This week is all about our Top 10 Books New To My TBR.
This week is all about our Top 10 Characters I’d Name A Child After.
1.) Éowyn from Lord of the Rings
Not only is Éowyn one of my favourite fictional names, she is also such a badass! While she’s loyal, nurturing, compassionate and of royal blood, she’s also a fierce warrior who can fight just like any man.
2.) Sherlock from Sherlock Holmes
I really love the name Sherlock. Sherlock, in any of his incarnations, is a brilliant man. Let’s forget the drug problem (which, btw, was still legal in the original stories). And yes, he can be a twat, but he’s also loyal to the few people who are closer to him than family (John Watson, Mrs. Hudson).
3.) Guinevere from King Arthur / Merlin
I much prefer the old-fashioned spelling to the modern Jennifer. It’s been a while since I read any of the many stories which feature Guinevere (and I prefer her as Merlin’s friend and generally more than “just” Lancelot’s affair), but I like the name and the endless possibilities for nicknames.
4.) Samwise from Lord of the Rings
Let’s face it, Sam is the real hero of the story. And, coincidently, the only hobbit with a name you can actually call a child after. I think Samwise is a nice alternative to Samuel or Samson, and a little less-obviously LotR than Frodo, Bilbo, Meriadoc or Peregrin.
5.) River from Doctor Who
OK, not a literary character as such (although there are Doctor Who novels, so I say it counts!), but River is hell in high heels, self-confident, smart, and River also happens to be one of my favourite names.
6.) Sawyer from Tom Sawyer
Technically, Sawyer is a surname, but I think it works nicely as a boy’s given name as well. I’ve always liked Tom Sawyer’s imagination, how mischievous he can be, and his insights into human nature.
7.) Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing
Beatrice doesn’t need a man, which is why I like her so much. She’s quite sassy and independent, and a strong woman at a time when that was not yet encouraged. Also, her name can be changed around to Beatrix (and all the nicknames it comes with) as well as one of my favourite names Tabea (even though strictly speaking that’s a diminutive of Tabitha).
8.) Hunter from Wicca (aka Sweep)
I like Hunter as a boy’s name, never really understood how it’s considered unisex. Hunter in the Wicca series of books is a loyal character, protecting his own, forcefully if needed. But he’s also loving and nurturing when it comes to his loved ones.
9.) Hermione from Harry Potter
Now, Hermione had to be on the list, didn’t she? Not only did her name regain popularity, she’s also a great role model. Modest, loyal, incredibly smart, compassionate, fierce, and inventive, she’s not a princess but a warrior. I also admire her attitude towards hard work and study. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to learn and be good at it!
10.) Malcolm from Firefly
Again, not strictly speaking a literary character, but there was a novel and comics, so again, I say it counts. Even though he’s technically one of the bad guys, I like how loyal he is to his crew, they’re his family. He gives respect where it is due, commands it easily, he’s a man of his word and doesn’t subscribe to traditional gender roles. Mal is strong in character and mind, would rather die than give up his crew, and even under torture he managed to stop others from breaking and giving up. That’s one awesome role model.
This week is all about our Top 10 Banned Books (technically, it’s Favourite Villains, but as last week was Banned Books Week, I decided to deviate a little).
All the books below are on the official “Frequently Challenged YA” List by the American Library Association.
This week is all about our Top 10 Audio Freebie – I chose Audiobook Narrators.
1.) David Tennant
David Tennant narrates A LOT of audiobooks! They include the entire How To Train Your Dragon Series, various Doctor Who audio adventures that feature him as the 10th Doctor and BBC Radio 4 productions such as Mansfield Park, which feature him as part of the ensemble.
2.) Martin Freeman
He hasn’t done a lot of audiobooks, but some that he did do include Mostly Harmless, The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe, So Long And Thanks For All The Fish, as well as Life, The Universe, And Everything. I don’t think I expected him to be this good at doing voices and accents, but he really is!
3.) Stephen Fry
I just love the sound of Stephen’s voice and I still think he is the perfect narrator for the entire Harry Potter series! To be honest, he could read out the phone book and I’d listen. He has done loads more, and reads his own books as well.
4.) Sir Tony Robinson
He has recorded most, if not all, of Terry Pratchett’s work! His enthusiasm bubbles over into his work, which makes for a very engaging listening experience.
5.) Rufus Beck
This one is a German narrator, who I feel narrates every second German audiobook. On his massive list of titles are all the Harry Potter books as well. This is basically the voice of my childhood.
It won’t let me embed the video for some reason, but here’s Rufus beck reading Harry Potter und die Kammer des Schreckens
6.) John Simm
John Simm has not done much audio work, but he did narrate Billy Liar and The Damned Utd. He’s got a surprising range of pitches and accents, though he’s brilliant in Billy Liar with Yorkshire accents of varying thickness. I guess you can take the boy out of Yorkshire, but you can’t take Yorkshire out of the boy.
(Sorry, can’t find anything on Youtube, but there’s a bit of audio on this Amazon listing.)
7.) Tom Hiddleston
He has recorded various poems before, but eventually ventured into full-length books as well. He’s perfect casting for refined, English gentlemen, so it’s no wonder he read James Bond in 007 – Octopussy & The Living Daylights. Other works include The Red Necklace, and an audio version of his movie hit High-Rise.
8.) Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman often narrates his own books and participates in full-cast radio productions of his works as well. My favourites, in which he takes on speaking roles, are the full-cast Radio productions of Neverwhere and The Graveyard Book.
9.) James Marsters
Here’s someone I didn’t know did audiobooks! I grew up watching him as Spike on Buffy, so imagine my surprise when I came across The Dresden Files read by none other than James Marsters!
10.) Mark Gatiss
Mark Gatiss is a master at voices. He not only reads his own books from the Lucifer Box trilogy, he also reads comedy, horror and participates in radio productions.
Other people I love to listen to (often as part of full-cast productions): Anthony Stewart Head, Bernard Cribbins, Roger Allam, Sir Ian McKellen, and Andrew Scott.
Though if there’s one person I wish would record audiobooks, it’s got to be Simon Baker. There are not enough Australian accented audiobook narrators out there, and especially not available in Europe.
This week is all about our Top 10 TV Shows.
The Mentalist: I love me some unconventional detective work. Jane’s carnie background makes him just my kind of mischievous, and I’m a little bit in love with his sunny smile.
Sherlock: Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson are my favourite literary duo. So having a modern version with a sassy John Watson, played by my favourite actor, is it any surprise I’m a massive fan? The waiting is getting on a bit, though.
Doctor Who: Moving to the UK, becoming a Doctor Who fan was inevitable. I never thought I’d get so attached to a mad man in a blue box, but I love the Doctor. As for companions, give me Donna, River, or the Ponds over Clara any day!
Life on Mars: A quirky, time-travelling cop show from the North of England? Yes please! I’ve lived north of Manchester, so this is the sort of accent I was surrounded by. There’s snark, humour, the 70s and dubious ways of policing the streets.
Gilmore Girls: I grew up with Gilmore Girls and I love their wit! Finally characters that made reading cool. I feel like Stars Hollow is home and can’t wait for the revival!
Firefly: Where do I even start? Firefly is as perfect a sci-fi show as there’ll ever be. I’m still not over it getting cancelled.
Castle: As a writer who is into cop shows, I understand Richard Castle. I love the wit on the show and the juxtaposition of by-the-book detective work and Castle’s more creative ways to spin a story.
The Almighty Johnsons: A show about Norse Gods who have settled in my old home Auckland, New Zealand and who don’t know they’re gods until they’re 21? My kind of quirky, plus filmed in a location I know very well and they speak with an accent I love.
Black Books: My go-to UK comedy. While I like to think I’m energetic and positive like Manny, I’m really more like Bernard deep down. Minus the drinking and smoking. But if I had a book shop, I’d probably tell the customers to leave me alone as well.
McLeod’s Daughters: Horses, rural Australia, a cattle and sheep property, a bit of romance and strong female characters. Yes, i was 14 and I was hooked. I actually worked as a Jillaroo in Australia on a sheep and cattle farm to see how hard it really is and those actors (and every station hand, really) have had my utmost respect ever since.
As a certified geek girl, I found this really hard. I mean, how do you choose your favourites when you are part of so many fandoms? To be honest, my taste in TV shows lets you know that I’m quite a bit more into Sci-Fi than I usually let on. But I also like police procedurals. I think this mix is down to a childhood and adolescence of watching The X-Files.