Top Ten Tuesday 3.8.11

Top Ten Tuesday is weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Link up to find other book lovers and new reads!

This week’s topic:
Top Ten Dynamic Duos

These are the BFFs, partners in crime, powerful couples, and general groups of awesome people!

My List:

1. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Like the host of this meme, this pair is first on my list. I read these stories in high school, loving the way the doctor and the detective solved crimes together. On my first real date, a boy took me to see a play of the The Hound of The Baskervilles at the Ballard Mill Theater. It was the perfect first date.

2. Jena and Gogu from Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier. Wildwood Dancing is a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. Jena is one of the dancing sisters and Gogu is her best friend, a pet frog who is frustrated by his physical inability to help her. There are many cute moments.

3. Fiona and Nick from The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly. They succeed because of their friendship in a society that would otherwise crush them because of their gender and sexuality. I get teary just thinking about it.

4.Minnie and Celia from The Help by Kathryn Stockett. The strained working relationship between this black maid and her bimbo employer develops into a wonderful and sometimes comic friendship. These two have a scene that is absolutely hysterical–but I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t read The Help yet. I’ll just say that one should be very afraid when these two team up. Minnie and Celia are one of the many reasons I loved this novel.

5. Howl and Sophie from Howl’s Moving Castle. This wizard and his cursed housekeeper’s relationship is filled with misunderstandings and frustrations. I love how Sophie stops fearing Howl and putting up with his magical mood swings. They certainly need each other.

6. Maisie Dobbs and Billy Beale from the Maisie Dobbs series. The friendship between this detective and her assistant is much like the series as a whole: sensitive and understated.

7. Jacky Faber and Higgins from the Bloody Jack series. Do I ever make a “top ten” list without including Jacky Faber? Higgins is a butler/father figure/co-conspirator/friend to Jacky. He has her back, time and again. Sometimes I wish I had a Higgins!

8. Jane and Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice. These two sisters survive the embarrassment of their dysfunctional family because of each other. My sister is also a best friend. Once she bought my a magnet that pretty much sums up our relationship: “Sisters by chance, friends by choice.”

9. Shaggy and Scooby-Doo. I’m a mom, so I spend a lot of time reading children’s books. I loved Shaggy and Scooby-Doo as a kid, and I’m glad that they are popular with my daughter too. These two space cases inadvertently solve most of the crimes, though Velma has to provide the explanations and conclusion.

10. Frodo and Samwise from The Lord of the Rings. I have to admit, I haven’t read Tolkien’s trilogy; I’ve only watched the movies. In the films, Frodo wouldn’t be able to complete his quest without Samwise to keep him focused. Such brave little hobbits! I felt so frightened for them every time they were on screen. I definitely need to read the novels in the future!

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Book Blogger Hop 1/28-1/31

The Book Blogger Hop is hosted weekly at Crazy-for-Books. Join to meet fellow book lovers and discover new reads.

This week’s question:

“What book are you most looking forward to seeing published in 2011?  Why are you anticipating that book?”

Oh, I’m sure there are many great books that will be released this year!  Usually L.A. Meyer releases a Bloody Jack adventure in September. This historical fiction series about a teenage girl pirate/privateer is awesome.

I’m also looking forward to the latest Maisie Dobbs mystery, A Lesson in Secrets, that will be released March 22nd.  Mysteries aren’t my usual genre, but I love this series set in the aftermath of World War 1.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Most Inspirational Characters

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s list: our Top Ten Most Inspirational Characters. Here are mine:

1. Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables. Or you can call her Cordelia. She has the most vivid imagination, she inspires all who meet her and she is loyal to those she loves, even when that loyalty calls for bitter self-sacrifice.

2. Jacky Faber from The Bloody Jack series by L. A. Meyer. Jacky is a sixteen-year-old pirate/privateer (depending on who you ask). She is extremely adventurous, resourceful and talented. While she doesn’t always make the best choices, she never suffers from boredom. She doesn’t forget her Cockney orphan roots and her friends. What I love most about her: she repeatedly outwits seasoned sailors, soldiers and politicians, showing them how clever a girl can be.

3. Catherine from Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman. She thinks of the best pranks to scare away unwanted suitors while discovering what it means to be free.

4. Sherlock Holmes. Yes, he’s a drug addict and a bit arrogant, but I love him. His character inspired so many quirky detectives.

5. Sorcha from Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier. I could have easily listed ten women from Marillier’s books as inspirational characters. It’s difficult to pick just one! Marillier’s women are strong and heroic through the most horrible events. I chose Sorcha because she was the first Marillier heroine I read. She suffers in literal silence as she works to free her brothers from a curse in a novel that is loosely based on the fairy tale “The Six Swans.”

6. Holden Caulfield from Catcher in the Rye. I know a lot of people dislike Holden, sometimes claiming he is too whiny and emo. When I read this classic, however, I empathized with his character. Sometimes I felt like his thoughts echoed my own, even though Salinger wrote his character several decades before I was born. Just like Holden, I am disgusted by all of the “phonies” in the world.

7. Jo March from Little Women. I’ve read Little Women at least four times. I own my mother’s copy and intend to pass it on to my daughter when she is older. Jo grows so much in this novel. She can be impetuous (cutting off her hair for money), and she loves fiercely. Sometimes that love is unrequited. She dares to make choices that many girls of her era would never have contemplated.

8. Eliza Sommers from Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende. She is the headstrong half-Chilean half-English heroine of Allende’s novel set in California during the gold rush. Eliza endures some terrible circumstances and becomes a stronger woman in the process. She also learns to distinguish true love from puppy love, and to give up her deep-seated prejudices.

9. Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear. Maisie is an intelligent girl who becomes a nurse during World War I and later a psychologist/private investigator during the War’s aftermath. Maisie solves crimes with unconventional methods, focusing on healing as well as discovery.

10. Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I love Elizabeth Bennet for being herself, for challenging and intriguing Mr. Darcy. She is witty, sincere and unpretentious. I’m sure she’ll make an appearance on many people’s top ten list!