top ten favorite (or unusual) character names

Tuesday, October 22, 2013 |
Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, where we all get to exercise our OCD tendencies and come up with bookish lists.  If you’d like to play along, check out this post.

top ten tuesday

I have a great head for ridiculous facts, but names are a whole different ballgame.  I try to place them with faces, but half the time that doesn’t work.  When I’m reading, I don’t have the visual element to help out.  Even if I’m IN LOVE with a story, if I don’t reread it often, the names seem to go in and right back out.  So.  These are names I remember, from stories I love.

Top Ten Favorite (or Unusual) Character Names

1. Angharad Crewe, or Harry, in The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley – Harry is one of my most favorite characters ever, and she also has one of the most unique names… ever. I still am not sure how to pronounce the mouthful that is her proper moniker.  If anyone has an idea, let me know in the comments.

2. Suzy Turquoise-Blue in The Keys to the Kingdom series by Garth Nix – Suzy is an energy-filled ball of loyalty, mischief, and good (sometimes misguided!) fun.  And she has a pretty sweet surname.

3. Virginia, or Ginny, in The Only Alien on the Planet by Kristen D. Randle – I love this book, and I love the bravery and bullheadedness that Ginny displays.  Also, I love her name... it is my only sister’s as well.  And yes, she loves this book too.  I forced it on her many years ago.

4. Door in Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman – What a lovely, brief, literal name!  Actually, one of the reasons I love Gaiman so much is his genius in naming his characters.  It always is JUST RIGHT for whatever purpose or world he fashions.

5. Akanesi Afa, or Canny, or Agnes Mochrie from Mortal Fire by Elizabeth Knox – The power of names and in knowing your heritage is one of the themes of this beautiful, layered fantasy, and main character Canny’s multiple identities are its best mystery.

6. Puddleglum in The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis – Well, I think I’ve waxed nostalgic about Puddleglum before, but it’s such an obvious, literal fit that it just works.

7. September in the Fairyland books by Catherynne M. Valente – Ah, September’s adventures in Fairyland wouldn’t be half the fun if she had an ordinary name, would they?  I do love the idea of naming a child something out of the ordinary – something that doesn’t have gender associations but is at the same time classic and easy-to-spell.

8. Marigold in Magic for Marigold by L.M. Montgomery – This peach of a book opens with an entire clan in uproar over the naming of a baby girl.  What shall she be called?!  In the end, she’s named after the doctor (a lady doctor, no less!), and she grows into the loveliness that is Marigold.

9. Elnora Comstock in A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Porter – This is one of my favorite books.  I have spent so much time with Elnora over the years, and shed many tears and smiled many smiles with her.  I can’t forget her in this roll call, especially when one of the pivotal scenes makes a play on her name!  Oh, she is magnificent.

10. Victoria Wright in The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire Legrand – Another name that seems to fit its character to a T.  Especially the last name.  Actually it might count as obvious.  But we’ve already established that I love obvious.  So: Victoria Wright doesn’t like messes or anything out of place, but she loves her friend, and NOTHING, not even dirt, will keep her from finding him.

What is one of your favorite character names from a book?


marissa | Rae Gun Ramblings said...

Oh i think September is SO pretty

She-Wolf Reads said...

How could I forget Door?!?!?! Great list!

Ula (Blog of Erised) said...

Wow interesting selection. I don't know most of these but some are very good :)

Romi said...

I hadn't read The Girl who Circumnavigated when I wrote my list, and now I'm painfully sad that September isn't on it- she's such a wonderous character, and I just ADORE her name. It's so perfect, and what about all the others? My list would have so many of Cathrynne M. Valente's characters in it! (:

Nidhi Mahajan said...

I think September and Door are suck interesting names!

Juju at Tales of said...

Marigold? I love that. I adore floral names. I even like Poppy.

Liviania said...

Nice names - I particularly like Door, because it is on the nose and sounds surprisingly good as a name.

(And oh! I am terrible with names. I am, however, excellent on not letting on that I've forgotten someone's name.)

quinnsbooknook said...

I haven't read Magic for Marigold, but I love that name. I've quite a fondness for floral names!

Ellie M. said...

I don't think I've read alot of these books but they look great! Awesome picks :)

My Top Ten Post!

Andy Estrada said...

This week was hard for all of us over at the blog, so many amazing names to choose from! Looks like you had no trouble at all. ;) Great picks!

Our List
Andy @ Owl Always Be Reading

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I have a difficult time remembering character names too. LOVE the name September, even though I need to read those books still.

Mary H said...

I LOVE your list. Your names are truly unique, as are your book picks, and I really like that. Love it!

Mary @ Mary Had a Little Book Blog

Jessica L. Brooks (coffeelvnmom) said...

I've been meaning to read The Blue Sword for a while now, and you just reminded me. (*adds to library list*) That really *is* an unusual name!

Turquoise-Blue is a pretty cool surname... I'm going to have to check that one out, too! :)

And... of COURSE I love Marigold and September! In fact, that just made me think of a new character name. Yay!

Thanks for sharing, and visiting my blog, too! :D

Melissa Hall said...

How did I forget Door? I also love that you mentioned Girl of the Limberlost. It's set in Indiana (where I'm from) and I just got an old copy to read for the first time. Can't wait!

Cee said...

You weren't kidding when you said the names you pick were out there. :D I remember being in love with the name Marigold when I was younger. Out of all the flowers, I wanted my name to be that. Ha.

I really like the name September. :D

Stephanie K said...

Door sounds like a great name. I need to read this book. The only Gaiman book I've read is The Ocean at the End of the Lane, which I didn't love. But Neverwhere seems to be much more popular.

Stephanie @ Inspiring Insomnia

Ruby Scarlett said...

Yes, September is such a great pick! I love 'Turquoise-Blue' as a last name, but then I've always been very fond of names that have to do with colours. I also love the sound of Puddlegum :)
Great list!

Kero Sunshine said...

A lot of books are new to me. I read Neil Gaiman's Stardust recently, and will definitely read more of his books.
Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Sarah E. said...

Oooh I love September! So pretty :)

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