s post, regular contributor Denise Neary shares her prescription for book happiness.

In The Heroine’s Bookshelf, author Erin Blakemore suggests a book for whatever ails you.

Just thinking about his book makes me sigh… it is part literature, part essay, part People magazine glimpse into the lives of some of my favorite people, real and imagined.  Funny, sweet, smart, insightful, poignant… it is a book to savor.

More about the book, from the publisher:

“A testament to inspirational women throughout literature, Erin Blakemore’s exploration of classic heroines and their equally admirable authors shows today’s women how to best tap into their inner strengths and live life with intelligence, grace, vitality and aplomb. This collection of unforgettable characters—including Anne Shirley, Jo March, Scarlett O’Hara, and Jane Eyre—and outstanding authors—like Jane Austen, Harper Lee, and Laura Ingalls Wilder—is an impassioned look at literature’s most compelling heroines, both on the page and off. Readers who found inspiration in books by Toni Morrison, Maud Hart Lovelace, Ursula K. LeGuin, and Alice Walker, or who were moved by literary-themed memoirs like Shelf Discovery and Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume, get ready to return to the well of women’s classic literature with The Heroine’s Bookshelf. “

The books is divided into short chapters, each focusing on one quality that the heroine and the heroine’s writer share….Ambition for Jo March and Louisia May Alcott as an example.

I loved the chapter endings best of all.  Blakemore, like a good novelist practitioner, prescribes the best times to read the book she details.  Ready to walk out on your job?   One dose of Little Women. Feeling complacent?   An injection of The Color Purple.

Blakemore gives her take, too, on the “literary sisters” of each of the characters she describes.   Just a few words at the end of each chapter… it sent me on a sweet trip with all the books I love.

I have my own medicine to prescribe.  Feeling nostalgic?    Prop yourself somewhere comfortable, and read The Heroine’s Bookshelf.

— Denise Neary, Regular Contributor