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Francesca recommends books | Manolo for the Big Girl

Francesca recommends books

Francesca wishes to celebrate the females with the larger-than-life personalities of superfantasticness!

Here is a comprehensive biography of the inimitable and fascinating “lady reporter,” Nellie Bly. In an age when women journalists were relegated to the “women’s pages,” Nellie Bly convinced her editor to allow her to be admitted into an insane asylum in order to expose conditions there. She traveled around the world by train and boat to see whether it could indeed be done in 80 days or fewer, and became an international celebrity and American hero. This book is about a woman with balls, and a window into the history of journalism, too.

If you can get your hands on a copy of this biography of the late, great stage actress Sarah Bernhardt, you will not be disappointed. Bernhardt was highly eccentric and dramatic and had a tabloid-worthy personal life . . . which leads one to believe that one does not need Hollywood to be a little bit Hollywood.

Of course, we mustn’t forget the intelligent and inspiring Helen Keller. No introductions necessary for this admirable woman and her brave, loyal teacher.

In the realm of fiction, Francesca insists that you read, or re-read, Harriet the Spy. Harriet is one of the great heroines of pre-teen fiction, right up there with Anne of Green Gables for her spunk, verve, and smarts. Like Anne, she makes mistakes from which she must learn hard lessons. Unlike Anne, she lives in Manhattan, is cared for by a Nanny, and enjoys spying on people. Like Francesca, she is a writer. We love Harriet!

And finally, Francesca very much enjoys this cookbook by one of Francesca’s favorite personalities, a confident Big Girl who knows she is beautiful.

5 Responses to “Francesca recommends books”

  1. Stacey C. September 13, 2007 at 11:55 am #

    Hooray for working at a college and having library privileges! I shall have to check out the bios on both Nellie Bly and Sarah Bernhardt. Sigh, as if my list of books was not already a mile long!

  2. Krista September 13, 2007 at 12:05 pm #

    You can download the free audio version of Nellie Bly’s account of her storied voyage from http://www.librivox.org – I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  3. Twistie September 13, 2007 at 12:51 pm #

    I first heard of Nellie Bly as a child when I was presented with a kiddie biography of her. Wow. She quickly became one of my great idols in life. I’ve often wished I had even a tenth of her courage and fortitude.

    Who could not love the Divine Sarah? I have a photograph of her wearing this fabulous bat hat and an incredible combination bracelet/ring also in a bat motif. How could I not adore someone with that level of style and chutzpah?

    My mother knew well that Miss Piggy was the other woman in her marriage to my father. My father had excellent taste in women.

    Helen Keller’s story is inspiring and amazing, but don’t forget the woman who made it possible through a combination of tireless effort and sheer stubbornness: Annie Sullivan. She was every bit as astonishing and wonderful as her more famous pupil. My hat is off to both these wonderful role models.

  4. me September 13, 2007 at 6:47 pm #

    Did you know that Harriet the Spy is on some banned books list? Since I never read it before, I can’t agree or disagree, but I’m definitely surprised. School and library boards who ban books don’t realize that doing so only makes people want to read them more.

  5. kalamari September 14, 2007 at 5:28 pm #

    Um, I would have to say, in the vast majority of cases, librarians do not want to ban books, but they don’t have the ultimate say. How wack is that?