Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Book Characters I’d Love to Be Besties With

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Book Characters I’d Love to Be Besties With. For me, this translates pretty much to characters I think are talented or cool or fun — just awesome people I’d want to spend time with (even though some of them are WAY out of my league in terms of supernatural abilities, but anyway…

 

1. Claire Fraser, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon: Of course. A strong, passionate woman, who’s creative, smart, and scientific.

2. Sophronia Temminnick, The Finishing School series by Gail Carriger: A true friend, who’ll defend you to the death. With a bladed fan, if necessary.

3. Anne Shirley, Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery: Wouldn’t it have been wonderful to have a friend like Anne during our childhoods?

4. Hermione Granger, Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling: I love Hermione, and I always felt a little bad that she didn’t have more girl friends at Hogwarts. I’d sign up in a second to be her partner for Herbology or Potions, or just to hang in the common room or the library.

5. October Daye, October Daye series by Seanan McGuire: Toby is all sorts of awesome, and I’d love to just live in her world for a while. And maybe hang out with May and the Luidaeg too.

6. Anna Cornick, Alpha & Omega series by Patricia Briggs: I love so much about Anna, especially her devotion to her loved ones, her inner calm, her ability to bring peace, and her fierceness when her mate and her pack are threatened.

7. Verity Price, Incryptid series by Seanan McGuire: A competitive ballroom dancer who’s also a master of weaponry and free running? Yes. Just all sorts of yes.

8. Lara Jean Covey, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han: Lara Jean is so sweet and fun, and would probably be hilarious to hang out with in high school.

9. Elma York, The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal: Elma is amazing! She’s got Ph.D.s in math and physics, loves to fly planes, and is determined to go into space. She’s brave, loving, and smarter than I can even comprehend.

10. June/Offred, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood: If I had to live in a horrifying dystopian misogynistic society, it would be a good idea to have a tough rebel like June by my side! (I realize I may be combining the book and TV characters in my head, but so be it.)

What fictional characters would you want as your bestie? Please share your links!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top ten character names for my imaginary babies and pets

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Ten Characters I’d Name A Child/Dog/Cat/Car/Etc. After — which strikes me as a really funny topic, but, hey, I’m game!

As I already have all the kids I intend to have and am not in the market for any fur (or fin) babies, I’ll just focus on character names which I think are cute or clever or cool or funny enough to become the NEXT BIG THING in baby and pet names.

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For girls:

  • Demelza – inspired by the Poldark series of books by Winston Graham
  • Marsali – inspired by Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series
  • Cosette – inspired by Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
  • Minerva – in honor of my favorite Hogwarts professor, thanks to Harry Potter and J. K. Rowling

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For boys:

  • Rhett – inspired by Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  • Tyrion – inspired by A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin
  • Quentin – inspired by The Magicians by Lev Grossman
  • Roland – inspired by The Dark Tower series by Stephen King

animals-47877_1280For the non-human family members, I’d want:

  • A dog named Rollo – inspired, once again, by the Outlander series
  • Three bearded dragon lizards, named Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion – another inspiration from the world of GRRM
  • Two fish (preferably big ones) names Ishmael and Queequeg – inspired by Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Oops! I realize that’s more than 10…

What character names do you think would be awesome people/pet names? Share your link, please, and I’ll come check out your top 10!

If you enjoyed this post, please consider following Bookshelf Fantasies! And don’t forget to check out my regular weekly features, Shelf Control and Thursday Quotables. Happy reading!

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Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I host a Book Blog Meme Directory, and I’m always looking for new additions! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!

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On Mercy Thompson and Kate Shugak

I’m having the somewhat mind-warping experience of reading two amazing books about two of my favorite characters right at the same time — and it struck me that despite seemingly huge differences, Mercy Thompson and Kate Shugak have a lot in common.

First, a bit about both.

Frost BurnedMercy Thompson, the heroine of Patricia Briggs’s popular urban fantasy series, is a VW mechanic living in the Tri-Cities area of the state of Washington. Mercy is a coyote shapeshifter who seems to always find herself at the center of trouble. Over the course of nine novels so far, Mercy has become more and more involved with the local werewolf pack, first as a neighbor and a nuisance, but eventually as the Alpha’s mate and wife. Along the way, Mercy has taken on a whole host of bad guys, from demonic vampires to volcano gods, and has lived to tell the tale, sometimes only by the skin of her teeth.

15998421And Kate Shugak? Kate is the heroine of a mystery series by Dana Stabenow. Kate is a former investigator for the Anchorage DA’s office who lives on a homestead in the wilds of Alaska and would love to be left alone — except she keeps getting called back into the life of investigating crime and corruption. The bad guys here aren’t supernatural. So far, I’ve read six of the Kate books (out of 20 currently published), and I’ve seen Kate take on oilmen, drug dealers, sleazy businessmen looking to worm their way into exploiting natural resources, and smugglers of native artifacts.

So why do I equate the two? Let’s see:

Kate and Mercy are both outsiders. Kate grew up surrounded by family and tribe, but has spent most of her life wanting to distance herself from her grandmother’s manipulations and native politics. Mercy spent most of her life believing herself to be the only coyote shapeshifter in existence, never quite fitting in among the werewolves who’ve always been around her. Additionally, Kate and Mercy both were raised by foster parents, and seem to both carry scars from the absence of their own parents in their lives.

Kate is an Aleut. Mercy is of Native American heritage. Both have to deal with the blatant and implicit biases and injustices that come their way as women of color.

Kate is a kick-butt investigator who isn’t afraid to fight, is amazing with firearms, and can defend herself and anyone around her when things get dangerous. Mercy is a highly trained martial arts expert, who throws herself into a fight when needed, and will always do whatever she can to protect anyone who needs her.

Kate and Mercy have relationships that matter to them, but they’re also strong women who would never take orders or be less than 100% themselves just because of a man.

Kate and Mercy are survivors. They’ve been through hell. They’re scarred. They’ve risked themselves time and time again to do the right thing and protect those weaker than themselves.

Kate never goes anywhere without her huge dog Mutt, half-Husky, half-wolf. And Mercy seems to always be surrounded by her very own pack of wolves, most especially her beloved Alpha wolf Adam.

Kate and Mercy are both highly self-sufficient. Kate lives alone (with Mutt) at her homestead, miles from the nearest town, where she single-handedly hunts, chops wood, fetches what she needs, repairs building and vehicles, and keeps herself alive throughout Alaskan winters. Mercy is a talented mechanic who can fix anything with a motor, skilled with her hands and making a go of being a woman in a man’s world, defying gender roles on a daily basis.

Above all, they’re both smart, strong women who love deeply, cherish their independence, champion those who can’t stand up for themselves, fight for justice, and take no bull from anyone.

So despite the vast differences in their worlds — one full of the supernatural, the other a mundane world full of complicated people and politics — both Mercy and Kate are stand-out heroines who deal with tough surroundings and dangerous threats, but always remain true to themselves.

See, this is what I get for reading the new Mercy novel while in the middle of a Kate audiobook! I find the two running together in my mind, and can’t help thinking that it’s too bad that they belong to different worlds. They’d make an awesome team.

In any case, I absolutely love the world of Mercy Thompson, and I’m falling more and more under the spell of Kate Shugak. I hope to have many more books about both in my future!

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Characters I Just Didn’t Click With

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Ten Characters You Just Didn’t Click With.

This is a tough one. For me, this wouldn’t include the obviously bad eggs — I mean, we’re not intended to click with the villains, right? So I’m trying to come up with ten characters who are supposed to be important, sympathetic characters, people whose sides we’re meant to be on, but for whatever reason, I just never felt the love…. or at least, not right away.

Here we go:

Seven whom I just never really liked:

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  1. Gale Hawthorne (The Hunger Games): I was definitely Team Peeta, but even at the very beginning, Gale just didn’t particularly appeal to me, and he never did grow on me either.
  2. Eragon (Eragon): Eragon’s a bit of a jerk, IMHO. He doesn’t listen to people who obviously know better, he keeps getting his friends into mortal danger, and he’s kind of careless with his magic. I love Saphira the dragon, but maybe the fact that the title character of the series doesn’t appeal to me is part of the reason why I haven’t felt compelled to continue reading the rest of the books.
  3. Margo (Paper Towns) and …
  4. Alaska (Looking for Alaska): I don’t like these wild child girl characters, the mysterious free-spirited untameable special ones who set the boys next door spinning in their orbits. Just, no. (As you can imagine, these books just didn’t work for me.)
  5. Marguerite Blakeney (The Scarlet Pimpernel): It seems as though every chapter in this book has to remind us that Marguerite is the most beautiful and clever woman in all of Europe. I found her kind of insufferable, which is too bad, considering she’s the heroine.
  6. Bella Swan (Twilight): Does this one even need explanation? I just wanted her to grown a spine and stop throwing her life away. Oh well.
  7. Anyone from The Raven Boys: Don’t shoot me. I know people love this series. But when I read the first book, the characters all kind of mushed together for me and none of them made me care about them as individuals.

 

not my cup

 

And three who became favorites — but it took me a while:

 

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  1. Margaret Hale (North and South): I’m still reading this book, so I have no definitive opinions yet. Margaret starts out as highly snobby and prejudiced, but she’s really improving! I didn’t click with her at first, but now I really like her.
  2. Jo March (Little Women): Jo is meant to be the stand-in for the author and the one readers really connect with. I think my problem was that I read Little Women when I was a bit too young. Jo’s stubbornness and trouble-making streak didn’t appeal to me then; I was more smitten with Beth’s unwavering goodness. (This all changed when I re-read Little Women as a teen, because who wants to be good as gold as a teen-aged girl? Raising a little hell was much more enticing at that point.)
  3. Fanny Price (Mansfield Park): Like Margaret Hale, Fanny Price really grew on me during the novel. I had a hard time seeing past her meek ways and her constant frailness, but I ended up really admiring her inner strength as the book progressed. So while I didn’t click with Fanny right away, by the end, I thought she was terrific.

Yes, eventually, for these three I’d have to say:

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Are any of my characters on  your list this week? Or have I included anyone about whom you feel completely the opposite?

Share your links, please, and I’ll come check out your top 10!

If you enjoyed this post, please consider following Bookshelf Fantasies! And don’t forget to check out my regular weekly feature, Thursday Quotables. Happy reading!

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I host a Book Blog Meme Directory, and I’m always looking for new additions! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Characters I’d Want With Me On A Deserted Island

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Top Ten Characters I’d Want With Me On A Deserted Island… which is going to end up being remarkably similar to a list I did back in April on the Top Ten Characters With Essential Survival Skills. Most of my original picks hold true, but I’ll make a few substitutions just for the sake of switching things up.

Who would I want by my side on a deserted island? Read on.

Kicking things off are my beloved folks from the world of Outlander:

1) Claire Fraser (Outlander series): You’ve got to hand it to Claire. She manages the transition from 20th century to 18th century without missing  a beat, and adapts her modern-day physician skills to become a healer woman in her new home. Medicinal herbs, home-brewed penicillin, hand-made ether for surgical anesthesia — Claire can do it all!

2) Brianna Randall MacKenzie (Outlander series): Just as inventive as her mother Claire, although with a different focus. Bree is an excellent shot, can hunt for dinner any day of the week, and in her spare time figures out how to create a kiln and make water pipes from clay.

3) Jamie Fraser (Outlander series): Okay, mostly for the eye-candy value (I mean, really, what IS there to look at on a deserted island?), but also for all-around protection (the man is a warrior), as well as other types of stimulation. (Intellectual! Get your minds out of the gutter! The man is an expert chess player, knows a bazillion languages, and can declaim poetry. We’ll need entertainment on our deserted island!)

But since there’s more to life than Outlander (wait, what??), I’d also want:

4) Darla Edmunds (Ashfall series): Darla, a super-talented teen, is the key to survival for her entire community. She invents Bikezilla (a hybrid bicycle/snowmobile that can be used to haul just about anything), bike-powered corn mills, wind-powered turbines, and central heating. When there’s no electricity and everyone is on the verge of starvation, Darla figures out how to feed, house, and warm hundreds of people at a time.

5) Tyrion Lannister (A Song of Ice and Fire): Boredom will not be a problem, so long as I can chat with Tyrion.

6) Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games): In case we need to go a-hunting with bows and arrows.

7) Harry Dresden (The Dresden Files): Not only is Harry the only professional wizard in Chicago, he’s a man with the ability to face down any foe, human or otherwise, cast enchantments and spells, and even come back from the dead. So just in case there are some evil spirits flitting around the island, I’ll need Harry to set up some wards, or figure out how to do a reverse locator spell, or some such essential magical working.

8) Emilio Sandoz (The Sparrow): Emilio is smart, honorable, funny, and dedicated. He’s a masterful linguist who seems to learn new languages in the blink of an eye — so just in case the island is not as deserted as it seems, Emilio can converse with the locals.

9) Pi Patel (Life of Pi): In case we do manage to build a boat, Pi’s the guy for staying alive while drifting at sea… especially if a tiger decides to hitch a ride.

10) Henry DeTamble (The Time Traveler’s Wife): First of all, I think Henry’s just a fascinating guy, so it would be great to have him for company just for the sake of hearing stories about his life. Plus, he’s a time traveler! So I’d hope that on one of his time-hops, he’d managed to get word to someone reliable to come rescue me in 2014!

Which characters will be sharing your deserted islands? Share your links, and I’ll come check out your top 10!

If you enjoyed this post, please consider following Bookshelf Fantasies! And don’t forget to check out our regular weekly features, Thursday Quotables and Flashback Friday. Happy reading!

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books About Friendship

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Top Ten Books About Friendship… and it was a surprisingly difficult list to put together! Every time I had an idea about a book to include, I’d realize that it ended up as a love story or a family story. In fact, it was hard to come up with a selection of books that didn’t focus on romance or wasn’t about siblings — but that really just place the emphasis on friendship. But after much torment and scouring of my real and virtual bookshelves, here’s what made my list this week:

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1) Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White: I don’t think there’s a better friend in fiction than Charlotte the spider. And I’m sure Wilbur would agree.

2) The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien: A motley band, to be sure, but from a group of strange companions, the fellowship develops into a deeply devoted band of friends.

3) Code Name Verity: Sigh. Julia and Maddie. Tears. Oh my.

4) The Harry Potter series: This probably belongs up at #1. Why was Harry able to survive and triumph? Because he didn’t have to do it alone. Ron and Hermione are the best friends a young wizard could have, not to mention all the various and sundry other members of the Hogwarts gang and their extended families. (Dobby! Neville! Weasley twins!)

5) Lamb by Christopher Moore: I hope it’s not disrespectful to say that this novel about Jesus and his childhood pal Biff is one of the best buddy books I’ve ever read! Hilariously funny, and surprisingly touching as well.

6) Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See: Just a beautiful, beautiful book about two friends in 19th century China.

7) Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando: This is probably the newest book on my list. I really loved the focus on two strangers getting to know one another via email before becoming college roommates — with all the revelations, secret sharing, and misunderstandings that you’d find in real life. True friendship may not be easy, but it’s worth the work!

8) Doc by Mary Doria Russell: This may seem like an odd choice, but one of my favorites things about this historical novel about Doc Holliday is the portrayal of his friendship with Wyatt Earp.

9) Buffy the Vampire Slayer (season 8 and beyond): Okay, maybe it’s a bit of a cheat, but I love the comic series that picks ups where the TV series left off — and as with Harry Potter, the secret of Buffy’s success is her gang of friends. Where would Buffy be without the Scoobies?

10) And finally, for a unique look at friendship gone wrong, check out the darkly comic The Basic Eight by Daniel Handler.

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I’m sure I missed some books that will pop into my head in the middle of the night…

What’s on your list this week? Share your links, and I’ll come check out your top 10!

If you enjoyed this post, please consider following Bookshelf Fantasies! And don’t forget to check out our regular weekly features, Thursday Quotables and Flashback Friday. Happy reading!

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Characters With Essential Survival Skills

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Top Ten Characters Who… (choose a characteristic and find ten characters who fit). So many options! Characters who make the best friends? Characters I’d like to invite for dinner? It’s so hard to narrow it down!

Going with my chosen theme, these are my picks for characters who you’d want by your side in a crisis — characters who have the skills it takes to survive!

1) Claire Fraser (Outlander series): You’ve got to hand it to Claire. She manages the transition from 20th century to 18th century without missing  a beat, and adapts her modern-day physician skills to become a healer woman in her new home. Medicinal herbs, home-brewed penicillin, hand-made ether for surgical anesthetic — Claire can do it all!

2) Brianna Randall MacKenzie (Outlander series): Just as inventive as her mother Claire, although with a different focus. Bree is an excellent shot, can hunt for dinner any day of the week, and in her spare time figures out how to create a kiln and make water pipes from clay.

3) Darla Edmunds (Ashfall series): Darla, a super-talented teen, is the key to survival for her entire community. She invents Bikezilla (a hybrid bicycle/snowmobile that can be used to haul just about anything), bike-powered corn mills, wind-powered turbines, and central heating. When there’s no electricity and everyone is on the verge of starvation, Darla figures out how to feed, house, and warm hundreds of people at a time.

4) Lauren Olamina (Parable of the Sower): Lauren founds a religion, protects her people, creates a community, and keeps hope alive when the world seems to be falling to pieces. She also thinks ahead to the little things, like stocking up on ammo and plant seeds.

5) Tyrion Lannister (A Song of Ice and Fire): Tyrion seems to always manage to survive, somehow, by using his wits and his tongue. Whether these will continue to work for him remains to be seen.

6) Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games): No explanation needed, right?

7) Yorick Brown (Y: The Last Man): After all males on the planet are wiped out in an instant, Yorick is literally the last man on Earth — and there are plenty of people who’d like to get rid of him too. He survives through goofiness, charm, and his ability to roll with the punches and not give up. Despite his slacker exterior, Yorick excels at forging alliances, and the biggest plus in his fight for survival is the excellent team he holds together.

8) Hig (The Dog Stars): Being a pilot is a matter of survival for Hig in this post-apocalyptic novel, in which viewing the surrounding terrain from the air and being able to spot danger before it arrives at his door is what’s kept him alive for so long.

9) Bilbo Baggins (The Hobbit): Never underestimate the survival ability of a burglar! For a simple hobbit who never wanted to leave his own comfy home, Bilbo certainly has a talent for getting into and out of the unlikeliest of places. And clearly, being able to solve riddles when your life is on the line is no small feet feat.

10) Harry Dresden (The Dresden Files): Not only is Harry the only professional wizard in Chicago, he’s a man with the ability to face down any foe, human or otherwise, cast enchantments and spells, and even come back from the dead. Can’t beat that for a survival skill!

What character traits were on your mind this week? Share your links, and I’ll come check out your top 10!

If you enjoyed this post, please consider following Bookshelf Fantasies! And don’t forget to check out our regular weekly features, Thursday Quotables and Flashback Friday. Happy reading!

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Most Memorable Secondary Characters

fireworks2Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week.

This week’s theme is Top Ten Most Memorable Secondary Characters. Sometimes we love a book for the dashing heroes, the leading love interest, the grand adventurer. And sometimes it’s the people in the background who really bring a book to life and give it depth, filling out an entire community even while they’re not the main focus. So here’s a salute to all those amazing characters who may not have their own books (yet!), but who make such an impact on us as readers.

Actually, my first thought with this week’s list was to fill up my 10 choices with just Harry Potter characters, which — believe me — wouldn’t be hard at all to do. But in the interest of diversity, I’m branching out and limiting myself to just one from Harry’s world, which is:

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1) Dobby, Harry Potter series: We met him as an annoying little creature causing Harry all sorts of woe in book 2 — but by the 7th book, it’s clear that Dobby is one of the unsung heroes of the series. “Dobby is a free elf!” If you didn’t leave the first Deathly Hallows movies in tears, then I’m sorry, my friend, but your heart is made of stone.

2) Ian Murray (“Young Ian”), Outlander series. Ian always reminds me of an overgrown puppy, especially when he makes his first appearance in Voyager. But from a skinny, gawky, always-in-trouble 14-year-old, Ian grows into a strong, brave young man who has survived more than his share of heartbreak and impossible challenges. And always with so much love for his family, and so much devotion and loyalty!

3) Samwise Gamgee, Lord of the Rings trilogy: Is there a better friend than Sam? He doesn’t get the glory, but without him, Frodo never would have made it to Mordor.

4) Reepicheep, Narnia series: A fearless soldier devoted to honor and adventure, who also happens to be a two-foot high mouse. Reep rules.

5) Claudia, Interview With The Vampire: Back before the flood of vampire books, there was Interview… and Interview introduces us to one of the most shocking vampire characters of all time: Claudia, turned as a little girl, destined to always be trapped in a girl’s body even after decades of life. She’s a killer, she’s wanton, and she’s utterly tragic.

6) Ivy Hisselpenny, The Parasol Protectorate series: Never underestimate the power of an atrocious hat! Ivy is the best friend of main character Alexia, and keeps Alexia amused and informed with her never-ending gossip, chit-chat and fashion missteps. Ivy goes from mere sidekick to a more active figure as the series progresses, but never loses her humor or her awful hats.

7) Dee, Just One Day: Gayle Forman’s Just One Day has at its center a love story and a girl’s personal growth and transformation — but a key part of Allyson’s development happens in college once she meets Dee, the outspoken boy from her Shakespeare class who convinces Allyson to break out of her shell and take some chances.

8) Charlotte Lucas, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Charlotte Lucas, best friend of Elizabeth Bennett, is kind of bland and unremarkable in Pride and Prejudice. But in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, as one of the afflicted, Charlotte is one of the funniest (and grossest) parts of the book. It’s kind of a riot to watch her slowly turning into a zombie while everyone around her is too well-mannered to mention her little problem.

9) Go, Gone Girl: Margo, twin sister of main character Nick, loves him and supports him, but is no push-over. She doesn’t have a central role, but I did always enjoy it when Go would show up in a scene.

10) Lou Carmody, NOS4A2: I absolutely loved the character Lou in Joe Hill’s super-creepy NOS4A2. As I wrote in my review: “Lou is terribly overweight and not very healthy, but has a heart of gold, the soul of a hero, and is a geeky fanboy through and through, as well as one hell of a mechanic.” Lou loves with all his heart, and does wonderful things because of that love.

So, sorry Fred and George, Lupin and Tonks, and the rest of the HP gang, but there just wasn’t room for everyone this week!

Who made your list this week?

If you enjoyed this post, please consider following Bookshelf Fantasies! And don’t forget to check out our regular weekly features, Thursday Quotables and Flashback Friday. Happy reading!

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Do you host a blog hop or book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Fictional Crushes

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week.

The actual topic this week is “Top Ten Characters I Would Crush On If I Were Also A Fictional Character”, but in my mind, I can’t help thinking of it as my Top Ten Fictional Crushes — or, as a friend and I like to say, our top 10 fictional boyfriends. Which makes us sound about 14 years old, but there you have it.

Since this is all make-believe, real-life considerations such as availability and age-appropriateness go right out the window. So here we go — the men of my book-bound dreams:

1) James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser, a.k.a. Jamie Fraser (Outlander). Because, seriously —  is there anything better than a tall, red-headed Scottish warrior in a kilt, who’s also mind-meltingly tender and romantic? I don’t think so.

2) Matthew Clairmont (A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night). Sexy vampire with multiple PhD degrees? Check.

3) Emilio Sandoz (The Sparrow). I know he’s a priest — didn’t I say that this list has nothing to do with availability? Emilio is so gifted, so perfect, and so tragically wounded in body and soul. Makes me want to protect him from the world. Sigh.

4) Henry DeTamble (The Time Traveler’s Wife). I love his romantic streak and his punk-rock wildness. Totally miscast in the movie version, in my opinion, but Henry in the book? To die for.

5) Eric Northman (Sookie Stackhouse series). I’ve got nothing against Alexander Skarsgard, but book Eric is THE Eric for me. The version of Eric I see when I read the books is a big and beefy Viking, built more like a football player (with super long ultra-blond hair) than the lean and lanky (and totally hot) Swedish TV version of Eric. I truly, truly loved Eric through many, many books… until the last couple, when his character kind of fell apart. In my humble opinion, of course.

6) Sirius Black (Harry Potter series). Love. Just love. Sirius is noble, loyal, misunderstood, intense, and hey — he’s a Gryffindor!

7) Connal Maccon (The Parasol Protectorate). Another Scottish crush! Although this one tends more toward fur than kilts. Connal is a big, strong, devoted man, a fine husband and father, and one heck of a pack Alpha for his house full of werewolves.

8) Ned Stark (A Game of Thrones). Poor Ned. For the 1% of people who haven’t either read the books or watched the HBO show, let’s just leave it at that. But goodness, what an honorable man. And yet another dedicated husband and father — do we sense a theme here? Runners up from ASoIaF: Jon Snow and Khal Drogo. No explanations needed.

9) Harry Dresden (Dresden Files). A wise-cracking wizard who kicks butt, defies authority, and is fiercely loyal to friends and family. What a guy.

10) I got totally stuck coming up with a #10. Should I go with the ever-popular Mr. Darcy? What about underdog Sydney Carton from A Tale of Two Cities? Or Brandon Birmingham, dashing sea captain from The Flame and the Flower (my very first romance novel, which I read at much too young and impressionable an age)? Then again, I did love Jake Epping in 11/22/63, Adam Hauptmann in the Mercy Thompson books… oh, and Aragorn! How could I forget my king?

It’s hopeless. I’m doomed to always fall for my book heroes. But happily, they’re always right there on my shelves, whenever I want to spend time with them again. So let’s hear it for our fictional crushes!

Who’s on your list this week?

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Most Frustrating Characters

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is:

Top Ten Most Frustrating Characters

For me, frustrating characters tend to fall into a few broad categories. Those who make bad choices, especially when they should know better. Those who chase after things or people they can never have. Those who bring on catastrophe through a failure to communicate. Those who refuse to recognize happiness when it’s staring them right in the face.

So which fictional characters deserve a good shake? Who do I want to slap some sense into? Or at least treat to a very stern lecture?

1) Sookie Stackhouse. Sookie, have you not noticed how many times you’ve almost died? Did you ever think that maybe you’re hanging out with the wrong crowd? People — like Sookie — who consistently put themselves into dangerous situations, fully aware that they’re doing it but doing it anyway, are incredibly frustrating to read about. Plus, Sookie spends way too much time on her beauty routines, and I just don’t have time (or interest) enough to keep reading about her showers, her leg-shaving, and her hair style choices.

2) Scarlett O’Hara. Okay, how could you possibly pick boring old Ashley Wilkes over roguish Rhett Butler? It’s frustrating when a character is so completely deluded about what she really wants and needs. As Rhett tells her:

… you’re such a child, Scarlett. A child crying for the moon. What would a child do with the moon if it got it? And what would you do with Ashley? Yes, I’m sorry for you — sorry to see you throwing away happiness with both hands and reaching out for something that would never make you happy.

But no. Scarlett just will not see what’s right in front of her eyes, and must continually chase after a man so absolutely wrong for her. Wake up!

3) Marianne Dashwood. The embodiment of “sensibility” in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, Marianne is ruled by her emotions, which might not be altogether terrible if she also had a shred of judgment. Of course Willoughby turns out to be a cad! For goodness sake, pull yourself together, Marianne. No man is worth that kind of fuss… and oh, by the way, that Colonel Brandon seems like a nice fellow.

4 & 5) Roger Mackenzie and Brianna Randall. Pretty much everything that happens to these two characters in The Drums of Autumn (book #4 in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series) could have been avoided if they had just communicated with one another. Each one withholds key pieces of information, so that the other acts rashly and without knowledge of important facts. And each ends up in awful, devastating danger as a result. Granted, if they’d been straight with each other in the first place, we’d end up missing about half of the plot of this book — but still, talk about frustrating! Secrets and deceptions may make dramatic plot devices, but it drives me crazy when good, strong, otherwise honorable and admirable characters fail to communicate on such a basic level.

RS pic6) Robb Stark. So you wanna be a king? You could start by growing up a bit! I’m sorry if you don’t like your arranged marriage, but entire alliances rest upon the deals made in your name. Falling in love is not a good enough excuse for alienating an important ally — not in a world where several different armies want nothing more than your head on a pike. Oh, Robb.

7 & 8) Bella Swan and Anastasia Steele. Men who want to be in charge of your every move are not being romantic. They’re being controlling. Showing up in your bedroom uninvited to watch you sleep is not sweet. It’s creepy. Enough said. [Note: I am not a Twilight-hater. I enjoyed the books. I liked the Fifty Shades books too. But that doesn’t change the fact that these two characters make really poor choices.]

9) Lord Conall Maccon. I love Conall (alpha male of the Woolsey Pack in Gail Carriger’s wonderful Parasol Protectorate series). But his behavior in book 2, Changeless, is beyond frustrating. I won’t spoil what happens (go out and read the books!), but suffice it to way that when faced with a surprising development, hot-headed Conall jumps to the worst possible conclusion, with not a shred of reasonable evidence to back it up, and behaves abominably. Stupid, stupid man.

10) Working on a list of frustrating characters ended up frustrating me! I know there have been countless times when I’ve wanted to throw a book across the room due to some character’s stupid decisions or actions. But now that I have to actually come up with a list? I keep getting stuck. I polled some of my friends, added in a few more of my own, and so instead of just one #10, I’ll skip straight to:

Most Frustrating Characters: Honorable Mention

  • Romeo and Juliet: Wait a few minutes before doing anything rash, okay? Stop assuming your beloved is dead. Check for a pulse, perhaps.
  • Hamlet: Just make a decision already.
  • Ophelia: Oh honey, no man is worth it.
  • Nathan Price (The Poisonwood Bible) and Pa Ingalls (Little House books): Religious fervor and manifest destiny are no excuse for dragging your family off to dangerous places. Feeling a higher calling is no justification for poor parenting.
  • The Cat In The Hat: Talk about overstaying your welcome. And geez, would it kill you to clean up a bit?