Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I didn’t "click" with

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Saw this over at Hamlette’s blog, and thought it would be a fun trip down memory lane.  Here goes – and hope I don’t tread on any toes.  😉

  1. Werther from The Sorrows of Young Werther.  
  2. Everyone from A Passage to India.  (Sorry, Forster.)
  3. Irene Adler from “A Scandal in Bohemia”. 
  4. Erik from The Phantom of the Opera.  In all fairness, I am meaning to re-read this.  During my first read, I definitely found book!Erik to be less likeable than Webber’s version.
  5. Nick Carraway from The Great Gatsby.  I get the impression one is supposed to like him, but I was left unimpressed.  (I was also shocked that his undisguised racist commentary never gets mentioned in mainstream circles).
  6. Everyone from Dragonwyck.  When I was in middle school, a friend recommended it to me, on the basis it was similar to Jane Eyre.  My mother cautioned me that it sounded like a romance novel, but in my blissful ignorance I wasn’t quite aware what that meant.  (Hint: think Edward and Bella in 1800s Dutch New York…)
  7. Mary Russell from the Mary Russell series. 
  8. Aragorn from The Return of the King.  Specifically ROTK, and maybe TTT, because I thought he was pretty cool in The Fellowship of the Ring, but less interesting as the story progressed.
  9. Ahab from Moby-Dick.  I’m not sure antagonists are supposed to “click” with you.  I do know that Gregory Peck’s portrayal brought a much-needed human/charismatic element to the character, whereas Starbuck, though different in the book from the movie, is still compelling apart from his film version. So with that in mind, I’d say book!Ahab didn’t “click”.
  10. Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice.  *gasp*  Don’t click away!  😉 She is probably the best-loved heroine in literature.  I just can’t honestly say I found her more interesting than many others. 

I’m sure I’ve listed someone’s favorites…well, the good news is, after six (and not necessarily in the above order), I found it super hard to list the last four!

The Liebster Award

This blog has been so quiet (too quiet) the past couple of months, as I’ve been transitioning into my new job and schedule.  Thanks to Sara from Majoring in Literature, here is a fun tag to break the hiatus!

– Link and thank the blogger who nominated you
– Answer the 11 questions your nominator gives you 
– Tag 11 other bloggers who have 200 followers or less 
– Ask the 11 bloggers you nominated 11 questions and let them know you nominated them!

    11 Questions: 

    1)  What is the first book you remember reading? 

    The first books I remember reading were very vintage children’s readers, like On Cherry Street.  I also have a fairly vivid memory of reading a phonetics textbook, which I actually thought was fun.  🙂

    2)  Where do you like to read?  Do you have a quiet little hideout where you can read undisturbed?

    I like to read in bed, either with the lamp on or in the dark with my new reading light.

    3)  Starting at the very top of your bookcase, what are the first five books you have on your shelves?

    The top is where I keep my “Mass Media” paperbacks:
    1.  The Thirteen Problems (Agatha Christie)
    2.  And Then There Were None (Christie)
    3.  The House of the Seven Gables (Nathaniel Hawthorne)
    4.  The Hobbit (J. R. R. Tolkien)
    5.  The Magician’s Nephew (C. S. Lewis).  Which reminds me – Narnia is due for a re-read!

    If you could meet one author, living or dead, for coffee, whom would you meet?

    Oh…this is a tough question!  I thought about this one long and hard.  I would love to meet Conrad or Kafka, for example, but I’m not sure a chat over coffee would go well with either of them.

    In the end, I narrowed it down, and my honest answer is Lewis Carroll.  I think it would be fascinating to meet an author whose legacy has become larger than life and changed drastically through the generations.  Beyond that, his books are chock-full of wit and mathematical references, and it would be an interesting conversation, for sure.

    How do you feel about seeing a movie adaptation before you’ve read the book?

    Generally, I prefer not to.  Even now, I’m holding off on watching The Great Gatsby until I’ve read the book, despite the fact everyone says it isn’t a great adaptation.  Old habits are hard to break!  I did read North & South effectively after I saw the 2005 miniseries, and I read LOTR and skim-read Little Dorrit concurrently while watching the adaptations.  Of all three, Little Dorrit was the best reading experience, while the others were a little anticlimactic compared to the (excellent) adaptations.

    What is your favourite adaptation of a book?

    I have so many, which is a good problem to have.  🙂

    The Lord of the Rings is a no-brainer.  It is possibly the truest adaptation I have ever seen of a book.  Possibly (probably) my #1 favorite movie.

    My next two all-time favorites are Disney’s 20000 Leagues Under the Sea and Moby-Dick starring Gregory Peck.  Neither of them are purist, but I grew up watching them, and they still leave me awestruck.

    Finally, there’s Jeremy Brett’s Sherlock Holmes.  This series is close to purist-perfect – it’s a magnificent adaptation.

    Which character from fiction would you most like to be?

    It would be exciting to be one of the heroes from Dracula – however, I wouldn’t truly want to live that plot.  So I’ll go with one of the scientists from a Jules Verne novel, because those usually turn out well.  🙂

    As for a character I would like to be like – off the top of my head, I’d have to go with Alyosha from The Brothers Karamazov.  I would like to have his fearless sense of forgiveness and ability to be a peacemaker.

    Which book do you recommend to others the most?

    Most people I meet have very different tastes in reading, so I don’t usually make recommendations!

    Which book have you re-read the most?

    Probably Narnia or Treasure Island.   I know I’ve read Eugene Onegin four times and Heart of Darkness about three or four times.  (I’m not much of a re-reader, so that’s a lot for me.)

    How do you feel about eBooks?

    I have the original Nook Simple Touch, which I love.  I’ve read many Project Gutenberg books on it, and it makes it very easy to read in bed, not having to struggle to keep pages open.  Also, it lets me highlight and annotate to my heart’s content without making it permanent.

    Ebooks are not perfect replacements for hard copy, especially for textbooks and reference books where you need to be able to flip pages quickly.  However, they’re a great way to access and read classics instantly, and find obscure classics that are rarely published.  Just a couple of years ago, I discovered my favorite translation of Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, which was a wonderful surprise and seems to be a Gutenberg exclusive.  Also, it ties into Librivox, so there’s a great community of literature fans who are making it more accessible to everyone.

    I’m a fangirl, I guess.  😉  I still love hard copies, too, but eBooks have been only a positive for me.

    Where do you get most of your books from?  Library, bookstore, online?

    I used to check out stacks of books from the library, but now I don’t read enough to warrant it.  😦  Nowadays, I buy books once a year from Powell’s, Amazon, and (once in a while) Barnes & Noble.  I also love library sales, garage sales, and thrift stores.

    Alrighty, 11 blogs you should check out!  Some of you may have already been recently nominated, so feel free to ignore or accept as is convenient.  🙂

    11 Q’s for you:

    1)  What was the most challenging book you ever read?
    2)  Who is your favorite romantic couple from literature?
    3)  What is your favorite friendship from literature?
    4)  Is there a book you used to like but don’t like anymore?
    5)  What was a nonfiction book you were glad you read?
    6)  Name a book someone recommended to you (which you may or may not have read yet).
    7)  How do you order your books on the shelf?
    8)  Is there a character that you wish appeared in more books?
    9)  Which author’s writings intimidate you?
    10)  Describe a memorable setting or scene (spoiler-free) from a book, and how it made you feel.
    11)  The age-old question: paperback or hardcover?

    Reading Tag

    Saw this at Rosamund’s blog Shoes of Paper ♥ Stockings of Buttermilk.  It looked fun, and I don’t believe I’ve done it before – so here goes!

    Do you snack while you read?  If so, favourite reading snack: 
    I don’t snack, but I drink tea!

    What is your favourite drink while reading?
    A nice large cup of tea. 

    Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you? 
    I still have my childhood horror of writing in books or bending pages (library books, you see).  What I do is use sticky notes to mark all the passages I want to remember – after I finish the book, I type up the parts worth remembering.

    How do you keep your place while reading a book?  Bookmark?  Dog-ears?  Laying the book flat open?
    Bookmarks!  Though when I was a child, I never used bookmarks; I would just set the book flat open, face down.  It was one of the few family rules I broke. 

    Fiction, non-fiction, or both? 
    Increasingly now, I enjoy both.  There was a phase in my early-mid teens where I pretty much stuck to fiction, but before that I read many biographies and since then – mainly inspired by my first history professor, Prof. C. – I’ve read some essays and poli-sci/philosophical/historical books.  My goal now is to become better-read in nonfiction.

    Are you a person who tends to read to the end of a chapter, or can you stop anywhere? 
    Anywhere.  Though the end of a chapter or segment is best.

    Are you the type of person to throw a book across the room or on the floor if the author irritates you?
    I might slam the book shut.  I have (very rarely) treated textbooks with even less respect, but generally not – it’s never the tree’s fault! 

    If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop and look it up right away?
    Only if it’s very unusual.

    What are you currently reading? 

    1. Notes on Life and Letters / Conrad – Slow read, but almost done!
    2. Eugene Onegin / Pushkin – Reading for the 3rd time.
    3. Sorrows of Young Werther / Goethe
    4. Republic / Plato – Just started.
    5. A People’s History of the US / Zinn
    6. A Patriot’s History of the US / Schweikart and Allen
    7. Head First Design Patterns / Freeman, et al
    8. The New Testament: Acts

    What is the last book you bought?

    Evita, Odyssey, Notes on the State of Virginia, and Sea of Glory.

    Do you have a favourite time/place to read? 
    During the summer, on a bench on the deck.  Or next to the kitchen with (guess what) a cup of tea.  I also like to read before I go to bed.

    Do you prefer series books or stand alones?
    I love me a good series, but I haven’t found any lately.  Overall, I prefer series because they’re character-driven. On the other hand, my most favorite books right now (barring Sherlock Holmes) are all standalones (I consider The Lord of the Rings to be one book).

    Is there a specific book or author you find yourself recommending over and over?
    Conrad and Kafka.  Incidentally, they are authors you will either love or loathe.

    How do you organize your books? (by genre, title, author’s last name, etc.) 
    I try to go by author’s last name, except for Mass Media paperbacks and books I don’t care about much, which go wherever they fit on the shelf.  Some hardcovers I place at the end, since I can’t bear to see a big book in the middle of a shelf.  Overall, I’m not a stickler, so long as everything fits!