TTT: Creme de la Creme

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday with The Broke and the Bookish is a freebie and, indecisive as I am, I couldn’t pick my favourite past topic. So I chose 10!

Fret not, I do not intend to give ten answers to each topic. Just one. There is a freebie coming up again soon, so I’ll have to figure something out by then.I include a link to the original TTT for each of my chosen categories. Enjoy!

1. An Intimidating Book:

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. I’ve heard so many ravings but it’s just soooo long! I’ve never really read a classic without guidance (i.e. from a teacher or whatever), so I decided instead to read The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. I wish I could say that was going any better…

2. A Book I Can’t Believe I’ve Never Read:

Anything by Jane Austen… Part-intimidation, and part-aversion for the romance thing. And maybe some fear that it won’t live up to everyone’s gushing reviews.

3. A Book I’m Dying to Read:

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby, a medical biography of a man with locked-in syndrome. It was recommended to me by my favourite doctor ever. I haven’t read it because I simply haven’t been able to source it from anywhere.

Bellatrix Fan Art by Railiens on DeviantArt

4. My Favourite Literary Villain:

Bellatrix Lestrange from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. I don’t know why, but I’ve always had a liking for her. I find her to be rather hot in a gothic kind of way. I welcome you to analyse me here because I don’t understand it all. I just like her. And yes, I did like her before the movies.

5. A Fictional BFF:

Marcus Flutie from Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty. I’m so jealous of this friendship. Marcus gets Jessica like I only dream of being understood by a friend. I love the things they talk of. I love how there is depth to him. I wouldn’t date him, but I’d love a Marcus as a friend.

6. A Character I’d Name My Kid After:

Harper Scott from Saving June by Hannah Harrington. First because of the Mockingbird reference, and I hope my kids will one day be the kind of rebel that Harper Lee was for her generation and those to come. But also because Harper Scott is a darling child who is brave and strong and not as horrible as she thinks she is.

7. A Bookish Pet Peeve:

There are many, but a recent literary trend is this incessant name-dropping. It was particularly annoying in Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard. Readers really don’t need to know the brand of every strip of clothing on your characters – it’s a novel, not a screenplay. I felt like I was stuck in a room with some snobbish person trying to show off their knowledge of high-fashion.

8. A Book I Wish I Read As A Kid:

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery – I’ve lost track of how often this pops up on other TTTs. I saw it a few times in the library when I was a little kid, but it always looked kind of lame. Now everyone talks about it and I don’t know if it will be worth the read now or if it will just annoy me.

9. A Sequel I’m Dying to Read:

Spud: Exit, Pursued by a Bear by John van de Ruit – the fourth (and allegedly final) book-journal about a young boy at a South African boarding school in the years immediately post-Apartheid. These books have managed to grip audiences and although not one of my absolute favourites, I’m looking forward to this one being released August this year.

10. A Book That Was Out of My Comfort-Zone:

Orchid by Tom Morello – a graphic novel, my review for it is here. I’ve been shunning graphic novels since I was about 12, figuring they’re silly and for “babies”. That’s the one excuse. And the other is that “adult” graphic novels tend to be very graphic, and I don’t know how I feel about blood and guts being drawn in animation. I kind of wanted animation to remain pure and naive. But anyway, I read it and liked it.


  1. katie says:

    i saw the movie of “the diving bell and the butterfly” in a spanish class in college; i didn’t realize that it was also a book! it was good, melancholy and sad, but well-done.

    1. Oh yeah, the one time I tried the movie I realised it was in a language which I don’t understand and it had no subtitles, so I didn’t get to watch it. It seemed quite sad, but I suppose the whole situation was kind of earth-shattering.Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Oh I love your list! What a great idea – though I would have been intimidated from having ten topics to pick one book for!!

    I have a copy of The Diving Bell… but I haven’t read it yet and it’s packed away now. Someone recommended it to me years ago I think. I haven’t seen the movie and it looked really depressing, but in such cases I find the book a better experience so I wasn’t put off. 🙂 Have you tried ordering it online?

    I totally agree with you about Ayn Rand and your bookish pet peeve. (Think I might do pet peeves for my next freebie, I’m sure I could easily make ten!) And you’re not weird about Bellatrix – there’s something about “evil” characters that are totally captivating, and with a name like that, yeah she’s hot. Interesting how for the movies they went with “deranged” – perhaps to tone down that implicit attraction to bad people we can have? Food for thought…

    1. Thanks – it was a bit daunting but it turned out fun!

      I’m actually trying to source it from a library – books are crazy expensive with the ZAR-exchange rate. Although you’ve actually given me an idea, perhaps I should check on some second-hand sites.

      Thanks for your input – I love your thoughts about Bellatrix… I’d love to know if that was the reasoning behind the casting… mh…

  3. I love what you did here with your list!! Anne of Green Gables is totally worth a read. If you plan to ever have kids, you should read it with them. If not, you still need to read it- I think I will remember it forever, it really stuck with me. I want to re-read the series now that I’m older.
    Here is my Top Ten!

    1. Thanks for the suggestion, I definitely want kids, but only in like eight years from now. The books seem to bear resemblance to an animated series I watched as a little girl, so I think I will enjoy them. Perhaps I’ll add them to my winter-break TBR!

  4. Jessica says:

    I don’t think name dropping in books is an overly new thing. I’m pointing fingers at books like Shopaholic, Sex and the City, etc for making that popular, but it does seem that every NYC book has it now too.

    1. I haven’t actually read either of those, but I could imagine that Sex in the City would have lots of namedropping…

  5. Amanda says:

    I am one of the few people that doesn’t mind name-dropping…as long as it fits the story! If the characters are the type that would care about name brands or celebrities (or anything else of that sort) I’m good.

    1. You make a valid point, I guess. It just really annoys me. I can understand the odd name here or there if it contributes to the plot, but Pretty Little Liars just took it soooo far. But I suppose it did fit the girls’ personalities.

  6. Awesome idea to answer from 10 questions!!! And I so dislike name-dropping in books – the ones I’ve read drop the names of past literary works (The Marriage Plot is mega guilty of this).

    1. I haven’t read the Marriage Plot, but I think literary name-dropping would annoy me too because if I hadn’t read the work I would feel out of the loop!

  7. Linda says:

    I’ve never heard of Orchid. Off to read your review.

  8. rubybastille says:

    Nice idea for the list! The intimidating book that came to mind for me was “1984” – I still haven’t been able to finish it. Same with “Dracula.” “East of Eden” was initially intimidating, but I’m enjoying it so much that I hardly notice anymore!

    If you want to give graphic novels another chance, I recommend “Habibi” by Craig Thompson. It is occasionally sexually graphic, but it tells a beautiful story. I haven’t read his other book, “Blankets,” in a long time, but my friend loves it (she was the one who recommended Thompson to me in the first place).

    1. I haven’t read 1984 yet either… I really want to though.
      Thanks for the recommendation, I’ll definitely look into it!

  9. Bellatrix is such an awesome villain. And I can’t even hate her because she’s so fascinating! Helena Bonham Carter was born to play that role. She was just awesome! Also I hope you get a chance to read Anne of Green Gables sometime! It’s such a wonderful book 🙂

    1. Thanks! Carter does fulfill the role wonderfully, I can’t imagine anyone else in it. I’ll try to read Anne soon!

  10. I like how you approached your list! I’ve actually owned a copy of Anne of Green Gables since I was a kid but have never read it. A lot of people seem to love it, so I’ll have to give it a go one day.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, and do let me know what you think of Anne when you’ve read her!

  11. TG says:

    Love what you did this week! I haven’t read The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, but I saw the film and it was incredibly moving – I cried buckets of tears. Oh, and I feel the same way about Anne of Green Gables. It was my mother’s favourite book as a child, which made it lame to me. I was the kind of kid who didn’t like anything if my mother liked it! Now I see that it’s so many people’s childhood fave and I wish I’d given it a chance back then.

    1. That’s funny, I think I went through a stage like that with my mother too (I feel terrible about it now).

  12. Amy @ Books, College, and Other Random Things says:

    I haven’t read anything. I rarely read any classics for fun. The only ones I have read have been assigned from teachers.
    I like that you picked several past topics and did picked one for the ones you chose.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  13. Mary says:

    We actually had major overlap! Marcus flutie, To Kill A Mockingbird, Jane Austen, and Anne of Green Gables! Thats kind of crazy given your approach!

    Jane Austen is never disappointing, promise!

    1. Whoa, that is a major overlap! Super serendipity, hehe.
      Thanks for the reassurance, I will try to read her soon…

  14. Gone Pecan says:

    what a great idea! even though i’ve not read about 60% of these books 🙂 Marcus Flutie would be a kick-ass bff. ~dixie

  15. emmysondie says:

    What a great list! I totally agree on Bellatrix. She was just plain evil, but kind of awesome too.

  16. Zo says:

    Now, that is the perfect approach to the freebie! I hope Jane Austen doesn’t disappoint if/when you read her. I’ve never read Anne of Green Gables either…although it seems like the sort of thing I should have read. I saw the movie of the Diving Bell, but haven’t read the book.

  17. I loved your approach to the freebie! I so agree with the name-dropping in Pretty Little Liars. It got really irritating by the end of it. Classics in general are intimidating, but I do like Jane Austen. And the 1st couple books in the Anne Of Green Gables series are pretty good too.

  18. What a great idea! I had a hard time choosing topics too, but you made it work in an awesome way. Agreed on Atlas Shrugged. It’s been on my “to-read” list forever. But then again so has The Fountainhead. Additionally, I would also love to read The Driving Bell and the Butterfly…but I can’t find it anywhere either!

    1. I wonder if it’s out of print?

  19. SO agree there on fav villain. Great list! 😀

    Fara @ Tumbling In Books

  20. I love your list!! I definitely agree with your favorite villain and bookish BFF! Marcus! I’ve never read anything by Jane Austen either.

    1. Thanks so much 🙂 Glad to hear I’m not the only one who’s Austen-illiterate.

  21. I LOVE your twist on Top Ten this week! Now I want to read The Diving Bell and the Butterfly too. It looks incredibly interesting 🙂

    1. It does, right? If I can find the book somewhere – in a language I understand, hopefully – we should totally compare notes.

  22. I love your idea this week (: I wish I would have thought of that. I haven’t read 1984 yet either and I’d love to read Butterfly. Great idea this week and thanks for the comment on my TTT (:
    -Raechel @ Backwood Reviews

  23. I seem to be one of the few that think Jane Austen books are overrated. I read “Sense and Sensibilities” first, and I’m not joking when I say I had to plough through it. Read “Pride and Prejudice” next, and I still don’t know what all the fuss is about. I dunno, maybe I’m too dumb for it or something :/

    You’ve never read Anne of Green Gables?! *drawn-out gasp*
    That book MADE my childhood (o.O) but you’re right, it might not captivate you now – it’s got a childlike quality to it that might irk the older mind…

    Bellatrix is so evil those scenes made me all shivery and emotional (T~T) but yes, she is cool. In a demented way. 😀 You need to check out more Harry Potter Deviantart though, it’s SO COOL! (look at Pen-umbra, limlight, and nami86, they’re AMAZING!!) (And excuse the Potterhead. It’s almost a disease. *sheepish*)

    Haven’t read the rest – but really looking forward to Spud 😀

    (And ever since I first heard the title “Atlas Shrugged”, I just need to picture that image once to start giggling incessantly.)

    1. Oh my goodness, I’d never even pictured that image… now I’m giggling too!
      Pity you didn’t enjoy Austen… we tend to like the same books, sometimes. Guess I’ll give it a try and let you know what I thought.
      As for the fanart, dude, why do you tell me this now that I have to study 😛 I’ll definitely check them out during a study break.

  24. Elisa says:

    I hope you try Jane Austen someday. 😉

    1. Thanks, I think I shall. Just not sure when 😛

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