bookish posts

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish characters

This is a post for Top Ten Tuesday, hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. You can find out more and follow along there!

This week’s topic was a fun one; I had some trouble coming up with characters at first, but I ended up finding a few.

Lord Peter Wimsey & Harriet Vane from Gaudy Night, etc by Dorothy Sayers: Sayers books are masses of allusions in general, but  Peter and Harriet basically conduct their courtship by quotation.

Eugenides from the Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner: At first glance, Gen doesn’t seem particularly bookish. Then you remember that at one point he lives in a library and spends his days copying old texts.

Catherine Morland from Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen: It’s Catherine’s love of gothic fiction that gets her into trouble, after all.

Cassandra Mortmain from I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith: Full of references to Jane Austen, to the Bronte sisters, Greek myth and poetry–Cassandra’s story certainly counts here.

Margaret from The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield: I don’t feel quite as strongly about Margaret as a bookish character for some reason, but since she was brought up in a bookstore and books and stories are central to her life, I’m including her anyway.

Verity from Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein: I struggled quite a bit with whether Verity worked here, or if it’s Julie that’s really book-oriented, or whether it’s both (this makes more sense if you’ve read the book). But in the end, it’s Verity’s narrative that’s a carefully constructed nest of allusions and references.

Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones: Like Gen, Howl doesn’t at first glance appear to be particularly book-oriented. Then you remember that his curse is literally just a John Donne poem (and he references Raleigh and Shakespeare as well).

Alan Ryves from the Demon’s Lexicon trilogy by Sarah Rees Brennan: Book in one hand, gun in the other. (Seriously, he is always reading and I love it. Also Alan. I definitely love Alan.)

Sophie from A Brief History of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper: I think the biggest reference is actually to I Capture the Castle, above, but certainly Sophie, introspective & book-loving, fits here.

Everyone in Tam Lin by Pamela Dean: Janet herself, of course–and the book is one giant reference–but pretty much all the characters read books and think about books and talk about books and quote books in a wonderfully nerdy way.

By Maureen LaFerney

My name is Maureen. I currently work as a library assistant in a public library in the Indianapolis area, and also just so happen to be a voracious reader. I frequently end up under a cat.

6 replies on “Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish characters”

I’ve actually not read any of these books, but you’ve definitely got an original list here. I do want to read both Code Name Verity and start the Queen’s Thief series. And I am totally going to give the Demon’s Lexicon series a look. Great list!


Catherine, from Catherine, Called Birdy, which I only just read! Have you read that one? I have a feeling you might have recommended it to me, but I don’t keep track the way some more organized people do …

Alan, definitely! I just re-read that trilogy not long ago.

I need to re-read I Capture the Castle, too!

You know, I have read Catherine, Called Birdy but it’s been ages and ages. Now I want to re-read it!

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