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Samantha Hahn's Well-Read Women: A Study In Beauty

Samantha Hahn's Well-Read Women: A Study In Beauty

I'm not much of an impulse shopper, but after reading about Samantha Hahn's Well-Read Women: Portraits of Fiction's Most Beloved HeroinesI immediately went out and bought a copy. The author is in fact an illustrator who lives in Manhattan and seems to spend her time creating jaw-droppingly beautiful fashion illustrations for magazines and other clients. I am at once jealous of her immense talent and grateful for it, because every page of Well-Read Women is graced by enchanting watercolor portraits of women I've seen in my own mind's eye, except this time they're borne of Hahn's imagination.

Accompanying each portrait is a hand-lettered watercolor quote from the character. The quotes appear to carefully chosen — they touch on various topics pertaining to women without settling into cliche. While one character muses on motherhood, another speaks of men, while yet another comments on friendship. And there's as much variety in the heroines as there is in their quotes. The book opens with Daisy Buchanan and continues with a parade of familiar faces like Anna Karenina, Holly Golightly, Emma Woodhouse and Antigone. Most wonderful is the fact that even though these portraits are quite different than how movie adaptations have told us these women should look, they embody their characters beautifully and unequivocally.

I took some pictures of my favorite spreads, which you can see below.

Anna Karenina, Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy | Blanche DuBois, A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams | Antigone, Antigone by Sophocles | Nancy, Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens | Dorothea Brooke, Middlemarch by George Eliot | Holly Golightly, Breakfast At Tiffany's by Truman Capote

The TBR List: September 13

At The Table With...Cara Nicoletti of Yummy Books