Top Ten Character Names

I know it’s NOT Tuesday! It’s Saturday!  A busy day has left me too exhausted to think or research/prepare a post for NaBloPoMo.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  I hadn’t participated in a long time and wanted to again.  So, I wrote this post 2 weeks in advance – and then forgot to post it!  Since today was super busy, and I had little time to really blog I dug into my drafts and found this one.  I like it, so I’ll post it.

The Broke and the Bookish requested a list about character names I love or unusual character names for Tuesday Oct 15 I believe it was…in any case, here is my list:

  1. Hermione Granger from Harry Potter – for the longest time I mispronounced her name…unique and unforgettable
  2. Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games – great way to get a short form of Kat without the traditional Catherine…quick, clever, fiercely independent
  3. Scarlett O’Hara from Gone with the Wind – a name as sweeping and romantic as the book
  4. Lavender Brown from Harry Potter– a minor character but the name is just too cute and an interesting take on names taken from nature
  5. Blanche Dubois from A Streetcar Named Desire – is there a better example of symbolism through character name?
  6. Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird – self explanatory.
  7. Lisbeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – an unassuming name for a very dangerous girl.
  8. Portia from The Merchant of Venice – although I’m not a huge fan of this Shakespearean play, she is a great character and her name is just as strong
  9. Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice – classic.
  10. Katsa & Po from Graceling– too cute and love how deadly they are.

What’s your favourite character name?  Answer below or on your own blog and add it to the meme at The Broke and The Bookish.

sign off bookmarks

Advertisements

Top Ten Books I’ve Read Since I Started Blogging!

(a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish)

This week we have been asked to list the top ten books we’ve read during the lifespan of our blogs.  My blog will be 1 soon!  Here are the top ten books I’ve read this past year:

1. The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson – great story.  great characters. powerful storytelling. a beautiful read.

2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – SO much fun! A girl who kicks ass and has two cute boys vying for her attention?  What’s not to love?

3. The Awakening by Kate Chopin – oh what women have gone through…

4.  The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan – an absolute fun, fun time!

5.  The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson – cool.  intriguing story.

6.  Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – I didn’t write a review or my thoughts on this one…but it is a long-time favourite that I love to re-read every so often

7. The Happiest Toddler on the Block by Harvey Karp PhD. – because I’ve become the toddler-ese Queen (toddler-ese is toddler language)!  Yes, this language still works with a very upset pre-schooler.  This book helped me to communicate with my son – it is remarkable to see his eyes light up when he feels understood and validated.

8. Splat the Cat books by Rob Scotton – have you read Splat the Cat?  Your toddler/preschooler will love Splat.  He is funny and whimsical.  The stories are highly creative (yet, simple) and the art is brilliant.  Please read Splat the Cat to a child near you.

Share yours with me in the comments below or at The Broke and the Bookish through the above link.

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I Want to Be for 24 Hours!

(a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish)

This week I’ve been challenged to think of characters that I’d switch places with for 24 hours:

1. Marianne Engel from The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson – she is the epitome of feminine confidence.  Beautiful, exotic and can remember her past lives.  In love with the same man for 700 years!  She is a also a master storyteller – yes, she is schizophrenic, but who cares?  The rest of her is uber cool.  For 24 hours…when she’s sculpting like crazy.

2. Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – me and half the female population on earth.  For my 24 hours I choose to go traipsing around the English countryside where Elizabeth manages to snatch up the guy with the biggest estate and income.

3. Elizabeth Gilbert from Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert – Can I spend 12 hours in Italy eating, then 12 hours in Indonesia swimming off the weight I’ve gained at a spectacular beach?

4. Hermione Granger from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling – because she’s brilliant, she can do anything and I’d love to go to Hogwartz for a day.

5. Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins I don’t know that I’d survive the hunger games as well as Katniss does, but I could go for all the pre-games primping.

6. Emma Woodhouse from Emma by Jane Austen – more problems of the upper class…love, matchmaking, gossip and rumour.  I’d like to be the immature version of Emma for 24 hours – spoiled, the center of attention, every whim, satisfied.

7. Ria Lynch or Marilyn Vine from Tara Road by Maeve Binchy I like the idea of switching homes & lives with someone for the summer and in the process, learn more about your own happiness.

8. Lisbeth Salander from The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson – just because I’d love to hack into computer systems all over the world for 24 hours.

9. Tina Fey from Bossypants by Tina Fey – because I’d love to be as funny as she is for 24 hours.

Can’t think of a tenth….lots of movie characters I’d love to be…Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman for instance, but can’t think of another character from a book…

Who would you switch places with for 24 hours?

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Beach Reads

(a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish)

Heading to the beach this summer? If you’re looking for something to read while you’re desperately trying to keep sand from sticking to your sunscreen or while you’e sneaking an extra five minutes of sunshine during your lunch break maybe my Top Eight Beach Reads can help.

Why not 10? You ask (considering it’s Top Ten Tuesday).

I had lots of trouble concocting this list – and I realized why.  I’ve spent the past several years reading classics, reading essays, reading literary theory, and devising all sorts of creative ways to deliver English curriculum in a captivating way to high school students.  Little time was left for reading things I wanted to read…even my summers were eaten up by reading for the school year.

Starting this blog was a way to get back in touch with the “Me-Who-Reads-for-Pleasure” (I really liked her).  I’m sad that I can’t offer more scintillating beach reads, but I realize that that might be where I want to go with my reading/blog: read more modern titles, and perhaps, lighter titles, too.

Well, here are some books that I think will keep you entertained this summer:

1.  The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson – a must-read for any true romantic.  Love that survives 700 years, masterful story telling, stories within a story, archetypal imagery…simply put, riveting, beautiful, will stay with you.  Hmmm, I think I really liked this book

2. Wildflower Hill by Kimberley Freeman – a story of two different time periods: post WWII Scotland and Australia; modern-day Australia and England.  A granddaughter discovering the secrets of her grandmother’s life as she combs through the old sheep station she inherited from her grandmother.  A moving story of love, family history, self-discovery and relationships.

3.  Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert – a wonderful story that will make you totally envious that your employer doesn’t give you a $30K advance on your next book so you can travel the world and find yourself.  Seriously though, if you can’t travel, this book will take you to three awesome countries with loads of laughs, moments of sadness, nostalgia, and hope.

4.  The Help by Kathryn Stockton – hilarious, sad, thought-provoking.  Oh what women do…

5.  The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin – maybe this is your summer to do something wonderful for yourself…like become happy…or, happier.  The Happiness Project will offer many ideas to help you get there – without being overbearing or preachy.

6, 7, 8.  The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins – The Hunger GamesCatching FireMockingjay (yes, I cheated by numbering each individually…but, unless you’d like to read some essays on King Lear, you’ll go with it).  Fun, fun, fun.

So, I hope there’s something there for everyone…my mission: come up with a better list for next year.

What are your summer favourites?

 

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

courtesy: joecoolsblog.blogspot.ca

The last installment of The Hunger Games trilogy will surely leave you ablaze with emotion.  It’s been a while since I read it.  I’m not sure why I procrastinated so much in writing the review.  Maybe it’s because I didn’t want to repeat what I had written in my reviews of The Hunger Games and Catching Fire.

In Mockingjay, the themes of war and humanity’s need for freedom, self-determination and a fair, just society are brought to fruition.  We learn that District 13 thrives.  It is preparing for an assault on the Capitol and its oppressive regime.  District 13 believes in equality, justice, fairness – but, their methods are brought into question too.  There is so much fear of oppression in District 13 that, ironically enough, its people are not quite as free as they claim.  Both ends of the political spectrum are under scrutiny, neither fairs well in Panem.

I had the most trouble with Katniss Everdeen in this final book.  She has been made the symbol of the revolution.  She is the mockinjay because she challenged and survived the cruelty of the Capitol.  This is not her choice.  Ultimately, she knows that she has no choice.  To refuse to be the symbol would be to abandon the rebels and allow the Capitol to crush them – which would mean Panem would be in a worse situation and her family would die.  She has to allow her image to be used as inspiration for the rebels.  She must help to lead the fight against the Capitol because it is too late to turn back.

Throughout these decisions, the book is littered with her doubts – fine, I’m with her, at least at the beginning.  But she keeps making questionable decision after questionable decision because she never stops to think.  Yes, her character is meant to be fiery, she acts on instinct – and for the most part, it works…there were too many moments where I felt infinitely frustrated by her.

Don’t even get me started on Peeta!  Poor Peeta!  That’s all I’m going to say about that in case you haven’t read it, and wish to, I don’t want to spoil it for you.  I truly do not understand the decision to make his character undergo such an experience.

The love triangle returns.  Each character must make their choices about where they stand within the revolution.  This decision is what finally decides the outcome of the love triangle for Katniss, Peeta and Gale.  Collins serves her protagonist well because Katniss falls into her choice, as she does everything else.  There is a definite decision made and it seems to be for the benefit of all.  Actually, each character in this trilogy that readers come to care for makes a choice early on in Mockingjay that leads to their final outcome.  Primrose, Haymitch, Finnick, Cinna and Mrs. Everdeen all have definite resolutions.  I can’t say I’m a fan of many of these outcomes but Collins is showing the consequence of war and revolution, after all.

Katniss has her final confrontation with President Snow.  It was not at all as I had expected (in fact, on more than one occasion I was left flabbergasted).  Considering Katniss’ motivation was always the protection of her sister – it made complete sense.

This trilogy was well written.  It was engaging, creative, full of action and emotion.  It offered a conclusion that was both somber and hopeful.  I believe Collins gives a good sense of finality in Mockingjay, yet she leaves her readers wanting more.  This is not a bad thing.  Once an author has tied all loose-ends and she leaves her readers wanting more, then I believe she has done her job of creating a place where it is so much fun to get lost in.