Top Ten Characters I’d Like to See on The Real World…or another reality TV show {Top Ten Tuesday}

Alright, the topic for today’s Top Ten Tuesday is really “Rewind”, or picking a past topic to do again (or for the first time, if you missed it). But I’m sort of making my own topic. On May 15th, the topic was Top Ten Authors I’d Like to See on a Reality TV Show–I’m tweaking this to make it characters. I think I know more about characters than authors. And I think I’ll actually have a few different sets of ten characters–you know, it could be really interesting to put ten really strong/stubborn people together and ten really stupid/silly people together, or even a couple strong and more silly (imagine Lizzie and Darcy with eight Lydias and Mrs. Bennets!) So here are my groups of characters I’d like to see together in a Real World situation.

1) Katniss Everdeen and Lydia Bennet, in a Hunger Games-type setting
Would Katniss help Lydia if she was about to die? Or would the silly deserve to die?

2) Bridget Jones and Elizabeth Bennet
I think this would be a very interesting pair. Bridget Jones is a “modern re-telling” of Pride and Prejudice, so Bridget and Lizzie really are supposed to be the same character. But Lizzie is so strong and Bridget is a bit weak, especially in the beginning. This would definitely be fun if there was only one Darcy (especially if it was Colin Firth haha)

3) Wicked Witch of the West (Wizard of Oz), Lamia (Stardust), Sea Witch (aka “Ursula”, Little Mermaid)
All three of these meanies are out to get young women. Would they back-stab each other? Or share helpful hints on how to get what they want?

4) Bruno (The Boy in the Striped Pajamas) and Eliezer (Night)
Just imagine the conversations a young Jewish boy who was being held at Auschwitz would have with a young German boy who is completely naive about what is happening on the other side of a fence.

5) Anne Shirley and Alice (Alice Through the Looking Glass)
Anne certainly has an imagination. But would it stretch so far as to create a world like Alice’s?

6) Harry, Hermione, Ron and Draco
This could be interesting in many circumstances. Let’s assume they will live in The (Muggle) Real World and no one has a wand. I would love to see Draco in the Muggle world. I’d also like to see how Ron adapted, because I’m sure Harry and Hermione, having grown up as muggles, would help him. Plus, there tends to be a romantic escapade between cast members on The Real World–a perfect opportunity for Ron and Hermione to get together 🙂

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You Don’t Read Classics?! {Top Ten Tuesday}

I don’t know about you, but I am hardly ever disappointed when I read a “classic.” I know that classics are hard to define, and I’m not even going to try defining it. But, in my mind, these ten books I’m about to list are classics and well worth a read for anyone who is hesitant about the classic book.

By the way, I should mention officially that this is a list for Top Ten Tuesdays, a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is to create a list of must-read books for people who don’t read the genre of ___________ (in my case, I picked classics as a genre). So, here are ten books people who don’t typically read classics should read:

1) The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
True, I’m a bit biased here because this is my favorite book, classic or otherwise. Highlights of this book are an escape from prison, traveling around Europe and on the high seas in the early 1800s, and non-fatal revenge (the kind that will haunt those who did wrong forever). I would recommend the abridged version to those who really aren’t for long books–even though abridged is long, too. But I decided on the abridged that it was my favorite, so obviously it’s okay.

2) anything by Jane Austen, but I’d definitely recommend Pride and Prejudice
I know, I know. But I don’t think it’s cliche to have this on a list of classics to read. If you can make it past the 100+ words per sentence Austen liked to write, the story behind the run-ons is great. I warn you though, all of her books follow the same pattern, just with different characters, who do have different personalities.

3) Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
I think if I don’t say anything more than this next sentence, it won’t really give anything away in the story: crazy lady locked in the attic. What could be a better teaser?

4) Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
This story holds a dear place in my heart, because ever since I can remember, my three sisters and I have pretended to be the March sisters. But I think this is an easier classic to read. It’s simple to read–not a different style of writing, like Austen. It’s a very warming and family-oriented story, the sort of story I like to read on a snowy winter day, because it’s so cozy.

5) Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Who doesn’t like a good pirate story? I think adults like this as much as children.

6) Peter Pan by JM Barrie
Again, who doesn’t like a good pirate story? Not that all of this is a pirate story. But I think any adult will like the story of a kid who didn’t want to grow up. How many of us wish we could be kids again, even for just a day or two?

7) The Time Machine by HG Wells
I’m sure that this is not the first novel in which there is time travel, marking it as a sci-fi story. But, for me, this will always be the original sci-fi story. And this isn’t a time travel where you go backwards, but a traverse so far in the future that “society” has reverted back to neanderthal-esque living, no humans left.

8) Dracula by Bram Stoker
Remember that one time that vampires weren’t a common thing to make TV shows and write books about? I do! Not that I was alive when this was published, but I can remember when vampires weren’t such a large part of pop culture. This can be a little tedious at times, but it’s the birth of vampires as a topic of interest in literature, as far as I know.

9) The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
The book is much better than the musical. I love the musical, love the songs, love the recent film of it. But I still think the book is better. It’s so much easier to understand how complex the phantom is in the book–he’s more than a creeper who lives in the opera house’s basement.

10) The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy
Most of you probably haven’t even heard of this book. And I wouldn’t have either, if I hadn’t started reading a series about five years ago that was a spin-off of this book. And while the series is more modern in its style of focus, the original Scarlet Pimpernel was its own series by Orczy. If you like espionage and scandal amidst Regency England/France, you’ll like this book.

Dusty Ole Books {Top Ten Tuesday}

I am notorious for buying books and letting them spend an eternity sitting on my shelf. I certainly own more unread books than read books. I even tried to remedy it in a way by resolving to read at least ten of my own books in 2011–but that sort of fell through, as I counted books that I bought and then read in 2011, too. So I plan on reading more of my own collection next year AND I’m going to try to read a book of my own for every book I buy (as in, before I buy another).

Getting back to the point, the topic of this week’s Top Ten Tuesday is this: Top Ten Books That Have Been On My Shelf For The Longest But I’ve Never Read. Lucky for me, I’ve been keeping track for a long time of when I bought books, so all of the books I have listed below were bought in or before the year 2007, so they’ve been sitting on my shelves for at least four years. So here are some of the books I’ve had longest and not read:

1. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
2. Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
3. Darcy and Elizabeth by Linda Berdoll
4. Digging to America by Anne Tyler
5. In My Hands: Memoirs of a Holocaust Rescuer by Irene Gut Opdyke
6. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
7. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
8. The Motorcycle Diaries by Ernest “Che” Guevara
9. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
10. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien 

The list isn’t very representative of genres. I have considerably more classics than anything else still sitting on my shelves. That is because when I started buying my own books, in 2006, I was in a classics phase and because they were (and are) the cheapest books, and I had very little money.

Top Ten Tuesday: But Everyone Else Has Done It…

Do you remember, when you were younger, how you always wanted to do what everyone else did and have what everyone else had? Well, the topic of this week’s Top Ten Tuesday is “Top Ten Books I Feel Everyone Else Has Read But Me”. (Just to remind you, that’s hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish.) Now, technically that doesn’t mean they are books we WANT to read, as my opening question would have you believe. And, believe me, there are some books that a lot of people have read that I have no interest in, so there will be both books I want to read and books I DON’T want to read.

1) any of the Lord of the Rings series
Not sure if there really are that many people that have read one or another of this series. But it just seems like a book a lot of people know.

2) Animal Farm or 1984 by George Orwell
As more contemporary British classics, I feel that a lot of people have read these books. Interestingly enough, these British works are popular required readings in American high schools.

3) Lord of the Flies by William Golding
There are so many people out there who have had to read this book for high school–again, possibly an American thing.

4) anything by Dickens, with the exception of A Christmas Carol
I have not read ANYTHING by Dickens, except A Christmas Carol which I read first in 8th grade. I feel like lots of people have at least read something of Dickens’.

5) Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

6) Anna Karenina or many other long novels by Russian authors
I am very inexperienced with the Russian authors. Pretty much all I have to my credit is Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol. No Tolstoy. No Dostoevsky.

7) anything by Mark Twain
Yeah, I haven’t read Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn or any of Mark Twain’s work. And, again, this might just make me feel a little like a bad American 😦

8 ) and, since I’m running out of ideas for books I haven’t read, here’s a few books I read recently that I felt everyone but me had read (before reading them, obviously):
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
-the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins

Interestingly enough, those books I feel lots of people have read are older books. Not sure why, but I guess I feel they deserve more due than any newer books a lot of people read. That and I don’t think that brand new books can really prove they are worth everyone reading them until they’ve been around awhile.

Top Ten Tuesday: Un-Reviewed Favorites

The topic for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday meme, hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish, is books we loved, but never reviewed. In Natanya’s words: “This week it’s time to give a shout out to all those books you loved but never reviewed, either because you read them before you started blogging, or because you didn’t get a chance to or couldn’t review when you read it. ” Some of my childhood favorites are books about which I wish I remembered my original thoughts.

Anyways, here are some of my favorite books that I wish I reviewed (especially after the original reading):

1) The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Amazingly enough, I remember the basics about this book and it is my favorite book of all time. But I haven’t ever reviewed it! Sometimes I wonder if it really is still my favorite book of all time, since I have no proof of how much I like it.

2) Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
I read this (originally) at least twelve years ago–so I was 12. Obviously I wasn’t thinking much about what I was reading. But I really love this Cinderella story, so I wish I remembered what I had thought back then, other than that it was great.

3) The Sword in the Stone by TH White
I honestly don’t remember much about this one–read it about ten years ago. So, same story as above. I think there was something to do with Robin Hood in this book, even though it was about Arthur. Regardless, I liked it and now I can’t remember why.

4) The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

5) Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

6) Agony of Alice by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

7) The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene du Bois

And…that’s all I have. I didn’t read much before high school, and that’s when I started to keep track and at least sort of review the books I read. So most of these are ones I read from the ages of 12-14.

Top Ten Authors I Would DIE to Meet

The topic for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday meme, hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish, is authors. What authors would you most like to meet? I think this is different from asking, “What authors are your favorite?” There are probably some obscure writers out there who perhaps wrote a book you found interesting or weird whom you would like to talk to–but that doesn’t mean it’s your favorite book or author.

Here are the top ten authors I’d really REALLY like to meet (in no particular order):

  1. JK Rowling
  2. Neil Gaiman
  3. Jane Austen
  4. the Bronte sisters
  5. Lewis Carroll and/or L Frank Baum (to ask them a nicer equivalent of “How the hell did you come up with that?!”)
  6. Lauren Willig
  7. Margaret Atwood
  8. Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  9. Sophie Kinsella
  10. Lisa See
Who are the authors you’d do anything to meet?

Location, Location, Location!

The topic of this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted over at The Broke and The Bookish, is book settings. I really appreciate when an author can convey the setting of their story very well. I like to feel like I really know the location, but not as if a travel guide was explaining it. One of the reasons I enjoy science fiction or fantasy novels sometimes is because the setting are out of this world–literally.

So, in no particular order, here are some of my favorite settings (sometimes the year/era is also important).
***Note: I wouldn’t exactly say these are my Top Ten favorites because I’m not looking through all of the books I’ve ever read. Just the more recent ones and some of my past favorite books.

1) Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hoggy Hoggy Hogwarts 🙂
It’d be pretty impossible to not love Hogwarts, since that’s pretty much where the whole series takes place, with the exception of Deathly Hallows.

2) Prince Edward Island, Canada (early 20th century)
Okay, so I’ve only read the first two Anne books by LM Montgomery. But there’s just something about reading those books that make me feel all warm and cozy inside. And part of that is, I think, the location. True, I might not really understand the location as it is in the books, but rather in the Megan Follows movies 😕 But anyways…

3) Faerie in Stardust by Neil Gaiman
A land of some interesting magic…

4) Regency England
The setting of all of Jane Austen’s novels. Gotta love it, even if it’s a bit backwards by today’ standards (where gender and class are concerned)

5) Civil Rights Era American South (1950s-60s)
This was such a tumultuous time and there are such interesting stories that take place here. In this year alone, I’ve really enjoyed The Help, fiction set in Mississippi, and Warriors Don’t Cry, a memoir set in Little Rock.

6) Panem of The Hunger Games series
Since I enjoyed the books so much, and the country of Panem and it’s different classes in different locations had so much to do with the plot to the story, I have to like it!

7) France in the early 1800s
A lot of the Pink Carnation series go between Regency England and France in each book. And I always love it!

8.) Oz
L Frank Baum and Gregory Maguire may have slightly different Ozes, but I like them both 🙂

9) Tahiti
I really loved the laid-back, tropical feeling I got from reading Celestine Vaite’s books (Breadfruit, Frangipani, Tiare in Bloom). They are terrific summer reads.

10) China of varying times, a la Lisa See
I have not read a book by Lisa See that I didn’t like. And the Chinas she write about are so captivating, albeit a bit backward (like Regency England). But that’s something that makes it so fascinating.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE BOOK SETTINGS??