What To Read, Based On Your Fave Bookish Heroine

by Kerri Jarema

We all have those bookish heroines that we relate to more than any other. These are the gals with their noses constantly between the pages, the ones who all have different personalities, who turn to different books for different reasons, but who each share the same drive to dive into lives and worlds that are different from their own. There is nothing a voracious reader loves more than encountering these kindred spirits in our books and movies and television shows, so we develop a crazy bond with each of them.

But have you ever thought about what books they would be reading today? From Hermione Granger's love of nonfiction to Donna Meagle's desire for something more than a little hot and heavy, there are tons of books we could recommend to these book worms... and if you find yourself thinking about just how much one or more of these characters are super #relatable to your personality and life, then these books are for you, too. Whether you want something feminist, something supernatural, or just something that will teach you a thing or two, we've got 11 books (corresponding with some of our all-time favorite book loving characters) below for you to choose from.


Hermione Granger from 'Harry Potter'

Characteristics: Bookish and brilliant, she is passionate, bold and brave, though she can err on the side of overbearing.

Books She Likes: Mostly nonfiction, especially anything that will give her a leg up on her friends in terms of pulling out seemingly useless facts right when they're most relevant.

What You Should Read Next: Wonder Women by Sam Maggs. If you ever wanted to know tons of facts about kickass women that your friends probably won't, this is definitely the book for you. In Wonder Women, author Sam Maggs introduces you to pioneering female scientists, engineers, mathematicians, adventurers, and inventors—each profile a study in passion, smarts and bravery... from Allied spy Noor Inayat Khan, a Muslim woman whom the Nazis considered “highly dangerous" to Huang Daopo, the inventor who fled an abusive child marriage only to revolutionize textile production in China.

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Rory Gilmore from 'Gilmore Girls'

Characteristics: Shy and quiet, though she can be a bit selfish. She never goes anywhere without a book and her love of them allows her to escape to different worlds and go on adventures. She is book smart and loves to talk about whatever she's reading with friends and family.

Books She Likes: Rory reads pretty much everything. After all, if you're going to show one character reading almost 400 books throughout the course of a series, they've got to be pretty varied. But in particular, Rory loved to read books that she could talk about with her grandfather, Richard. They were always books that were big and chunky and intellectual, and would be slightly intimidating to the average reader.

What You Should Read Next: Annie Proulx's 717 page behemoth Barkskins might be just the thing for you. It's set in the late seventeenth century and follows two penniless young Frenchmen, René Sel and Charles Duquet, as they arrive in New France. Bound to a feudal lord, a “seigneur,” for three years in exchange for land, they become wood-cutters — barkskins. Proulx tells the stories of the descendants of Sel and Duquet over three hundred years — their travels across North America, to Europe, China, and New Zealand, under stunningly brutal conditions, the revenge of rivals, accidents, pestilence, Indian attacks, and cultural annihilation.

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Lisa Simpson from 'The Simpsons'

Characteristics: Intelligent, passionate, and the moral center of her family. Lisa is a vegetarian, a strong environmentalist, a feminist, and enjoys many hobbies, including reading and playing the baritone saxophone.

Books She Likes: Lisa's reading is pretty varied but in general she loves a good classic, from Pride & Prejudice to Emily Dickinson's poems. We also imagine that Lisa would love a book about girls like her who just want to change the world.

What You Should Read Next: Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World by Kelly Jensen. This book brings forty-four writers, dancers, actors, and artists together to contribute essays, lists, poems, comics, and illustrations about everything from body positivity to romance to gender identity to intersectionality to the greatest girl friendships in fiction. Together, they share diverse perspectives on and insights into what feminism means and what it looks like. This book will help inspire you to find your own path to feminism and learn about some girls and women out there already changing the world for the better.

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Donna Meagle from 'Parks & Recreation'

Characteristics: Donna is bold and sexy and loves ferociously. Though she can seem a bit detached, she actually has a heart of gold and will always fight for her friends.

Books She Likes: A little bit of the supernatural with a lot of romance and tons of steam.

What You Should Read Next: Sarah J. Maas's magical and super hot A Court of Thorns and Roses series. The first book begins when 19-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods. A beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it and she is dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends. But Feyre soon discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world. As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it... or doom Tamlin — and his world — forever. The third book in the series, A Court of Wings and Ruin is set to hit shelves on May 2, 2017, so you've still got plenty of time to catch up on all the sexy drama.

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Lucy Loud from 'The Loud House'

Characteristics: Lucy is not afraid of embracing a little bit of darkness. She is contemplative, spiritual, and a true romantic at heart, always with her nose in a book.

Books She Likes: Lucy is obsessed with a series of vampire novels that star Edwin, on whom she has a huge crush. Did she even paint her mother's wedding dress black to wear during their "Dark Betrothal?" Yes, she did.

What You Should Read Next: Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones. This dark, fantastical, romantic story follows Liesl who all her life has heard tales of the beautiful, dangerous Goblin King. They’ve enraptured her mind, her spirit, and inspired her musical compositions. Now eighteen and helping to run her family’s inn, Liesl can’t help but feel that her dreams are slipping away. But when her sister is taken by the Goblin King, Liesl has no choice but to journey to the Underground to save her. Drawn to the strange, captivating world she finds — and the mysterious man who rules it — she soon faces an impossible decision. And with time and the old laws working against her, Liesl must discover who she truly is before her fate is sealed.

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Daria Morgendorffer from 'Daria'

Characteristics: Daria is smart, acerbic, and somewhat misanthropic. She enjoys observing and commenting on the world around her.

Books She Likes: Daria has read tons of classic lit from Moby Dick to Anna Karenina. But we can imagine she would love a book about some smart, witty, woman like her, one that's a little sick and a little sad.

What You Should Read Next: In the Great Green Room: The Brilliant and Bold Life of Margaret Wise Brown by Amy Gary. For decades, children and their parents around the world have cuddled together to read Goodnight Moon and Runaway Bunny. But few know that these classic works were part of a publishing revolution led by the controversial Margaret Wise Brown, who was renowned not only for her prolific writing and creative genius, but also for her stunning beauty and thirst for adventure. Clever, quirky, and wildly imaginative, Margaret embraced life with passion, threw wild parties, attended rabbit hunts, and lived extravagantly off of her royalties. She carried on long and troubled love affairs with both men and women, including the ex-wife of John Barrymore, and was engaged to a younger man (who was the son of a Carnegie and a Rockefeller) when she died unexpectedly at the age of 42.

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Velma Dinkley from 'Scooby Doo'

Characteristics: Super smart if a little bit bumbling, Velma is the one who really knows what's up when it comes to deciphering clues, and piecing everything together to solve even the biggest mysteries.

Books She Likes: We don't see Velma reading much but we can only imagine that she is obsessed with mystery stories that help her hone of her craft... particularly if those stories about about kick ass lady detectives like herself.

What You Should Read Next: Brittany Cavallaro's Charlotte Holmes books. They follow Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson (yes, descendants of that Holmes and Watson) who meet at a Connecticut prep school they are both attending. Mysteries abound and murder definitely ensues, and they have to join forces to save both of their lives before the clock runs out. The second book, The Last of August just came out, so time to catch up and get sleuthing!

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Matilda Wormwood from 'Matilda'

Characteristics: Matilda has a hard life, but she never lets is define her. She is always looking on the bright side and uses books as a way to escape the realities of the world around her and bring her real joy.

Books She Likes: Matilda is another fans of classics, having read books like Oliver Twist and The Grapes of Wrath by the time she was four years old. But she also loved children's books like The Secret Garden and Peter and Wendy.

What You Should Read Next: Write This Down by Claudia Mills. This middle grade book follows a girl, who like Matilda escapes in her love her words. 12-year-old Autumn loves to write. She finds inspiration all around her, especially in Cameron, the dreamy boy in her journalism class who she has a major crush on. Then her older brother, Hunter, who has grown distant since he started high school, reads one of her poems about Cameron to Cameron's older brother. They make fun of it and she is devastated. Determined to show her brother how talented she really is, Autumn decides that she is going to become a published author - now! She writes an essay about her changing relationship with her brother, enters it in a contest, and wins, and her dream of publication is within reach. But if her essay is published, everyone will know her family's secrets. Is being published worth hurting those you love?

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Anne Shirley from 'Anne Of Green Gables'

Characteristics: Optimistic, romantic and warmhearted with a tendency toward the dramatic.

Books She Likes: The stories Anne liked best were full of love and tragedy, atmosphere and drama.

What You Should Read Next: We Are Okay by Nina LaCour. This book is full of tragedy and love, friendship and family, and is written in Nina's signature ethereal prose. It follows Marin, who hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.

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Cath from 'Fangirl'

Characteristics: Cath is a fangirl through and through. Her love of fictional characters and worlds shapes her life. She is also thoughtful, awkward and loving, and figuring out her place in the world one day at a time.

Books She Likes: We only really ever see Cath talk about the Simon Snow series, but we can imagine she loves books with fierce characters, strong friendships and a nice dash of nerdiness.

What You Should Read Next: Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde combines the love of fandom with more serious discussions of fame and relationships and sex... things that are definitely explored by Cath. This book follows best friends Charlie, Taylor and Jamie on a trip to SupaCon. The Con is Charlie's chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star, Jason Ryan. But when Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought. While Charlie dodges questions about her personal life, Taylor starts asking questions about her own. Taylor's brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with Jamie — no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about the Queen Firestone SupaFan Contest, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.

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Kat Stratford from '10 Things I Hate About You'

Characteristics: A kick ass feminist who insists on doing things her own way and sticking up for her beliefs, though she is not unwilling to try out new experiences.

Books She Likes: We famously see Kat reading The Bell Jar at the very beginning of the movie and she pointedly throws a copy of Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique at Patrick Verona. (Which who among us hasn't wanted to toss a copy of a feminist book at a dude who just doesn't get it?)

What You Should Read Next: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's new book, Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions. A few years ago, Ngozi Adichie received a letter from a childhood friend, asking her how to raise her baby girl as a feminist. Dear Ijeawele is Adichie's letter of response. In it she gives fifteen invaluable suggestions for how to empower a daughter to become a strong, independent woman. From encouraging her to choose a helicopter, and not only a doll, as a toy if she so desires to debunking the myth that women are somehow biologically arranged to be in the kitchen making dinner, Dear Ijeawele goes right to the heart of sexual politics in the twenty-first century.

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