Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Spies, detectives and girls who kick butt: Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the rather excellent The Broke and the Bookish.

This week, the theme is Top Ten All Time Favourite Characters in Books.

1. Harriet M. Welsch (from Harriet The Spy by Louise Fitzhugh)
I wanted to be this kid so much when I was young. She had adventures, she writes everything down in that notebook, she wears that huge yellow coat, and she isn't afraid to say what she thinks. And, you know. SPY.

Michelle Trachtenberg as Harriet M. Welsch, via

(Also, the character of Harriet in The Little Friend by Donna Tartt, another novel I love, is apparently based on Harriet Welsch to some degree.)

2. Arya Stark (A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin)
For being the ultimate in spunky girl heroine, and for knowing how to swordfight instead of what dress would be the most appropriate at any given function.

Maisie Williams as Arya Stark, via 

(Arya beats out Jon, Ned, Tyrion and Daenerys in my Top ASOIAF characters. It's a tough list to top.)

3. Anna Madrigal (Tales of the City series by Armistead Maupin)
Pot-smoking, free-living, transsexual landlady and all round awesome woman. For everything from her short-lived relationship with Edgar Halcyon to her adoption of the Barbary Lane misfits.

Olympia Dukakis as Anna Madrigal, via

4. Kinky Friedman (Kinky Friedman series by Kinky Friedman)
The fictional embodiment of the very real Kinky Friedman. Cowboy Kinky lives in a loft in Greenwich Village, solving mysteries with the Village Irregulars and smoking huge cigars.

The (real) Kinky Friedman, via

5. Hercule Poirot (Poirot stories by Agatha Christie)
My favourite Agatha Christie detective by a mile. Meticulous and methodical, I am always intrigued to see where his "little grey cells" will take me.

David Suchet as Hercule Poirot, via

6. Nina Geiger (Making Out series by Katherine Applegate)
Nina was the wise-cracking, cigarette-smoking (but not really, because she didn't light them) sidekick to the series' main protagonist, Zoey. While Zoey moped about and wrote romance novels in her diary, Nina told jokes and wound up her ice queen sister, and ended up with nice guy Ben.

7. Hermione Granger (Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling)
There are a lot of characters I like in the HP books, but Hermione is still my favourite. She's smart and kind and isn't afraid to get dirty. And she gets all her homework in on time.

Emma Watson as Hermione Granger, via

8. Rob Fleming (High Fidelity by Nick Hornby)
Rob makes lists. Lots of them. He also bases most of his life on what he's learnt from pop records. "What came first, the music or the misery?"

John Cusack as Rob, via

9. Elizabeth Windsor (The Queen and I by Sue Townsend)
While no great fan of the actual Royals, the Queen as she appears in this book turns out to be a stoical, humorous woman who despairs at keeping the rest of her family in check.

10. Holden Caulfield (Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger)
I wouldn't say that Holden was the most likable character, but he's still one of my favourites, with his musings about girls and life and his obsession with outing everything around him as "phony".


  1. Good list:) See you like Hermione Granger, like her too:) Thanks for visiting my blog:)

  2. Love this list - lots of these are my fave characters too like Arya & Hermoine - 2 smart, brave young women :-)

  3. Hah! Harriet the Spy--she is a great character. I enjoyed your list today. kaye—the road goes ever ever on

  4. Great list, especially Rob Fleming, I loved that book!

  5. Yes! Harriet the Spy! Good one!
    i think Hermione is pretty much my fave from the Harry Potter series too but i just had to include all of the characters on my list because it was like choosing between your children. i just couldn't choose one. :)

  6. I totally agree with Arya and Hermione, great picks!

  7. Gahhh I really need to read Martin's books. My husband is almost finished with the second one and we've been watching the show - I adore Arya (and Daenerys and Tyrion). My husband said that Jon was much better in the books.

    Hermoine and Harriet are awesome!

  8. Neat! :) Plus, I also like Hermione. She reminds me of myself, since I also have brown hair (although not as bushy), and I also like to read books some of the time, too.


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