BBAW: Introduction

bbawI decided kind of on a whim to sign up for the Book Blogger Appreciation Week event, so I’ll be posting about that throughout the week!

There were a couple of ways I could see approaching the prompt for today (Introduce yourself by telling us about five books that represent you as a person or your interests/lifestyle). I decided to go with five books whose main characters I kind of want to be like when I grow up.

gaudy night shepherd's crown howl among others gentleman jole

Harriet Vane from Strong Poison & Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers: I have talked extensively about how much I love Harriet Vane, but this quote sums up her ferocious integrity which I so admire: “Harriet refuses narrative inevitability. She refuses loss of integrity (in fact, this fits very well with her refusal to marry Philip Boyes when it becomes clear that his offer of marriage is in the nature of a prize for passing a test). She refuses to lose herself in Peter which, because he is still himself a character in flux, she is quite right in thinking she would. And in doing so, she allows the growth of real love, passion, and respect between the two of them.”

Tiffany Aching from the Tiffany Aching series by Terry Pratchett: The Tiffany Aching series is my favorite thing Terry Pratchett wrote (even including Night Watch).  And it’s Tiffany herself that makes me love the series so much. As I said here, “I love Tiffany: her care for other people, her ambition and her limits on that ambition. I love how she is independent and fierce, and yet very connected to her community and the land.”

Sophie Hatter from Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones: I’m just going to quote a huge paragraph from an earlier post: “When it comes down to it, though, for me the real heart…of the book is Sophie. It’s Sophie’s point-of-view we get, Sophie who is so unaware of her own strengths for so much of the book, and yet so clear at the same time. Sophie who is often a mystery to herself, who is prickly and stubborn and brave. The shepherd she meets thinks she’s a witch and she gets indignant even though she very clearly is one. This is the story, in so many ways, of a teenage girl growing up and seeing her own strengths. They’re always there–one of my favorite moments in the whole book is just after the Witch turns Sophie old and she thinks, quite matter-of-factly, “Well, of course I shall have to do for her”–but she doesn’t always believe in them. This is the story of her learning to believe in her own instincts, her own desires, her own worth.”

Mori from Among Others by Jo Walton: I love Mori’s strength, her prickliness, her learning to come to grips with her family and herself. I love the way she lives in books–this moment is so accurate–and also the way she knows their limitations. I love how she is allowed to be imperfect, and yet the center of the story. She is angry and hurt and bitter and she saves the world. This is all too rare, and so beautiful and validating.

Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan from the Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold: I’ve been a fan of the Vorkosigan books for awhile now, and while Bujold writes some wonderful female characters throughout the series, Cordelia is my favorite for ever and ever. It’s tricky to know exactly what to say, because she develops and changes so much over the course of the books. But here’s what I wrote in my review for the latest one: “I really love that we finally have another book that’s about her. She’s so much different than her earlier, brasher self and yet she has an authority that has been deepened over the years. She’s acted in many ways as the moral center of the books, and in this story we see both the strength that gives her and the toll it takes. “

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22 Comments

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22 responses to “BBAW: Introduction

  1. Beth F

    Oh I love the Lord Peter books — especially when Harriet.

  2. Great interpretation of the prompt!

  3. I’m a library assistant too (went to your “about” page). I am not Eastern Orthodox but I appreciate your faith as I once was Roman Catholic and now am Episcopalian. My faith also is important to my life, but I don’t always talk about it on my blog either (sometimes, but in an nonjudgmental way). As for your post here, I like your take on it, but are you saying you’re not grown up yet? It sounds like you are :).

  4. Whyyyyyyyyyyyyy haven’t I read Diana Wynne Jones?! I am obviously missing out.

  5. Kay

    This was clever. Loved it. The second place I’ve seen the book Among Others. I really need to read that one. And even though I’m a huge mystery lover, I’ve not yet read a Dorothy Sayers book. I know. I need to. 🙂

  6. I love your idea of picking books that represent what kind of person you want to be. I feel like I need to make another list now!

  7. I love the way you approached the prompt, great idea!! I’ve seen Terry Pratchett everywhere, I need to get on that train! Nice to “meet” you!

  8. This was a good way to approach the question — I felt rather overwhelmed and picked somewhat at random. And I adore all of your choices! I really need to read some of those Vorkosigan books, Cordelia is the only one I don’t already know and love.

  9. I LOVE this approach! Oh, this is such a fun week for me, it’s so great to see all the different bloggers and how they choose to take this prompt. AHEM now that I have gushed about that, your choices are also fantastic. Harriet Vane in particular is my favorite character in all of literature; I read Jane Eyre at a formative age and will now forever be a devotee of angry lady characters who refuse to compromise their integrity.

  10. Deepika Ramesh

    Lovely post. I haven’t read any of it. My TBR is growing, and growing. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Maureen. And it’s 12:05 AM (16-Feb) in India. So, I am going to post your interview in a few minutes. 🙂

  11. I need to get to Among Others and start the Harriet Vane series sooner than later. I’m certain they will be favorites! And, since you love Tiffany and Sophie (who are both amazing characters that I would also be proud to resemble even slightly), let me just mention that I’m running a month-long event celebrating all things DWJ and Pratchett in March — March Magics! It would be the perfect time for a Howl reread. 😉

  12. I love all your choices very, very much, and your commentary on these wonderful women is spot on.

  13. Wee Free Men will be in my BRAW Intro post too! I just started reading Tiffany Aching in December but oh, I already love these books so, so fiercely!

    And I’ve just read the first two of the Vorkosigan Saga but I can tell that I’m going to really enjoy Cordelia as a character throughout the series!

    And yes to DWJ too!

    🙂

  14. Heather

    Terry Pratchett!! *swoon*

  15. I like how your post speaks to the power of fictional characters. All of these books/series are on my to-read list. Someday I’ll get to them!

  16. Pingback: February 2016 round up | By Singing Light

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