Barbara Parker/Sophie Straw (Funny Girl, by Nick Hornby)Read about the other entries on the list.
This book only came out a couple of years ago, so I’m still apparently getting crushes on fictional amalgamations of words and ink while well into adulthood. Nick Hornby, crown prince of dude-bro literature for literate dude-bros went a little off his usual track with this novel, his first told from the point of view of a woman, and his first that takes place long, long ago. It’s about a small town English beauty queen named Barbara Parker who would much rather make a life for herself as a comic actress, just like her hero, Lucille Ball, than simply coast on her good looks. Barbara changes her name to Sophie Straw, becomes the biggest sitcom star in 1960s England, and the whole world falls in love with her, including you, dear reader, and me. And while we know she’s objectively attractive, it’s because she’s funny. The notion that women aren’t funny is both ridiculous and wrong. Many women are funny, and it’s about the most attractive characteristic there is.