Full of the same charm, wit, and warmth befitting any good Jane Austen protagonist, How To Be a Heroine by Samantha Ellis (Vintage, $15) is a must-read for fans of classic literary heroines. Ellis, a London playwright and journalist, has written an engaging memoir that examines the female-driven novels that shaped her imagination. More than just reminiscing about ripped bodices and sassy comebacks, Ellis locates the narrative through a contemplation of her upbringing as the daughter of Iraqi-Jewish refugees. With honesty and insight, she documents the lessons she’s learned from these classics and the ways in which their heroines have dominated her life—for both better and worse. How To Be a Heroine is a love letter to literature that readers and bibliophiles will deeply enjoy.
Recommended by Kristen Zory King of the Writer’s Block bookstore, 1020 Fremont St., 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Mon-Sat, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun.