Playing Favorites

Top Ten Tuesday returns to Never Done It That Way Before, because The Broke and the Bookish made me an offer I couldn’t refuse: Top Ten Favorite Characters of All Time.

Now, that title is actually a little too confident for my taste, so my list is more like “Ten of My Favorite Characters, That I Can Think of Right This Minute.”  Still, it’s a fun game, isn’t it?  Read my list, read the list at The Broke and the Bookish, and leave a comment telling me which great characters I missed.

Harold,  Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson: Harold is cool under pressure.  He comes up holding his purple crayon and thinking fast.  When he needs a break, he draws a picnic with the nine kinds of pie he likes best, and when he can’t eat all nine pies, he draws a moose and a deserving porcupine to finish the meal.  (Pro Tip: Of course pie is a meal.  Sometimes it even has fruit.)

Frances,  A Birthday for Frances (and the other Frances books) by Russel Hoban: I loved all of these books, and I loved Frances.  She is really good at making up songs, sometimes she rides a broom like it’s a horse, she pretends she knows how to spell, and she’s an older sister who is sometimes a little jealous of the attention her little sister Gloria gets.  (I totally related.)  If I hadn’t already named my first child Zoe, I would be tempted to name the next one Frances.  (Pro Tip: Franny and Zoe is a little too cute, even for me.)

Laura Ingalls, The Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder: Laura was brave, impulsive, fun-loving, and (perhaps most important) she had brown hair.  Also, I loved hearing about her dresses.

Princess Amy,  The Ordinary Princess by M. M. Kaye: Oh, how I loved this book, and oh, how I loved Princess Amy.  Given the gift of ordinariness by a mysterious fairy godmother, Amy does things like hang out in the forest, befriend a squirrel and a bird, run away to another kingdom where she becomes a kitchen maid, and fall in love with a guy named Perry, who . . . well, spoilers!  And, of course, she has brown hair, because what is more ordinary than that, am I right?

Claudia Kishi,  The Baby-Sitters Club  by Ann M. Martin: I loved all of the BSC girls, but Claudia, with her flair for art and fashion, her junk food cleverly hidden all over her room, and her exotic “almond-shaped eyes”, was my favorite.

Atticus Finch,  To Kill a Mockingbird  by Harper Lee: My first impulse was to put Scout on my list.  Then I realized that it’s Atticus, wise and just, who hates guns but can shoot a rabid dog if he needs to, that I really love.

Miss Marple: Unlike a certain Belgian detective, this Agatha Christie sleuth just quietly solves the mystery.  No muss, no fuss, no mustaches.

Philip Marlowe: Speaking of detectives, Raymond Chandler’s hardboiled P.I. can solve my seedy crimes any day.

Marian Halcombe, The Woman in White by Wilkie Colllins: She is not at all beautiful, but she is incredibly clever, faithful, and brave.  Even the menacing Count Fosco appreciates her worth, and he is a crazy Italian Bad Guy.

Mrs. Bennet, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: I wanted to pick Anne Eliot, the heroine of my very favorite Austen Novel (Persuasion), but she is not nearly as interesting or hilarious as Elizabeth Bennet’s ridiculous mother.  I would not want to have tea with her, and I certainly would not want her for my own mother, but I love reading her.

Japanse karakters / Japanese characters

What fictional characters are your favorites?



Filed under Book Report

26 responses to “Playing Favorites

  1. I love that you put in a BSC girl. Claudia was very interesting. My favourite was always Stacey. But now, looking back, I might choose Mary Ann.
    Great list!


  2. iamatticusfinch lol! Atticus Finch should be first, if i am to answer. the runners up are Hester Prynne (The Scarlet Letter) and Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov (Crime and Punishment)


    • Interesting! I should probably give those books another try. My last attempt at The Scarlet Letter was in eighth grade–I’m sure it would be much easier going nearly twenty years later!


      • Yes, when your mind has depth. I could not forget Scarlet Letter for it is my report in our Novel class. I believe that Hester is indeed and exceptional woman who manages to stand up despite the adversaries.


  3. Fab list! I stuck to YA/kids’ characters only (because I was having so much trouble cutting it down to 10!) but if I hadn’t, Atticus would definitely have been there and I’d have certainly had either Miss Marple or Poirot. Mine is here if you’d like to take a look.


    • Thank you! I guess I think of To Kill a Mockingbird as a YA book because I read it in eighth grade, but when I read it with my book club last year I found I got plenty out of it that I’m sure I missed at fourteen. Your list is so intriguing–so many YA books, so little time!


  4. Now, that title is actually a little too confident for my taste, so my list is more like “Ten of My Favorite Characters, That I Can Think of Right This Minute.” Ha, this is so true! I was like ‘eh…’ I could also barely think of any female characters, which is ridiculous as there are so many I loved – I just couldn’t think of them while I was slapping up a reply to this meme!


    • I really like this meme, but it is often so specific that it’s not my thing or so big that I am overwhelmed by the possibilities. Luckily, these books will not rise or fall based on their presence (or not) in my blog top ten list. Whew.


  5. Oh, Mrs. Bennet, how interesting! She is certainly unforgettable, but I would’ve never considered her a “favorite.” Now that I think about it, though, her ridiculous antics always make me smile, whether reading the book or watching an adaptation.

    Also love the mention of Atticus Finch. I debated between Atticus and Scout on my TTT and decided on Scout.


    • I was a little surprised, too! But I would say my other favorite in that book is Mr. Colllins. I think Austen writes them just terrible enough to be hilarious but still readable. This is less true in Emma, which has passages I can barely stand to read (I am thinking of poor Miss Bates, mostly).

      Thanks for stopping!


  6. Claire

    I bet Gloria was also jealous of Frances 🙂 maybe she also sat outside her bedroom door all day trying to be as cool as Frances and hear what she was doing. also, claudia was my least favorite babysitter. obviously, my favorite was Stacey (although I hated that spelling). i’m sure you are not surprised she was my favorite…i loved her so much that I demanded that mom take me to the doctor because I was convinced that I, too, had diabetes. Also, I was so excited to go to bloomingdale’s in New York because that is where Stacey shopped.


    • Awwww! What great memories–excellent wedding toast material, I think. Claudia was your least favorite? Sacrilege. She and Stacey were best friends! Stacey was my other favorite, although I agree about the spelling and had erased it from my memory until I went looking for a book to link to. I’m glad that you went to Bloomingdale’s in New York to be like Stacey instead of getting diabetes. Good call.


      • Claire

        yes, it was a wise decision. although I remember that i was not all that impressed by stacey’s bloomingdale’s.

        oh, also, it was me from brazil (and is me)–i obviously clicked to the post to write this comment!


      • Oh, duh! Well, I still enjoying wondering about the other international viewers. I had a big spike in the Netherlands the other day. Fascinating!


  7. My mother has a great story about me when I was little. Apparently I disliked my name for a while. So one day, while at the library, I accidentally locked myself into the girls bathroom in the childrens’ section. When they asked me for my name so that they could find Mom, I answered Gloria (From the Frances books). Needless to say, it took a while for my Mom to figure out that it was her daughter locked in the bathroom. Odd thing is, I’m the older sister, not the younger. I’m working on my list for this meme now. Anne Shirley and Heidi and Cherry Ames will be on there….


    • I love that story, Lisa! Your poor mother! Zoe will often say that she is Dora, or Boots, or whoever, but just while she’s playing, so far. When a friendly stranger asked her name in a restaurant the other night, she looked at him very seriously and said, “I’m Zoe Marilyn Cumings!” I think she expected him to know. I look forward to seeing your list! I would have put Anne Shirley, but . . . I have not read the books, just seen the miniseries a hundred thousand times. I should probably remedy that, huh?


  8. Oooh Miss Marple was a good one!!


    • I’m reading all of Dame Agatha’s novels in order, and I am VERY excited to start Murder at the Vicarage next (the first Marple). I’ve read it before, so I will feel extra smart when I (maybe) solve the mystery ahead of Miss Marple!


  9. CLAUDIA KISHI! I love you for listing her.


  10. Kristin

    Hooray for Anne Shirley!

    Some of my other faves (eeks, making a top ten list would be so hard!): Jonas from The Giver (which, of course, is my favorite book altogether); Mary Lennox from The Secret Garden (I totally tried to plant some seeds under a bush, in pursuit of my own such garden); Annemarie and family from Number the Stars (are you sensing a Lois Lowry theme here?); and, of course, the whole fabulous Ingalls family.


    • I almost put Mary Lennox! She is way more interesting and entertaining than saintly Sarah from A Little Princess. And I can’t believe I forgot The Giver! I also really like the girl from Gathering Blue. And Number the Stars, too. You’re right: Lois Lowry all the way. I did limit myself to one Ingalls. My next favorite would be Pa. And then . . . that neighbor of theirs who brings them the Christmas candy. The Tennessee wild cat? I need to read those books again . . .


  11. sarah a

    xo: I also was disappointed in Stacey’s Bloomingdale’s, but deeply impressed by Stonybrook, Long Island. Atticus Finch was my first love, and fifteen cheers for Marian Halcombe! Emily of New Moon had dark hair, and so does Robin McKinley’s Beauty.


  12. purpleowltree1234

    Love your faves. Some of my favourites are Atticus Finch, Curious George, Amelia Bedelia, George Clooney’s doctor he played in ER (can’t remember the name!!), The main girl character in “She’s Come Undone” by Wally Lamb (can’t remember her name either! I’m on a roll!)- that’s my favourite fictional book ever, and Nancy Drew. :o) hahaha! My brain is just shut down right now- can’t think of books, names, anything much! Doesn’t help that I’m moving soon and All my books are packed, so I can’t look at my bookshelf for reminders!
    Love from Rach.


  13. Pingback: Top Ten Top Tens! | Never Done It That Way Before

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