Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Top Ten Tuesdays: Favorite Heroines

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme from The Broke & the Bookish. You can join in by clicking on the link. This week Kimberly has us thinking about our Top Ten Heroines.

I had a harder time than I thought I would coming up with this list. I'm either not reading enough books with memorable heroines...or my memory's getting faulty now that I've hit middle age. Whatever the case, here's what I've got:

1. Nancy Drew: the "girl detective" who has led me on to every mystery story I've ever read. Nancy was the MacGyver of her times. She was always able to find a way out of every scrape she got into. Whether it was using her tap-dancing lessons to tap out morse code to send messages or her handy flying skills, she always had what was needed right at hand. The first really strong female character I ever encountered in books.

2. Phryne Fisher (from Kerry Greenwood's marvelous series): A grown-up's Nancy Drew. She, too, flies planes, drives a marvelous car, and takes down the bad guys with style and class. She is smart, independent, fights for the underdog, and is everything a strong character should be.

3. Baroness "Jack" Troutbeck (from a series by Ruth Dudley Edwards): "Jack" is the no-nonsense, irrepressible and irreverant sleuthing partner to civil servant, Robert Amiss. Between the two of them, they manage to skewer all sorts of establishment positions from the ivory towers of education to the House of Lords.

4. Miss Marple (Agatha Christie): I have always been amazed at how Jane Marple can take the every day doings of village life and apply it to murderous intentions. How a suspect that reminds her of "Billy the baker's boy" leads her to the final solution is incredible.

5. Anne Elliot (Persuasion by Jane Austen): Persuasion is my favorite Austen novel. The only quibble I have with Anne is that she should have just married Wentworth in the first place. But that's my 20th C view point butting in. Given her era and her circumstances, I think Anne does very well.

6. Betsy (the Betsy & Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace): I absolutely loved Betsy in Betsy & Tacy Go Downton. I must have read that story hundreds of times when growing up. Betsy is a budding writer and the ecstasies that she goes into when she's able to go downtown and get books from the library struck me as very familiar.

7. Renee Michel (The Elegance of the Hedgehog): I loved watching Renee come into her own throughout this story. And watching her friendships develop with Paloma Josse and Kakura Ozu. A beautiful story.

8. Kate Fansler (series by Amanda Cross): My favorite detective professor. Kate is wise and witty; wry and insightful. I've collected more of Kate's sayings as quotes than I have from any other literary character.

9. Mary Russell (series by Laurie R King): Any woman who can keep up with Holmes is terrific in my book. I enjoy the play between the two characters and that King makes this relationship believable.

10. Hildegarde Withers (series by Stuart Palmer): Another of my favorite educators-turned-detective. These stories are more comic than those by Amanda Cross. But I really like how Miss Withers stays right in there with Inspector Piper--being both a friend and sometimes a "thorn" in his side (or so he thinks) until the mystery is solved.


Jamie said...

Yes! How did I not think of Nancy Drew!!? Thanks for joining with us this week! :)

- Jamie

booksploring said...

I've only heard of a few of theses...but totally agree on Nancy Drew ;-)

Anne Bennett said...

I should have thought of The Elegance of the Hedgehog, one of my favorite books and such quirky characters. I thought of Miss Marple, too, but since it has been years since I read any Agatha Christie I declined. You and I both have Anne Eliott.

CMash said...

Might head on over to check out this meme. Glad you posted about it.

Emily said...

I haven't read any of the other books, but we definitely agree on Anne Elliot. I'll have to put these other books on my TBR list.

readerbuzz said...

I just finished my first Betsy-Tacy and I agree with you...love Betsy! I started my first Nancy Drew yesterday and now I see why my mom has raved about her forever...who wouldn't want to be Nancy Drew!