Friday, July 20, 2007

Weekend Book-Meme

Veronica Mitchell tagged me for this one:

1. If you could host a party with 7 literary characters, who would they be and why?

Talkers: Rhett Butler, Elizabeth Darcy, Albus Dumbledore.
Sympathetic Listeners: Valancy Snaith, Kenneth Latham, Desdemona.
Eye Candy: Fitzwilliam Darcy.

2. Who is your literary role model?

Clarissa Harlowe. (She tries so hard to be a role model, it seems mean not to pick her.)

3. Which literary house would you like most to live in?

Misselthwaite Manor.

4. Which literary couple would you like most for parents?

I'll tell you who I'm not picking - Charles and Caroline Ingalls. Eliminating from contention any parents whose lifestyle choices will prevent me from reaching my full height due to malnutrition, I guess I'll pick Tish Sterling's parents from The Keeping Days series - a father who chooses bookish names like Letitia and Bronwyn for his daughters, and a mother who can make a Stretchable Stew that will feed the whole neighbourhood.

5. Pick 3 literary characters you would like to have as siblings.

Older brother: Jem Blythe. Younger sisters: Not Elizabeth Bennet - too witty and charming (who could compete with that?). Jane Bennet would be ideal - supportive, companionable, content to play second fiddle. And I'd throw in Lucy Pevensie for a bit of adventure.

6. Who is your favorite literary villain?


7. Name a character that most people dislike, but that you do not. Why do you like them?

Severus Snape. He relies on intelligence rather than charm. He's a scientist, a man of rigid self-control. He is tortured, complex, mysterious. He is played by Alan Rickman. That he is instrumental to the defeat of Voldemort will, I believe, be revealed in JUST A FEW SHORT HOURS!

8. Which minor character deserves a book all to themselves, in your opinion?

Jane Fairfax. (Joan Aiken wrote one, actually, but it was all wrong - instead of being complex and inward-looking, Jane was merely sour and judgmental.)

9. Which character do you identify most with in literature?

At one time it was either Harriet M. Welsch or Emily Byrd Starr - intense, introverted artists with a few rough edges. I think I've mellowed in my old age - I'm more Anne than Emily now.

10. If you could go into a novel, which one would it be and why?

The best reason to go into a novel would be to tell a character something that would change the outcome. Should I try to talk Scarlett O'Hara out of her senseless attachment to Ashley Wilkes? Should I warn Matthew Cuthbert - very gently and carefully - that he needs to move his savings to a different bank? Should I tell Beth March to just leave that Hummel family alone for once?

On the whole, I think I'd go into Villette and make it my mission to prevent M. Paul from getting on that boat so that he could live happily ever after with Lucy Snowe in a nice little Belgian school.

11. Name 3 - 7 books that you rarely see on people’s favorite book lists, that are high on your own.

Norma Johnston, The Keeping Days series
Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White
D.E. Stevenson, Celia's House, Listening Valley, Miss Buncle's Book, Mrs. Tim Carries On, Sarah Morris Remembers, and many others.

12. Which is your least favorite book of those that are considered “classics”?

Back when I was too stubborn to stop reading a book once I'd started it, I made the mistake of starting Henry James' Portrait of a Lady - a mistake I'm not likely to repeat.

Luisa Perkins, Terri B., Trudy J. - you guys are it!


Mardougrrl said...

What a wonderful meme! And I think we have similar taste in books...another Blue Castle lover! I can't imagine she'd be a sympathetic listener for long.

And I laughed for a good minute at the idea of rejecting Charles and Caroline Ingalls as prospective parents...and why!

Omaha Mama said...


I think I need to read more, ahem, quality literature.

My summer of chick lit has me feeling a bit shallow. :-)

Alpha DogMa said...

Eliminating from contention any parents whose lifestyle choices will prevent me from reaching my full height due to malnutrition - you just made my day! No small feat since I have spent most of the day waiting (and later reading) the Deathly Hallows plot synopsis. Because I loathe suspense.

bubandpie said...

Mardougrrl - She'd be perfect for putting Rhett Butler in his place if he got too arrogant ... but I think she and Elizabeth would get along splendidly, and she'd be well able to draw out the best in Dumbledore.

OM - Well, if you want to get all the references in this meme, you're going to have to focus on obscure YA and children's books, and some out-of-print 1940s romances.

AD - I appreciate your restraint here. I'm on media blackout for the next day or so, but I thought I could risk checking my own blog!

bogglemort said...

A great read whilst I--along with how many other lit fanatics?--wait. Dum de dum de dum.

Thanks for the flash of Alan Rickman. Swoon.

I see that you're a fellow Stevenson lover. I'd add a query to this meme: what are your fave literary settings? At least one of my answers would be Ryddleton. Howz about you?

slouching mom said...

I agree with you about Snape.

And I haven't outgrown Harriet M. Welsch. At least Harriet as she appears in Harriet the Spy. In The Long Secret, she's a bit too sour and stalkerish for my taste.

nomotherearth said...

You know, if we had a girl, I would love to name her Valancy, as The Blue Castle is quite possible my favourite book of all time. Mr Earth would never go for it.

I'm with you on Snape. Alan Rickman is on my short list of hot stars.

If you do post stuff about Harry, will you please put a spoiler alert?? I am a much slower reader than you.

Beck said...

Oh for Pete's sake. You beat me to it and chose Snape. I WAS GOING TO DO THAT!
I could probably talk my husband into naming a daughter Valancy. We like the letter V. I loathe, loathe the Ingalls parents, though. Freaking irresponsible hippies.

erin k said...

Ah, fellow Valancy lovers. So good to know you are out there. She could totally be my BFF...

(I would love to use the name too, but have never been 100% sure of pronunciation. VAL-ancy or val-AN-cy? I'm thinking the former.)

Major Bedhead said...

Severus Snape is one of the best names out there. It's alliteration, it's sibilant and it just sounds somewhat sinister (even though I, like you, am pretty sure he isn't absolutely evil). Plus, yeah, Alan Rickman? He's SO on my list.

This is a great meme. I may have to swipe it, if you don't mind.

painted maypole said...


bubandpie said...

Bogglemort - I was so going to say that if I could go into any book, it would be one set in Ryddelton - but then I decided I'd rather play God/Fate and went the other way.

Erin - I can recall some heated debate on the Kindred Spirits mailing list over the pronunciation of Valancy. I've always pronounced it VALancy, and I seem to recall someone producing evidence that this is how it's pronounced in Scotland - or wait, maybe that's KILmeny I was thinking of.

Mary G said...

Another Blue Castle lover checking in. I am going to steal this meme. Love it! And love what you've done with it.
Aw, no Little House? But I'm with you 100% on Joyce. Of course it's VALancy.
You are so good at this stuff!

Christine said...

#3 me too, me too!!

Susan said...

Oh I LOVE Clarissa. I'm always so happy when OTHER people love Clarissa, too.

(But I also really liked Portrait of a Lady, which is very Clarissa-like, don't you think? Okay maybe not.)

Have you read Wilkie Collins' The Moonstone?

Mimi said...

Well, if you invited Elizabeth *Bennett* you might have a shot at Fitzwilliam Darcy. Or do you want to get the dirt from her on What He's Like?


I'm amazed at your recall. I just bought, and read 45 pages of, England England by Julian Barnes before I even realized I've already read it. Whoops.

Mimi said...

And: Severus Snape == Gregory House?

bubandpie said...

Mimi - That's part of the reason I don't want EB for a sister - just imagine all the discomfort at family Christmases when I'm drooling over the husband she stole from me!

Almost every book mentioned in this meme is one I read before I turned sixteen - the ones I've read since then don't stick in my brain the same way.

Having said that, of course, I have to acknowledge (in answer to your question, Susan) that I haven't read The Moonstone or Portrait of a Lady since high school, and somehow they don't have the same branded-forever-on-my-brain qualities as the rest of the books in this meme.

andi said...

Wow. What a great meme. I also like Severus Snape. Now if my copy of HP7 would just show up soon, I will be a very happy woman.

Momish said...

Ok, I fully admit that half these references were lost on me (and I use to consider myself somewhat well read!) But, I am right there with you on Alan Rickman. I can't help but love him!

Terri B. said...

I just checked in and see that I'm tagged! I'll be giving this some thought over the rest of the weekend and then posting. Between setting up a new computer and connection and reading Harry Potter ... well, you know ;o)

Luisa Perkins said...

This is the most awesome meme ever. I love your choices, and I can't wait to play. Thanks!!!

Veronica Mitchell said...

Love your answers, especially about which novel you would go into. I had to look up a number of characters, but I still don't know who Kenneth Latham is.

And with such high recommendations, I just reserved a copy of Celia's House at the public library.

bubandpie said...

Veronica - He's from The Keeping Days. I couldn't even find any mention of him online to link to - he's that obscure. But I do think he'd be perfect for a dinner party.

Magpie said...

Yes, The Woman in White!! Good one.

Did you ever read The Woman in Black? A ghost story. Chilling and interesting. And, I have to like it just for the title.

Annette Lyon said...

Luisa tagged me, so I had to check out your meme too. I almost squealed to find another LMM fan (Not just an Anne fan, but the whole LMM pie!) Many many years ago I co-wrote a screenplay of Blue Castle for a school project--fun times. :) Now if I can only figure out how to answer these questions myself! Glad I discovered you.

PunditMom said...

I know this is slightly off topic, but I LOVE Alan Rickman! ;)

AnneK said...

Oh, this brings back memories. I was 8 years old and I was reading Little Women for the first time and after finishing Good Wives, I was so upset at Beth's death, I wouldn't stop crying. They all had become so real to me. I asked Why? Why? to anyone who would listen and wished with all my might and main that I could change it. So badly was I affected that I went back and rewrote it in my mind.

My Little Women story ends with Beth getting well and marrying Laurie, Amy marrying Franz (is that the name?) and the rest the same.

My parents should probably not have let such a sensitive soul read books dealing with death at the tender age of 8. LOL.

Julie said...

Wow, I thought I was fairly well-read but I haven't even heard of most of the books you mention.

Your comment about Ma and Pa cracked me up. I just did this meme too, and "eliminated them from contention" for similar reasons.

Terri B. said...

I've finally gotten the meme posted.