That’s Anne with an E: Who Are Your Book Idols?

I grew up watching all the Anne of the Green Gables movies.

I wanted to be Anne of Green Gables.

I kind of dressed like her.

Anne of Green Gables Look

If I’d have had access to a dory, you would’ve seen my Lady of Shalott corpse impersonation floating down the Rock River.

So can you believe I had never actually read the book?!

I know. I chastised myself.

So for this year’s To Be Read Pile Challenge I picked up the beautifully illustrated, hardcover edition my mother had purchased for me many years ago.

I can’t even find this edition on Amazon now.

It felt wonderful to get sucked back into the world of Anne Shirley, a redheaded little girl whose imagination rivals my own.

The whole book, to me, feels like it’s written in Anne’s flowery way of speaking. I was often laughing out loud. I love when she is asked to introduce herself and she says, “Won’t you call me Cordelia?” At this, everyone always questions her, for they’ve been told her name is Anne. Plain and simple, Anne Shirley.

Admitting defeat, she adds, “But if you must call me Anne, please spell it Anne with an ‘E’. It sounds so much nicer, don’t you think? I can always tell when someone spells it just A-N-N and it’s positively dreadful!”

Even the Chapter titles are fantastic.

Reading Anne of Green GablesChapter 9: Mrs. Rachel Lynde is Properly Horrified

At its heart, the story of Anne of Green Gables is about finding one’s home. Anne starts out as an orphan, and with her imagination creates a home with family and friends she dreams of every night. Then through a fortunate accident, she finds herself in a new, real home with people who love her and push her to be her best more than any dream she could have imagined. She is definitely a perseverance expert! Some might say, “a kindred spirit.”

Who are the characters in books you loved growing up?
Why did they inspire you?

Is there a classic still on your list you’ve been meaning to read?

Love and Green Gables,



33 responses

  1. Oh! How I LOVED Anne of Green Gables! I have to admit, I also never read a book. I might have to track one down now.

    I did read and reread all of the Little House on the Prairie books and I still have them sitting in a box waiting for my daughter to read them. She just discovered the TV show and is in love with it. Laura Ingalls was my idol growing up.

    1. I have Confessions of a Prairie Bitch on my to read list as well. That’s the autobiography of the girl that played Nelly. And I want to read Child Star by Shirley Temple. The list never ends!

      I look forward to reading these books to my kids someday. But I may not be able to do it without giggling. There was a whole chapter where the author kept saying dialogue lines followed by ‘Marilla ejaculated.’ hehehehehe

  2. I love Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird. She is just such a little spitfire.

    One of my favorite movies of all times is The Princess Bride, yet sadly, I have never read the book! One day I vow to get to it. One day.

    1. I’ve never read The Princess Bride either. And I could quote the whole movie.

      Favorite line in TKAM – when Scout and her brother are walking home from the school play and she is dressed like ham and her brother says, “Here Scout, let me hold your hock.” LOL

  3. I loved Anne of Green Gables. I was always insistent that my brown hair had auburn highlights at least. 🙂

    1. That’s awesome. Especially since Anne hated her hair. I fortunately grew up loving my redhair and was complimented on it often, which kept me from buying unmarked bottles from peddlers and dying it green. 😉

  4. Laura Ingalls Wilder! I wanted to live in a log cabin, which I now realize would never worked for this princess girl. But yeah, I got completely swept away into that world. And sadly, I never read the Anne of the Green Gables book that sat on my shelf. Don’t know why…

    1. You know what’s funny? I think I have a diary entry somewhere that’s like a love letter to Gilbert Blythe. I ADORED Gilbert Blythe and pretended he was my boyfriend. And Jonathan Crombie (the actor that played Gilbert) made it onto my list of Top 5 Cinematic Men.

      Have you heard the rumors that Laura Ingalls Wilder didn’t write her own books but that her daughter actually wrote them? I thought I heard that through the grapevine.

      1. What?!!! Next thing you know, you’ll be telling me Carolyn Keane wasn’t a real person! LOL.

        1. She wasn’t.


  5. I only recently read “Pride and Prejudice” after seeing the movie version with Colin Firth. One of my favorite classics is “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Cry, the Beloved Country.”

    Book characters I loved growing up were Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden – those early mysteries were (and still are!) my favorites.

    1. I’ve read all of those but Cry, the Beloved Country. My mom had a bunch of the early mysteries like Nancy and Trixie. I also read The Hardy Boys and The Happy Hollisters. Did you read those? Hardly anyone has ever heard of the last series. They were by Jerry West and about a group of siblings that solved crimes. Subsequently, I also loved reading The Boxcar Children which has the same premise.

      1. I’d highly recommend “Cry, the Beloved Country.” After I finished the last page, I closed the book and just sat there. The ending was terrific. Yes, I read the Happy Hollisters and the Boxcar Children! Did you ever read the Kim Aldrich mysteries? Kind of a modern Nancy Drew, but Kim wasn’t as popular. I got our son hooked on the Hardy Boys when he was little, and he’s got quite a collection of those books. Fun to think of all these! 🙂

        1. Ooh, and the Bobbsey Twins – can’t forget them! I found some of these books in my grandma’s attic when I was a kid and dug right in.

        2. I’m not familiar with Kim Aldrich. But I’m beyond impressed someone else knew The Happy Hollisters. You get kudos m’lady! I dig your reading repertoire.

  6. Wow! I’m in good company. Laura Ingalls Wilder was my idol growing up. I even found her address and sent her a letter. Her husband responded and said she had died a couple years prior. (Of course this was before mass media spread the news of even semi-famous people’s deaths.)

    Yes, I am that old!

    1. Aww, that’s awesome. It’s too bad she had passed away, but I bet you still made her family’s day with that fan letter.

    2. Have you ever gone to the Laura Ingalls Wilder Days in Pepin, WI, Kassandra?

      1. Oh, wow! Guess where I’m going on my summer vacation! Thanks for letting me know this event/museum. etc. exists. The picture of the cabin on the land that actually belonged to the Ingalls…wow, that made my hair stand up on my neck (in a good way).

        I was a big Bobbsey twins fan as well, and Nancy Drew.

  7. I liked Superfudge! 🙂 And, of course, Snoopy! 🙂

    1. I read a lot of Peanuts books and also the cartoon books for The Circus Family. I forgot about those.

  8. I’ve always wanted to read a Nancy Drew novel. Mathair raves about them and says they’re what inspired her to become a storyteller. But, I have to say the character that inspired me growing up and continues to this day, is Lestat de Lioncourt from Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles. I loved this unlikely hero that was both malicious and heartfelt, but most of all, I loved that I could find such humanity in an immortal. To me, that shows the mastery of Anne Rice’s character development and creativity. Great post, Jess.

    1. I have The Witching Hour in my To Be Read Pile. I’ve wanted to read Anne Rice since I saw one of her homes on a New Orleans tour. It was the house that inspired her to write The Witching Hour. So beautiful and yet creepy.

      1. It’s a must read, Jess! And, one of my favorite series in fiction. Brilliant, sexy, and edgy with a wonderfully dark twist. 😉 Hope you enjoy it!

  9. I grew up on the Bobbsey Twins! Had the whole set. And Nancy Drew. Loved Laura Ingalls Wilder. But my personal fav Jess is still Anne with an “E”. My hubby has always referred to me as Lynn with an E because I spelled it L-y-n-n-e. But I know he was just referring to my red headed temper, though I never had red hair. And I’m glad to say that I’ve watered down my temperament. But look at Anne. It worked for her. lol. Darn, I can never win. Ooh, by the way, don’t lose that copy. That’s a precious commodity! 🙂

    1. I hereby knight you an honorary member of the redheaded club. The more the merrier, as apparently we’re a genetically recessive bunch.

      Didn’t Anne Shirley have the best life? Yes, she made a lot of mistakes and had to suffer the embarrassment. (Rollings Reliable Baking Powder anyone?) BUT, in the end her charm won everyone over and she had a family that loved her and a great best friend and a torrid love affair and then true love with Gilbert Blythe – possibly the greatest guy ever. LOL

      I need to read the next books in the series now. I’m so curious as to whether Morgan is as dreamy in the books as they made him in the movie. What do you think?

      1. I am honored to be a member of the club. As far as Morgan goes, you’ll have to read on and see. My personal fav? Gilbert, of course. I still swoon over him. Shhh. Don’t tell hubby. 🙂

        1. Oh of course! Gilbert is by far the winner. He’s in my list of top 5 cinematic men. 🙂

  10. Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, because “Lord Of The Rings” was/were the book(s) that truly instilled in me a love for reading. Later in life, I really latched on to Holden Caulfield in “Catcher In The Rye.” I thought his character was timeless. I’ve been making a concerted effort to read classics over the past several years, and have crossed many off my list: some brilliant (“Lolita”), some creepy (“Frankenstein” and – well – “Lolita”), and some overrated (“The Sun Also Rises”). I haven’t read any Steinbeck yet, so I’d like to check out “The Grapes of Wrath” someday.

    1. Love me some Salinger! Holden is a great character.

      And yes, Lolita is creepy. I’m excited to read Rebecca this year for my book club. Another creepy classic.

  11. So apropos that this morning I just got to the part in Orphan Train with the Anne reference!

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