Top Ten Tuesday: Fellow Bookworms

toptentuesdayI didn’t get to do last week’s Top Ten Tuesday, so I’m doing it today in lieu of this week’s topic (favorite fairy-tales & fairy-tale retellings). This topic is all about book nerd characters.

As always, this meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Fellow Bookworms

Lizzie Bennet Jo March

Elizabeth Bennet – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Jo March – Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Hermione Anne Shirley

Hermione Granger – Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling
Anne Shirley – Anne of Green Gables series by L. M. Montgomery

Molly Gibson Catherine Morland

Molly Gibson – Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
Catherine Morland – Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

senseandsensibility meanttobe mara dyer To Win Her Heart

Marianne Dashwood – Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Julia Lichtenstein Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill
Mara Dyer – Mara Dyer series by Michelle Hodkin
Eden Spencer & Levi Grant To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer

Who are some of your favorite bookworm characters? 

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

toptentuesdayThis week’s Top Ten Tuesday meme, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is a freebie! So I decided to finally post a top ten list I’ve tried to share several times.

Do you ever read a book and think, “I would want THAT character with me if I was ever in ‘x’ situation”? Well, I’m really keen on picking out characters who are resourceful. When I read Harry Potter, I’m thinking, “Man, I would love to have Hermione next to me in a natural disaster.” (Seriously, is there a situation I wouldn’t want to have Hermione’s help in?)

So, I’m doing a Top Ten Tuesday rewind post and sharing with you the Top Ten Characters I’d Want to Have With Me On a Desert Island

Hermione IMG_2042

Hermione Granger (The Harry Potter series) – I basically already said I’d want Hermione with me in any situation. She’s arguably the most prepared and resourceful character ever written.

Katniss Everdeen and Finnick Odair (The Hunger Games series) – Not the most emotionally reliable of characters, but Katniss is still brave, strong, and a hunter (which would come in handy when it’s time to eat!). And Finnick would be great at catching fish, and also at charming people into doing whatever he wants (in a good way, of course…).

JoMarch IMG_2048

Jo March (Little Women) – I’d want Jo around to keep all of our spirits up. You’d never be bored with Jo as company, and the way she nursed her sister Beth always made me cry. She’s a headstrong character, but she has a huge heart for other people.

Robin Hood (The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood) – Besides the fact that he can hunt and entertain, Robin Hood would be great at keeping everyone “united” (like Finnick). If we’re stuck on this island for a while, I can count on Robin to work out arguments and keep everyone in a good mood. Except for maybe Katniss, since she doesn’t have any people skills. Robin would also be helpful at surviving in the woods.

Anne and Gilbert IMG_2049

Anne Shirley & Gilbert Blythe (The Anne of Green Gables series) – I really debated between Gilbert and Prim from The Hunger Games, since both are doctors/healers. But I went with Gilbert because he’s a very wise character who I could also trust to be a leader in a chaotic situation. And, yeah, he’s not bad to look at either ;) And Anne’s imagination would come in handy when we’re bored. I would love to have story-time with her and Jo March.

Meredith Hayes (Short Straw Bride) – Meredith can make a happy situation out of anything. Oh, it’s your wedding day and there’s no cake? Well don’t worry, let me just whip some delicious cinnamon rolls out of scratch for you! Someone is trying to set the barn on fire? No problem! I’ll make everyone dinner and then personally go out there and stop the fire myself. Yeah, you’re pretty resourceful, Meri.

AnneElliot IMG_2043

Anne Elliot (Persuasion) – If anyone can stay calm during a catastrophe, it’s Anne Elliot. As soon as everyone starts freaking out about something, Anne is focused and swift-thinking.

Phileas Fogg (Around the World in Eighty Days) – If there’s one thing I know Phileas would be able to do on a desert island, it would be to get us off of it. I’m sure he’d just happen to find a boat somewhere or be able to flag down a passing ship that could take us all home.

Which characters would you love to have with you on a deserted island??

Little Women: Discovering a Childhood Classic in Adulthood

littlewomenLittle Women by Louisa May Alcott
Published 1868 by Roberts Brothers
Classic/Young Adult
Format: e-book; 560 pages
Also From This Author: Little MenJo’s Boys
Goodreads | Amazon
My Rating: 5/5

I have seriously been slacking on my book reviews. I finished Little Women weeks ago and I’m finally forcing myself to type out my thoughts. But rest assured, I loved every minute of this book.

I am still surprised at myself for not having read this book when I was a child, especially because it is right up my alley. Little Women is the type of book that makes me want to have daughters one day, so we can read it together and gush over our favorite moments.  Although I felt oddly guilty at the fact that I didn’t read this book sooner, I did already know the story because I grew up watching the 1994 film version with Winona Rider and Christian Bale. Ilittlewomenmovie still really love this movie, but I am so glad I finally read the novel because it helped redeem some characters and plot lines for me, specifically Amy March, who I had always regarded as the bratty younger sister who just never matures. But she does mature! The movie just doesn’t elaborate on it. So, moral is: always read the book! Even if you read it afterwards :)

My absolute favorite part of this novel was the relationship between the March sisters. They seemed so real despite the fact that they were ideal relationships. They laughed together, cried together; they fought and they made up; they made sacrifices for each other and they took care of one another. You could see so much love that it really encourages you to love your own family a bit more. So many times during this novel I wished I could have hugged my siblings!

Another aspect of this book that really made an impression on me was the role of Marmee. She’s more than just a mother; she’s also a friend to the March sisters and she’s their guide in every area of life. I loved how much wisdom she showed to the girls, wisdom that I definitely benefited from myself. One of my favorite scenes of Little Women is when Marmee gave Meg some advice about nurturing and caring for her new marriage:

“Guard against the little piques, misunderstandings, and hasty words that often pave the way for bitter sorrow and regret.”

I probably related the most to Meg, the eldest sister and the one who first realized that what she needed in life was not what she had always wanted:

She had not yet learned to know how rich she was in the blessings which alone can make life happy.

I loved the gentleness of Beth, always caring and unselfish. She seems like the least developed of the March sisters, but really she holds them all together:

There are many Beths in the world, shy and quiet, sitting in corners till needed, and living for others so cheerfully that no one sees the sacrifices till the little cricket on the hearth stops chirping, and the sweet, sunshiny presence vanishes, leaving silence and shadow behind.

Amy, Amy, Amy… Like I said before, I used to get extremely aggravated by her brattiness because that’s mostly what the 1994 film version portrayed. But she’s just a typical baby sister who still has to grow out of her selfishness and immaturity, just like we all (hopefully) do. We see less of these traits in Meg, Jo, and Beth because they are already relatively grown up when the novel starts. However, I do love the later chapters that focus on Amy’s growing up because we get to see things from her POV and it’s in those chapters that I realized how much Amy does care about those around her. And for those of you who still ship Jo and Laurie, let me just say that Louisa May Alcott got it right. Amy is by far the much better match for Laurie, and it’s because of her that he finally stopped being lazy and mopey. And this quote from Amy regarding marrying Laurie is what really redeemed her character for me:

“How delightful it is to be able to help others, isn’t it? That was always one of my dreams, to have the power of giving freely, and thanks to you, the dream has come true.”

And of course there’s our heroine, Jo, who helps us all realize that we can attain our dreams with lots of hope and hard work, and who, like me, forgets and remembers this beautiful thought:

“I do think that families are the most beautiful things in all the world!”

littlewomenmovie2Little Women (1994)

I have always loved this movie! I used to watch it with googly eyes when I was younger (I don’t have googly eyes now, of course…). It’s one of those movies I could watch every day and that has those heart-touching scenes that never fail to make me cry (like when Beth gets her piano! Bravo Claire Danes on bringing out the tears from me). And although I am probably one of the few consistent shippers of Jo and Professor Bhaer, I have always loved them together. That scene at the end is one of my favorites :)

Pros: the acting! All of the locations and costumes, staying relatively true to the original story.

Cons: cutting out some of my favorite character developments (but it’s understandable), like Amy’s maturity and the early relationship between Meg and Mr. Brooke (which I really gushed over in the book).

For those of you who have read (or watched) Little Women, what were some of your favorite moments? How do you feel about Amy and  the “love square” between her, Jo, Laurie, and Professor Bhaer?