I'm reading The Count of Monte Cristo.
During my teenage years and my early twenties I read dozens of "classics" about heroic men and (outwardly, at least) lyrically beautiful women.
I read the classics because I thought they were the best the human race had to offer.
I stopped reading almost entirely when I realized I wasn't going do anything heroic like those men, who suddenly made me acutely jealous of their epic lives, rather than offering inspiration. I also wanted female characters to be something more than just the romantic interest of the story. They had to more than just pretty.
Now I mainly read scifi novels by women about women, because I never feel the need compare myself with the heroines or wish that I could become
them, because that would just be ... weird.
Anyhow, my "book du jour" from that genre is Rediscovery
by Marion Zimmer Bradley and Mercedes Lackey. Amazing speculative look at what happens when a medieval culture meets people from outerspace.