Little WomenRead about another entry on the list.
Louisa May Alcott, 1868-69
The most sentimentally frugal Christmas in American literature. In the absence of stockings, Jo slips her hand under her pillow and draws out a crimson-covered book. “She knew it very well, for it was that beautiful old story of the best life ever lived, and Jo felt that it was a true guidebook for any pilgrim going on a long journey.” (It may or may not be a bible, it is not spelt out.) Each girl has a differently coloured volume. Meg: green, Beth: dove, Amy: blue. As a child, I coveted these books as anyone with a taste for nice stationery would.
Little Women also appears among Bea Davenport's top ten books about hair, nine notable unsung literary heroines, Sophie McKenzie's top ten mothers in children's books, John Dugdale's ten notable fictional works on winter sports, Melissa Albert's five favorite YA books that might make one cry, Anjelica Huston's seven favorite coming-of-age books, Bidisha's ten top books about women, Katherine Rundell's top ten descriptions of food in fiction, Gwyneth Rees's ten top books about siblings, Maya Angelou's 6 favorite books, Tim Lewis's ten best Christmas lunches in literature, and on the Observer's list of the ten best fictional mothers, Eleanor Birne's top ten list of books on motherhood, Erin Blakemore's list of five gutsy heroines to channel on an off day, Kate Saunders' critic's chart of mothers and daughters in literature, and Zoë Heller's list of five memorable portraits of sisters. It is a book that disappointed Geraldine Brooks on re-reading.