Book Review: Well-Read Women

August 6, 2013

I was so happy when my copy of Well-Read Women: Portraits of Fiction’s Most Beloved Heroines, arrived today. Written and illustrated by my friend Samantha Hahn for Chronicle Books, it’s exquisite in every way.

Book Review: Well-Read Women

Samantha is a fabulous illustrator whom I’ve commissioned for both illos on my blog and in my second book, so I know how skilled she is first hand. Samantha has worked for some of the best clients out there, including a slew of gorgeous magazines and also Daily Candy. Her gorgeous debut book is now available for pre-order, so grab a copy now because it will make for the most lovely gift for yourself or a good friend. It’s crazy beautiful and so unique.

Book Review: Well-Read Women

In fact, it happens to be one of those books that really is perfect to give to a friend because it’s not only gorgeous but full of girl power (she illustrated 50 legendary female characters and hand lettered quotes from them) so you can’t help you feel so proud to be a modern female. I love what Samantha said about it recently on her blog, “Meet these heroines, befriend them, and in the process, perhaps learn about yourself. Whether you’ve read some or all of these stories, I hope you enjoy gazing into the eyes of all of the powerful, damaged, beautiful, and incandescent women in my book. I hope you follow them back to their original stories and come to see them in your own way, too.” Such a fine statement!

Book Review: Well-Read Women

Book Review: Well-Read Women

Book Review: Well-Read Women

Book Review: Well-Read Women

Book Review: Well-Read Women

Book Review: Well-Read Women

I can’t take my hands off of this book – I seriously love it and will definitely be buying copies to give to my friends. It’s so unique, and I love that it’s light reading because I can get lost in the quotes and paintings and let my mind wander. I also see so many pages that I’m tempted to remove and frame, but hopefully she’ll be selling them eventually as prints. My favorite portraits are of Anna Karenina, Alice, Jane Eyre, Antigone, Juliet Capulet (swooning over that close-up, would love that on my wall!), Ester Greenwood, Estella Havisham, Sofia Semyonovna Marmeladova, Scarlett O’Hara and my favorite painting is of Emma Woodhouse from Emma by Jane Austen – so gorgeous! What a collection of fantastic ladies.

You can also support Samantha, in addition to buying the book of course, by liking her Facebook page. This is her first book and I’m so proud of her!

Congrats, Ms. Hahn!

(images: samantha hahn)


  • Reply Kreetta August 6, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Beautiful images. I love vintage spirit so this is a very tempting book.

  • Reply sue b. August 6, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    This book is just beautiful! I am going to get it for me… because I am a beautiful little fool :-)

  • Reply Tina Ramchandani August 6, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    These illustrations are gorgeous, I have to get my hands on this book! Thanks for sharing, Holly!

  • Reply Marjory August 6, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Looks beautiful, can’t wait to get it!

  • Reply Mara Rae August 6, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    I just ordered a copy! It looks gorgeous. This will be a perfect gift for my writing friends this Christmas :)

  • Reply meenal @ maison marigold August 6, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    So unique and beautiful…Would be a perfect gift for a friend or even better for oneself xx meenal

  • Reply Dianna August 6, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    This looks wonderfully inspiring and beautiful! I definitely plan to order a copy.

  • Reply Wrenaissance Art August 6, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    Those are simply luscious! There is such an untapped market for illustrated books for adults: I don’t understand why more publishers don’t see it that way.
    Congrats to illustrator Samantha on the launch.

  • Reply Melissa de la Fuente August 6, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    Just SO awesome and beautiful! Congratulations, Samantha! It was so great to see your book in person and so happy for you! Can’t wait to get my copy!

  • Reply Gwen August 7, 2013 at 2:24 am

    What a beautiful book! I think it would be hard to not want to break the book up and frame a bunch of them! Some of them would be lovely as a series in a little girls room!

  • Reply Rayn August 7, 2013 at 5:09 am

    I just pre-ordered my copy off AMAZON. Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply Lucy Chen August 7, 2013 at 5:35 am

    Thank you for introducing us to Samantha, Holly. She has one of the most interesting and lovely blogs! Her portraits are beautiful!

  • Reply Michelle August 7, 2013 at 6:02 am

    What a gorgeous book I love the pictures. It would definately make a nice gift for your bestie :)

  • Reply Momographica August 7, 2013 at 10:58 am

    This book looks intriguing! I am seriously considering its purchase when I get back from holidays. One question thought: I see that Jane Eyre is mentioned.
    Does also Catherine Earnshaw appear? I am a huge fan of Wuthering Heigths!

  • Reply Janet Wilson August 7, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    Beautiful, the illustrations are stunning – this is a must-have, for sure :)

    Congratulations, Samantha!

  • Reply samantha hahn August 7, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    @Melissa de la Fuente:
    XOXOX Melissa!

  • Reply Krista August 7, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    Stunning illustrations!

  • Reply Moveis e Lojas August 8, 2013 at 12:12 am

    That is awsome! Great to have good ideas

  • Reply Molly {Dreams in HD} August 8, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    what a divine book!
    can’t wait to order it.

    Molly {Dreams in HD}

  • Reply Frances August 8, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    I’ve been waiting for this to be released! I love Samantha’s work. Such incredible textures and variety in her watercolors!

  • Reply samantha hahn August 8, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    Catherine’s in there!

  • Reply Marie Terry August 8, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    Beautiful illustrations. I love the portraits. Samantha Hahn is one of my favorite artists especially for water colour and ink work.

  • Reply Rachel Wrightson Naylor August 9, 2013 at 3:26 am

    Oh my goodness, these illustrations are STUNNING!!! I NEED this book!

  • Reply Kate August 9, 2013 at 7:14 am

    These illustrations are GREAT. I love them!

  • Reply heckety August 9, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    I can see why you love her artwork- its just beautiful, sumptuous without being overpowering, difficult to achieve. I hope the book does really well as it sure looks like a LOT of thought and effort, to say nothing of skill and sheer hard work, has gone into it!

  • Reply jelena August 13, 2013 at 8:43 am

    Intriguing, I’d love to have it!


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