Tag Archives: Literature

Jumping off the A to Z Train

So here’s the thing…

After much thought, I have decided to excuse myself from the remainder of theΒ “A to Z Challenge.” Writing about my “Literary Ladies” for letters A through G has been fun but also a bit stressful. Posting everyday just does not fit in my schedule and it makes it difficult for me to find time to read all the other blogs, which is really my favorite part.

In addition, from the letter “G” on, I was quite short on topics so that would have been an added challenge. Some of the ladies on my list like Hermione Granger, Kinsey Millhone (Sue Graftons’s Alphabet series) and Stephanie Plum (Janet Evanovich’s Number series) may still make it into some future post but as for me and the “2016 A to Z”, I think I’ll just watch the rest from the sidelines. 😊

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A to Z Literary Ladies – Ginny Weasley

Ginny Weasley

Β “The thing about growing up with Fred and George is that you sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.” (Ginny to Harry)-J.K. Rowling, Order of the Phoenix

The basics:

Age ranging from 10 years to late teens through out the series; youngest child and only daughter of Arthur and Molly Weasley; long Β flaming red hair; brown eyes; athletic; quick witted and spirited; powerful witch.

Where to find her:

Ginny appears in all seven books of the Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling.

Why she made the list:

Through all the Harry Potter books, Ginny has always been my favorite female character. Ginny is strong and spirited (you have to be able to hold your own when you have five older brothers), and quite often has some of the funniest come backs in the book.

Ginny is responsible for holding the Quidich team together when Harry takes over as captain. She is the one who comes up the name forDumbledore’s Army, helps Nevil try to steal the sword of Griffendor and keeps the rebellion going at Hogwarts while Harry, Ron and Heromine are off chasing horcruxes. Even though it doesn’t always show, Ginny has Harry’s back through out the series.

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imageMy A to Z Challenge theme this year is a celebration of literary females.

I don’t necessarily mean famous literature or famous women, just ladies from some of the many books I have read over the years, who have stayed with me for whatever reason. Some are main characters, some are not. Some are heroines, some are screw-ups and some are very, very naughty but, for me, they were the driving force in the story, the reason I kept reading or came back to read again.

Perhaps, if you haven’t already met these literary ladies, you’ll be inspired to, and if you have, we can compare notes and share opinions. I’d love to hear about your favorite female.

An A to Z of Literary Ladies – Kate Erickson

KateΒ Erickson

“Kate moved quickly down the center rafter. Despite the height above the floor, she felt perfectly comfortable. The beam was six inches wide. Nothing to it. Hearing another gasp from the people below, she glanced back and saw Sir Guy step onto the center beam…” -Michael Crichton, Timeline

The Basics:

Short ash blonde hair; blue eyes; darkly tan; early twenties; originally from Colorado; a graduate student at Yale university spending the summer helping to excavate ruins in France along the Dordogne River.

Where to find her:

Kate Erickson is a secondary character in a 1999 novel by Michel Crichton entitled Β Timeline. A science fiction thriller, Timeline tells the story of a group of historians who travel back to medieval France on a rescue mission. Anyone familiar with me knows that time travel is a favorite book theme of mine and this particular one is my favorite.

Why she made the list:

I can come up with a few reasons why I’m a fan of Kate’s. First of all, she has a cool job. She was originally an architecture major but switched to history, so in the book she’s been recruited to spend the summer in France studying the ruins of an ancient medieval castle. When they end up traveling back to 1357, she is the one who knows her way around the castle and even shows the others a few secret passages she had discovered.

I could also say that I appreciate her practicality and resourcefulness. Originally, when she goes back in time, she is fitted with typical female clothing from the time period, however, Kate quickly discovers how confining and constricting the long skirt is so she trades it in first chance she gets and spends the remainder of the time masquerading as a young squire. That gives her the physical freedom of movement that brings me to my most favorite reason…she likes to climb stuff!

Kate is an avid rock climber, something she did quite a bit back home in Colorado. At the site, she spends every Sunday climbing the rock cliffs along the Dordogne River and when we first meet her, she is hanging from a harness fifty feet in the air taking mortar samples from the chapel ceiling. I totally get this.

As a kid, I was always up in trees or at the top of the monkey bars. There is a certain freedom that comes with being high up and I loved to freak out my mom by dangling from my knees. Even as an adult, I enjoy heights and climbing. My favorite ride is the Ferris wheel and, if I can ever talk my husband into it, I would love to go up in a hot air balloon.

Near the end of the book, there is a really great chase scene that puts Kate’s climbing skills and her love of heights to very good use. In an attempt to get away from a very nasty knight she finds herself tiptoeing around up in the rafters of the castle’s great hall. Michael Crichton very kindly included some illustrations in the book including this one of the ceiling…

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Does it look like fun to you? Kate thinks it is and, as she moves around quite nimbly from beam to beam the crowd below begins cheering her on. I don’t want to spoil the suspense by telling you exactly what happens but I will tell you, it doesn’t end well for the knight.😊

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imageMy A to Z Challenge theme this year is a celebration of literary females.

I don’t necessarily mean famous literature or famous women, just ladies from some of the many books I have read over the years, who have stayed with me for whatever reason. Some are main characters, some are not. Some are heroines, some are screw-ups and some are very, very naughty but, for me, they were the driving force in the story, the reason I kept reading or came back to read again.

Perhaps, if you haven’t already met these literary ladies, you’ll be inspired to, and if you have, we can compare notes and share opinions. I’d love to hear about your favorite female.

An A to Z of Literary Ladies – Charley Davidson

CharleyΒ Davidson

β€œMaybe I needed sensitivity training. I once signed up for an anger management class, but the instructor pissed me off.”
― Darynda Jones, First Grave on the Right

The basics:

Chocolate brown hair; golden eyes; 27 years old; resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Part-time private detective; full-time grim reaper; has the ability to see and communicate with the dead.

Where to find her:

Charley Davidson is the main character in Darynda Jones’ “Grave” series beginning with “First Grave on the Right”Β (2011). The series is currently up to book nine, just released this year.

Why she made the list:

Obviously, this is one of those books that require the reader to suspend their grip on reality and just kind of go with it. It is also politically incorrect where death is concerned and leans towards an “R” rating Β due to the incredibly hot relationship Charley has with Reyes Farrow, aka the son of Satan. What can I say, Β I have slightly eclectic taste in reading material.

Charley Davidson, the big draw here, tends to be a bit long winded, spouting wise cracks and sarcasm in abundance but, hey, she’s a grim reaper encountering dead people on a daily basis. I’d say she deserves some slack where her coping mechanisms are concerned. The fact that she is so off the wall, is exactly what appeals to me.Β The biggest struggle she faces is trying to protect the people she cares about while still being able to do her job. For the most part, she succeeds

Have you ever felt like throwing convention out the window and just doing or saying whatever popped into your head? Charley is a one-of-a-kind entity who needs to operate on her own, making it up as she goes.Β She’s just so damn cool and fearless. I wouldn’t mind being that self confident now and then.

Plus, she has a really hot boyfriend. 😊

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imageMy A to Z Challenge theme this year is a celebration of literary females.

I don’t necessarily mean famous literature or famous women, just ladies from some of the many books I have read over the years, who have stayed with me for whatever reason. Some are main characters, some are not. Some are heroines, some are screw-ups and some are very, very naughty but, for me, they were the driving force in the story, the reason I kept reading or came back to read again.

Perhaps, if you haven’t already met these literary ladies, you’ll be inspired to, and if you have, we can compare notes and share opinions. I’d love to hear about your favorite female

 

 

An A to Z of Literary Ladies – Casey Singleton

Casey Singleton

Β  Β  Β “Casey looked at his smooth face, smelled his cologne. The little bastard was enjoying this. Β And in a moment of fury, of deep outrage, she suddenly saw another possibility. Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β From the beginning, she had tried so hard to do the right thing, to solve the problem of 545. She had been honest, she had been straight, and it had just gotten her into trouble. Β Β Or had it?Β  Β  Β  “You have to face facts, here” Richman said. Β “It’s over. Β There’s nothing you can do.” Β Β She pushed away from the sink.

“Watch me,” she said. Β And she walked out of the room.

Β  Β -Michael Crichton, Airframe

The basics:

Thirty-six years old divorcee; Β short brown hair; athletic body; mom to 7 year old Amanda; vice-president at Norton Air Craft; resides in Glendale, California.

Where to find her:

Casey is the main character and heroine in Michael Crichton 1996 novel “Airframe” a mystery/thriller involving a flight in which ninety-four passengers are injured, three are killed and the interior cabin virtually destroyed. Casey, who is in charge of quality control and public relations is thrown into the middle of the investigation and tasked with finding out exactly what happened on board TransPacific flight 545.

Why she made the list:

Casey Singleton is a no nonsense Midwest girl, a “straight arrow” as her boss at Norton calls her. She grew up in Detroit, earned a degree in journalism and began her career working for Ford Motors. Eventually she moved to California, trading cars for airplanes. She is smart and tenacious and very good at her job.

The entire novel takes place within a weeks time, a week in which Casey’s seven year old daughter is away with her dad and therefore removed from what becomes a dangerous situation. It is lucky, though, that she has experience dealing with her own child because most of the men she works with behave like children themselves! Apologizes to any male readers but Michael Crichton threw his own gender under the bus when he wrote this one. There are very few likeable male characters in Airframe and amid all the postulating executives and engineers, as well as one naive female TV producer, Casey is the sole voice of reason.

When Casey realizes that she has been set up by people who expect her to do as she is told, she instead figures out a way to do what is right. In the end, Β she out thinks and out maneuvers the big shots and solves the mystery of flight 545 as well.

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imageMy A to Z Challenge theme this year is a celebration of literary females.

I don’t necessarily mean famous literature or famous women, just ladies from some of the many books I have read over the years, who have stayed with me for whatever reason. Some are main characters, some are not. Some are heroines, some are screw-ups and some are very, very naughty but, for me, they were the driving force in the story, the reason I kept reading or came back to read again.

Perhaps, if you haven’t already met these literary ladies, you’ll be inspired to, and if you have, we can compare notes and share opinions. I’d love to hear about your favorite female characters too.

 

An A to Z of Literary Ladies – Lily Bard

Lily Bard

“Once upon a time, years ago, I thought I was pretty. My sister, Varena, and I had the usual rivalry going, and I remember deciding my eyes were bigger and a lighter blue than hers,…… I haven’t seen Varena in three years now. Probably she is the pretty one. Though my face hasn’t changed, my mind has. The workings of the mind look out through the face and alter it. “- Charlaine Harris; Shakespeare’s Landlord

The basics:

Middle thirties; short blonde hair, toned and muscular body; skilled in martial arts; resides in Shakespeare, Arkansas.

Where to find her:

Lily Bard makes her first appearance in Charlaine Harris’ mystery novel “Shakespeare’s Landlord“(2005), and in all the subsequent books in the series. Lily, who makes her living as a housekeeper, finds herself thrown into situations of murder and mayham where the intimacy that is achieved by cleaning a person’s home makes her the perfect sleuth.

Why she made the list:

Lily is a survivor. After suffering a life altering act of violence, she leaves her home and wanders for a bit until she finds herself poeticly drawn to the little town of Shakespeare. Here she quietly rebuilds her life and begins to heal both the physical and mental scars left from her ordeal.

I apprecialte a lot of things about Lily. Her simplistic, almost Spartan life style, her need for order, Β her desire to take care of herself and her tendency to use humor or sarcasm in uncomfortable situations are all traits that I understand. Additionally, by choosingΒ to make her living cleaning houses, she employs a form of therapy I use myself. When the world seems out of control, being able to clean, straighten and put some parts of it in order offers a certain sense of control.

Slowly, through out the series, Lily starts to open up and begins her healing process. She gets close to people and starts to trust again and, while she will never be her old self again, she learns to love the person she has become.

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imageMy A to Z Challenge theme this year is a celebration of literary females.

I don’t necessarily mean famous literature or famous women, just ladies from some of the many books I have read over the years, who have stayed with me for whatever reason. Some are main characters, some are not. Some are heroines, some are screw-ups and some are very, very naughty but, for me, they were the driving force in the story, the reason I kept reading or came back to read again.

Perhaps, if you haven’t already met these literary ladies, you’ll be inspired to, and if you have, we can compare notes and share opinions. I’d love to hear about your favorite female characters too.

An A to Z of Literary Ladies – Annabeth Chase

Annabeth Chase

“Annabeth came up to me. She was dressed in black camouflage with her Celestial bronze knife strapped to her arm and her laptop bag slung over her shoulderβ€”ready for stabbing or surfing the Internet, whichever came first.”
― Rick Riordan, The Last Olympian

The basics:

Age: Β From 12 years old into her teens through out the series.

Appearance: blonde curly hair, gray eyes, very athletic, very intelligent

Residence: Camp Half Blood, Long Island, NY

Where to find her:

Annabeth Chase is a fictional character in Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. She is a demigod, meaning she is half-mortal and half god. Her father is the mortal Frederick Chase and her mother is Athena, the goddess of wisdom, crafts and battle strategy. Β She debuts in the first novel of the series, The Lightning ThiefΒ (2005).Β Throughout the series she becomes close friends with Percy Jackson, later becoming his main love interest and girlfriend.

Why she made the list:

The Percy Jackson books were the first novels my daughter and I read together. While Miss Dee was madly in love with Percy, she was also just as crazy about Annabeth and why not.?! Annabeth is a kick a** warrior with major brain power. I love that she isn’t written in just to give the book some female presence but instead is a very intragle part of the story. Annabeth is intelligent, brave, fiercely loyal to her friends and feels things deeply.

What a great roll model she was for my teenage daughter. Miss Dee still compares every literary female she meets to her. (“Well, she’s no Annabeth Chase, she whines too much.” or “Annabeth would never have fallen for that.”). I enjoyed routing her on as well because even though she comes across with such moxie, inside she suffers from all the normal teenage angst we all faced.

I’m pretty happy we got to know her.

Featured image courtesy of:

http://percyjacksonmovies.tumblr.com/post/91761508272/percy-jackson-and-heroes-of-olympus-fan-arts

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imageMy A to Z theme this year is a celebration of literary females. I don’t necessarily mean famous literature or famous women, just ladies from some of the many books I have read over the years, who have stayed with me for whatever reason. Some are main characters, some are not. Some are heroines, some are screw-ups and some are very very naughty, but for me, they were the driving force in the story, the reason I kept reading or came back to read again.

Perhaps, if you haven’t already met these literary ladies, you’ll be inspired to, and if you have, we can compare notes and share opinions. I’d love to hear about your favorite female characters too.

A to Z Theme Reveal

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I love books and through the years I’ve learned that my favorite books are those with strong, interesting characters. That is what makes or breaks a story for me so I thought, for the A to Z challenge, Β it would be fun to revisit some of these favorite characters…and, since we girls have to stick together…..

My A to Z Challenge theme this year is a celebration of literary females.

I don’t necessarily mean famous literature or famous women, just ladies from some of the many books I have read over the years, who have stayed with me for whatever reason. Some are main characters, some are not. Some are heroines, some are screw-ups and some are very,Β very naughty but, for me, they were the driving force in the story, the reason I kept reading or came back to read again.

Perhaps, if you haven’t already met these literary ladies, you’ll be inspired to, and if you have, we can compare notes and share opinions. I’d love to hear about your favorite female characters too.

Literary Time Travel,

If I could have a super power I would choose the ability to travel through time. Maybe that’s not really considered a super power but whatever. I’d choose it anyway and I would only travel backwards in time. Not forward. I’m okay with the mystery of what’s to come. I don’t really want to know about the future but I would like to experience first hand some of the things that I have read about or seen in photos.

I could watch Abraham Lincoln deliver the Gettyburg Address. I could visit the 1893 Chicago World Fair and ride the Ferris wheel. I could get to know my parents when they were my age. The list goes on. This desire for time travel fuels my choice in books as well. Historical fiction is one way to travel through time and I do enjoy that genre but what I really love is a book that deals with time travel itself.

In that vein, I thought I would share a list of my favorite time travel books. They are arranged according to their publication dates. Each one, in my opinion is an exciting ride.

The Time Machine –H.G. Wells (1895)

Β  You can’t really discuss literary time travel without starting here. Wells Time Traveler goes forward in time which is not my preferred direction but the thrill is still there. Being able to set a date on a dial and send yourself to that place and see what the future holds is a staggering idea! I actually saw the film version with Rod Taylor years before I read the book. Β As a result, I can’t read this with out picturing the blue skinned morlocks and the mannequin the Time Traveler observes changing her fashion as he moves forward in time.

Time and Again- Jack Finney (1970)

Β Though written in 1970, I only recently discovered this book on a Goodreads top ten list. In this story a bored New York City advertising man is approached by a government agency interested in recruiting him for a secret experiment in time traveling. The quirk in this time travel theory (because of course every author has their own), is that the traveler has to be in a place that existed during the time they wish to travel to. Our hero moves into the historic Dakota apartment building on Central Park and begins to immerse himself in the past. We learn about New York during the turn of the century and experience life through the eyes of someone who knows what the future brings.Β 

Timeline- Michael Crichton (1999)

Β This book has been a favorite of mine for quite some time (pardon the pun). In this a group of archeologists working on a dig in France discover a message buried in the dig site that appears to be a plea for help written in English and in handwriting that appears to belong to their missing team leader. Eventually through the use of quantum physics, they are transported back to 14th century France in order to rescue their friend. I think what appeals to me most about this story is that the characters are a group of historians and academics who have researched and obsessed about this particular time period only to be dropped into the middle of it like kids in a candy shop! They can actually see what they have only theorized about. Also, if you have ever read anything by Michael Crichton (Jurrasic Park, Airframe, The Adromeda Strain) you know that he never does anything half way. He’s done so much research into quantum physics and multi verse theory and explains it so logically that you almost believe time travel could be possible. On a side note, this book was made into a really bad movie. If you’ve seen it, please don’t judge the story based on that.


11/22/63- Stephen King (2011)

Β And then there’s this, the novel that asks the question that everyone who has considered time travel has thought about: Is it possible to go back in time and change the past? I’m a little surprised that Stephen King had not tackled this subject before considering he is a master of the strange and unusual. I really enjoyed all of the historic detail King included in the story. I found myself reading up on Lee Harvey Oswald and the events leading up to Kennedy’s death just to find out more and to confirm the information being given in the novel. The hero is an ordinary guy who stumbles into the fantastic, a very likable guy who struggles with his moral duty and has to make some very difficult decisions. The ending of the book seemed to go on longer than was necessary but King’s tales tend to do that.

I’ve read others, but these are my favorite so far. I would love to hear your thoughts on these books or some recommendations for further time travel adventure I could take!