Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists over at The Broke and the Bookish. They love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!
Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of the bloggers there at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. Are you a blogger as well? All that’s asked is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don’t have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it!
My Top Ten All Time Favourite Characters in Books.
There are characters that you meet in books that stay with you always. There isn’t always any rhyme or reasons as to why you remember them, but you just do. This week’s Top Ten asked me to go back and think of my all-time favourite characters. Be warned: some are from recent books, while some are not.
10. Lula, from Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. What’s not to love about a size sixteen (who wears size ten spandex) former hooker now file clerk who has no compunction about speaking her mind, admitting to a love of Cluck-in-a-Bucket chicken or firing her gun indiscriminately? I love her character, primarily because she is purely there for comic relief, and she does the job well, but also because she exudes self-confidence and the knowledge that she is an incredible woman. You go, Lula!
9. Andrew Copeland from Lauren Dane’s Inside Out. He’s tall and broad and brawny. He renovates his own home, reads and writes his own poetry, and makes a mean breakfast in the morning. Did I mention that he is hot as hell and really, really enjoys staying home with his partner? Not entirely perfect, he has his own issues at times, and his relationship with his family is … complicated. But when he finds the girl of his dreams? He’s 100% all in. Yes, I get that he’s fictional, but I don’t care. Beautiful.
8. Tris from Veronica Roth’s Divergent. Tris is a complicated girl. Not only does she make the incredibly difficult decision to leave behind her family in order to join the Dauntless faction, but she has to struggle to survive while hiding her Divergent qualities. Later, she suffers from guilt about her actions, and makes questionable choices that affect others. Why, then, do I like her so much? I like her because she’s real and age-appropriate and completely relatable to readers. She’s strong and brave, but still vulnerable, and she has a great capacity for love.
7. Jane Eyre from Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. Jane is the ultimate romantic heroine. She’s strong and determined, and she follows the strength of her convictions in order to do what is right. She is a woman who wants to live beyond the constraints of her time, and to love the man that she chooses. I also love that Jane is not a perfect person; she is prone to fits of anger, and she speaks rashly when she should stop to think. I’d like to think that she’s a lot like me – but hopefully I’ll have a less melodramatic kind of happy ending in my future.
6. The English Patient/Count Ladislaus de Almásy from Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient. The central figure of the novel, the English Patient remains an enigma, even as his true identity is revealed. A man without a nation, his actions are sometimes driven by forces beyond the knowledge of the reader; ultimately, though, the story of a man forced to make the choice to abandon the woman he loves for the faint chance of saving her life tugs at your heartstrings. That circumstances conspire against him just as he seems to be on the verge of success will haunt you for days.
5. Jaime Vegas, from Kelley Armstrong’s No Humans Involved. Jaime is sassy, articulate, funny and a necromancer. She’s not afraid of her own supernatural talents; in fact, she parlays them into a top international stage show (although she never actually uses her talents on-stage), and she’s fiercely loyal to her friends. She’s in a committed relationship with the uber-alpha Jeremy, but it’s a relationship of respect and love that is carried out on their own terms. She’s also a little older than me, and still amazing in every way.
4. Atticus Finch from Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Oh, Atticus, you broke my heart, but I will never quit you. You were the man who led me to believe that Good will always triumph over Evil, and a being a good person can be enough to save the day. If you’ve read the book, then you know how well that turns out (and if you haven’t … why?) What saves Atticus though, is the fact that no matter what happens, he will always be a good man in a flawed society. While being on the side of good doesn’t necessarily always win, the true value of a man appears when he shows up again the next day to start the fight all over.
3. Mortimer, from Robert Munsch’s Mortimer. I adore this child. I’m sure I’ve taught at least fifteen of them in my life as a teacher, and I have to say …. I have a secret soft spot for THAT KID. You know … the one who marches to the beat of his own drummer. The one who is the last one to clean up. The one who yells, “clang, clang, rattle bing bang, gonna make my noise all day…” at the inopportune time. The one who drives you nuts, and the one who will grow up to be amazing. Don’t change, Mortimers of the world.
2. Jessica Trent, from Loretta Chase’s Lord of Scoundrels. Have to confess – this was the romance novel that kicked off my love of historicals. Until I “met” Jessica Trent, I hadn’t clicked with any of the books I’d tried. What a gem – she’s smart, witty, calm, determined and fully committed to everything she does. From identifying rare Russian icons to shooting rakes that have ‘dishonored’ her, from managing her doofus brother to getting her irascible husband to admit that he loves her, Jessica is fully capable of running the world. Haven’t met her yet? I envy you – you are in for a treat.
1. Charlotte, from E.B. White’s classic tale, Charlotte’s Web. I know – a spider takes top spot? What was I thinking? Charlotte is that incredible character that you don’t forget… when she first meets the melancholy pig Wilbur, she manages to cheer him up with the strength of her convictions, and sets about to develop a plan to save his life. She inspires the humans around her by her love and clever use of language (“Some Pig”!), and is the ultimate best friend, even giving her life to save Wilbur. How can you not love Charlotte? She contains the very best elements of the magic of childhood, the power of friendship, and the strength of bravery and determination all in one tiny package.
Update: I’ve had a few friends comment to me (both publicly and otherwise) about not having Anne Shirley from L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables on my list. C’mon, Anne’s a forever character. She’s not just some fly-by-night top ten … she’s a read-every-year, never-put-her-down character. She’s beyond the list – I love Anne dearly, and she’s ALWAYS on top. 🙂