Samantha Ellis’ How to Be a Heroine begins with a friendly debate: would you rather be Jane Eyre or Cathy Earnshaw? I’ve certainly had similar debates with friends, although ours were more likely to be about heroines from Jane Austen’s work than from the Bronte sisters. For Ellis, however, this friendly debate sets her off on a quest to revisit all of her favorite heroines, and question why they resonated with her at different points in her life. Each chapter focuses on a different heroine or book, but will often include brief tangents or references to other books she was reading at that point in her life. And the best part of it all just might be the bibliography at the end, listing all the works mentioned in the book. If you’re looking to buy yourself a Galentine’s Day treat, I highly recommend looking for a copy of How to Be a Heroine, newly released in the US this month by Knopf.
All kinds of love are valid on Valentine’s Day, including our affection for our furry friends. If cat cuddles and curling up with a book are your idea of the purrfect date, then take a journey with me through this list of literary works featuring cat companions. Whether it be witty bordering on snarky, loyal ‘til the end, or possessing magical knowledge or power, a cat on the character’s team is sure to make for a good book.