Top 5 Favorite Literary Heroines

What makes female characters literary heroines? For me, these are females who instilled in me a sense of power in my gender. These women, most of whom are positioned in times of absolute masculine authority, defy conventions. They set out to achieve their heart’s desires in spite of everything thrown at them.

I can’t remember when I learned to read, but I know it was very early. I have been enamored with reading my entire conscious life. My favorite books feature strong female main characters. So, narrowing down my top five favorite literary heroines was a challenge. I could switch these out so many others like Anne Shirley, Feyre Archeron, Elizabeth Bennett, Offred, Annabeth Chase, I could go on and on…

The List of Literary Heroines

But here, in no particular order exactly, are my top five favorite literary heroines. Also included are the books they are featured in and the writers who gave them life (dominant females in their own right).

Jo March from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Little Women Book Cover Literary Heroines with link to Amazon page

Jo March was my childhood hero. She was independent, stubborn, but loveable, and a writer. In fact, it was my introduction to Jo March that inspired me to want to be a professional author and to start writing my own stories. I loved the way she dreamed and then pursued her dreams, rejecting the social constructs of her time. Little Women was a book I reread over ten times throughout my life. I bought multiple editions of it, though my favorite is an old copy my aunt gave me before she passed away.

Laura Ingalls Wilder from Little House on the Prarie Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Little House in the Big Woods book cover with link to Amazon pageLaura Ingalls Wilder tells the story of her childhood growing up on a homestead. She tells stories of traveling west, meeting colorful characters, meeting her husband, and eventually becoming a teacher and starting a family. Of course, Wilder took some artistic license with her memories for entertainment value but her heroine, Laura Ingalls, still makes the list. She was mouthy and adventurous though she eventually settled down as was expected of a woman of her time. The impressive part of her story is the transition of her portrayal in her semi-biographical books to her real-life role as a famous, beloved children’s author. I can remember doing all of my book reports in elementary school over her, and it was a series I reread many times.

Hermoine Granger from Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone book cover and link to Amazon pageI don’t think anyone my age or younger wouldn’t have Hermoine Granger on their list of favorite literary heroines. There are many reasons for that, the first being that Hermoine is not the main character of the series, but she is smarter and more talented than the main character. Right to the end. The Brightest Witch of Our Time. Hermoine’s friendship with Harry Potter and Ron Weasley starts off rocky. They do not take to her as quickly as they do to each other, treating her like an annoyance. But Hermoine proves to be an invaluable resource, as a friend, schoolmate, partner-in-crime, and finally a spouse. Hermoine owns her power, doesn’t try to dumb herself down or dim her shine and I think that was so needed for girls, in the 90s and today.

Claire Fraiser from Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon

Outlander Book Cover with link to Amazon pageClaire Fraiser is a recent favorite of mine. I started listening to the Outlander series on audiobook a little over a year ago. Claire is a former WWII nurse, so right off the bat we know she has been through something incredible. But the story opens at the close of the War, Claire and her husband are attempting a second honeymoon. They are trying to reconnect after eight years apart; he was a soldier. She is ripped from her world and thrown in 18th-century Scotland where she meets and is subsequently married to Jamie Fraiser. Claire falls in love with him, and when an opportunity presents itself to return to her own time, she stays. She wholly owns herself and is confident in her intelligence and sensuality.

Jane Eyre from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Jane Eyre Book Cover with link to Amazon page to buy bookDespite the latest terrible movie adaptation of one of my favorite novels of all time, Jane Eyre is a complicated woman to keep down. An orphan for much of her life, she had to learn quickly that to survive she had to take matters into her own hands. That is what she does when she travels to Thornfield Hall and encounters the mysterious and intimidating Mr. Rochester. She then proceeds to marry him (with some stuff in between). Again, here is a woman born in a time when they were more likely to be sold off in marriage. Jane Eyre overcomes her environment, her position as a poor orphan and a governess, and achieves her heart’s desire.

Check out my other book related posts!

The Fiery Cross: Book Review

Heartless: Book Review

TBR Additions: April

13 Mommy Facebook Pages You Need to Follow

Let’s face it, our Facebook timelines have taken a serious dive. I know mine has dissolved into a near constant state of fear, anger, and frustration. But there are still some bright spots on the platform, a few pages that the shadows have not overtaken.
And if you are new to this whole parenting thing like me, you are probably aching for some relating. I found some pretty awesome mommy Facebook pages you need to be following for advice, for support, and for some good old fashioned making fun of our crazy lives.
These ladies share uncensored Mom truths, hilarious memes, relevant topical stories from the news, magazines, other social media platforms, etc., recipes, accessible fashion advice, DIY, and even survival gardening.
Moms really can do it all and these Facebook pages show that the proof of that is in the content, served up homemade or from the microwave, no judgement.
Here are some of my favorite Facebook pages that brighten up my timeline.

  1. Scary Mommy
  2. The Drunk Mom
  3. Diary of a Mom
  4. The Typical Mom
  5. Hot Mess Mom
  6. CafeMom
  7. The Winey Moms (Disparaging remarks about people who receive government assistance proliferated this page after my recommendation. Steer away, I ended up blocking them there was so much hate.)
  8. Insane in the Mom-Brain
  9. The Survival Mom
  10. The Mom Edit
  11. The Mom Life Uncensored
  12. The Mom Truthbomb
  13. The Mom Life

Most of these ladies blog on a separate website so make sure you drop in on those and give them a follow, let them brighten up your inbox too! What else are you getting in there, another coupon for 10% off at a store you will never shop in again? (Looking at you Forever 21!)
And don’t forget to give A Bookish Mama a like and a follow if you want to see more posts like this!

Updated: 04/24/2018

28 Life Lessons in 28 Years

So, hey, its my birthday!
I don’t ever really do anything fun or interesting for my birthdays as in the past high expectations around this day have usually left me bitterly disappointed.
But I thought it might be a good day to share some of the insights I have learned throughout my semi-short 28 years. Some of these may be funny, some may be serious, some may not teach you anything at all, and there may be some crossovers.
But its my birthday so…
Give me a break?

  1. Your mom is the strongest person you don’t know. Take the time now to appreciate her for absolutely everything that woman has done for you. She loves you more than you will ever know.
  2. You will miss being in school someday, especially when the bills start coming.
  3. You can tell your left from right hand by making Ls with your thumb and forefinger, the one that actually looks like an L is your left.
  4. Don’t choose your college based on where your friends on planning on going. The majority of them will drop out or transfer, leaving you alone at a school that does not suit you.
  5. Baby fever can be cured by babysitting for a weekend.
  6. Make sure if you share Netflix passwords you have the package that allows you to watch on the same number of screens the amount of people sharing said password. There is a limit.
  7. Wash windows using a circular wiping motion. And put some strength in it.
  8. Floss now, thank me later.
  9. Apply for every scholarship you find, even if you think you won’t get it. The fewer student loans you take out the farther ahead you will be post college graduation.
  10. The person you end up with probably won’t be the type you think you are attracted to. Soulmates defy boundaries. Keep an open mind and open heart.
  11. Get the HPV vaccine. Trust.
  12. Don’t be ashamed to ask your doctor questions. Your knowledge of your body should not be limited and if something feels off, trust yourself. Even the personal stuff, ladies. Ask, ask, ask.
  13. Learn to cook one thing well before you leave Mom and Dad/Grandparents/Etc. Pancakes, fried chicken, casserole, bacon, whatever. Someday you will need to feed yourself, gotta start somewhere.
  14. Save your spare change in a bowl, hat, shoe, whatever. Save it for a whole year. At the end of the year spoil yourself with something pretty. Or pay your electric bill finally.
  15. Open a savings account and save SOMETHING. A little at a time goes a long way and the interest is basically free money.
  16. Take social risks. I have always been incredibly introverted and painfully shy. As a result I have few friends and have never really had a wide social circle or felt comfortable participating in extracurricular activities. It is one of my biggest regrets in life that I did not open up more socially and now I feel like I am too old to make up for it. Be uncomfortable now and reap the rewards later. There will always be something embarrassing to look back on but better to be embarrassed and find your tribe than not be embarrassed and be lonely your entire life.
  17. Drink more water. Just, you probably need to drink more water.
  18. Read whatever you want and don’t let the judgement of others keep you from enjoying the genre, author, series you love.
  19. Let go of grudges. Don’t forget but forgive.
  20. Becoming a parent will be the most terrifying but empowering moment of your life. Nothing will prepare you for the immense responsibility and there is no turning back.
  21. Visit your grandparents and listen to their stories. There will come a day when you try desperately to remember something they told you and you won’t be able to remember because you brushed them off as inconvenient.
  22. Always make time for self-care. Your mental health is important, prioritize it as such.
  23. Spend more time outdoors. I understand some people can limited physically and going outdoors is especially challenging, but nature has been the closest I have ever felt to god. Feel the wind on your face, get some dirt under your nails, pick a wildflower. Interact with nature in some from at least once a week. Going outdoors can provide clarity no amount of caffeine can.
  24. Speaking of caffeine, try black coffee, no creamer, no sugar. Just once. If you like it, great! Nearly calorie free pick me up, if not, hey, you just spit it back out and go back to your too sweet, bland “coffee.”
  25. Get a pet. Animals have a way of seeing into our most basic selves and loving in spite of that. I have had ferrets, birds, mice, hamsters, cats, and dogs. I have loved them all and they left little animal prints all over my heart.
  26. Learn to wash dishes by hand. Chances are your dishwasher will break down someday, or you will move into an apartment that has no dishwasher. Learn to clean your eating utensils in advance to ensure you aren’t eating off crusty spaghetti plates in the future.
  27. Take a Gov 101 course in high school/college. Again, just trust me on this. If you are an American citizen or aspiring American citizen you need to know how your government works. Democracy doesn’t work on the willfully ignorant.
  28. Life is full of ups and downs. There will be some absolutely god awful, hard years. But there will also be years of immense happiness and personal growth. You take the bad with the good and you persevere.

And that is pretty much the sum of my 28 years. I know, not a lot going on but I live in a rural town in SE Kentucky. My life is blissfully basic.
Now to enjoy some cake, I hope! (Writing this in advance of my B-Day, hoping the hubby springs for ice cream cake.)

A Few of My Favorite Things

I have seen this particular blog/vlog trend floating around and thought why not? It’s Thursday, the weekend is coming, Spring Break is coming, let’s have some fun. I also thought this would be a fun way for readers to get to know me and maybe get some perspective on my weirdness.
Here are some of my favorite products.

Ninja Coffeemaker

Coffee is the only reason I get out the door in the morning. I don’t need breakfast, I don’t need a shower, I don’t need a cute outfit. I need my cup of black coffee. This coffeemaker makes delicious black coffee but also has the option to make iced coffee, flavored coffee, etc. It is basically a coffee shop in one little, moderately priced machine. It also gives you the option to schedule a brew so you can wake up to the smell of fresh coffee in the morning and you can select various sizes from a cup (12 ounces), a travel mug (14 ounces), a half pot, to a full carafe. There is a pull-down ledge for your coffee mug to perch on to reduce splattering.
My MacBook! Hubby bought it for me as an X-Mas gift, and I already can’t live without it.

Hubby took my old laptop overseas when he deployed in 2016, and it did not survive the trip. To be fair it was fairly roughed up when he left, I had owned it for about 5 years before that. But he ended up buying me a new laptop when he came home, a MacBook which I had wanted for a while. It is lightweight, slim, but still a workable size. This is also my first time spending a substantial amount of time on iOS, I had been a Windows user my entire life, save using mobile iOS on my iPhone. But the OS was easy to learn, and I am in love with the Rose Gold finish.

I absolutely adore the Kat Von D Lock-It foundation and have exclusively been using it for years. This is a full coverage foundation and can cover tattoos if needed. I use it to hide something even less desirable than a regrettable tattoo, my natural skin tone. Seriously, this foundation covers my acne scars, current breakouts, freckles, and doesn’t settle in my rapidly forming wrinkles. I use this daily, which probably doesn’t help the breakouts, but I never leave the house without it. I buy this in Light 45. It usually lasts me about 6 months, even though I use it so frequently which makes it totally worth the cost.

Color Last by L.A. Colors costs about $4 each at Walmart and seriously lasts forever. You do two coats and a top coat and allow it to thoroughly dry and you get a salon quality manicure for a fraction of the cost. Depending on how shaky your hands are with the brush. I INTEND on buying many, many more colors of this brand.
And those are just a few of my favorite things. I may do another post in the future with more of my favorite things, but those are things I was able to take quick pictures of. What are some of your favorite things?

Guess what?