Finding Myself in Books

Jun 26, 2012

I've never participated in a meme before, but Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is one of my favorites to enjoy vicariously. I was intrigued by this week's topic (Top Ten Characters Who Remind Me Of Myself), and so I'm going to weigh in on this one.

I found that it was really hard to separate myself from characters I'm emotionally attached to and focus on those who actually have similar character traits to myself.  There are a lot of characters I wish I was more like (Jane from Jane Eyre, Betsy from The Hiding Place, Melanie from Gone with the Wind to name just a few), but they're definitely not me.

After some thought, here are ten that at least bear some resemblance in some way to myself:

1. Rosalind from The Penderwicks
She's the oldest, I'm the oldest. She's bossy, I'm (very) bossy. But she really has her sisters' best interests at heart, and I would say that (for the most part), my motives are pure, too. (But Rosiland is definitely kinder and more patient than I am.)

2. Anne from Anne of Green Gables
You have to know that I adore Anne. So I would like nothing better than to be like her. (When I was a teenager, I was at a youth conference, and one of the chaperones decided to call me "Anne" because she said I reminded her of Anne Shirley. I'll love her for life even though I did not keep in touch with her and no longer remember her name.) But am I really like Anne, or is it just the wishful desire of my heart? Like Anne, I love to read and write, and I completely relate to her romantic side and get caught up in the beauty of life all around me. But, if I'm completely honest, there might be more of Diana than Anne in me (which kills me to say). I'm practical, I love to create but can't come up with a single creative idea on my own. I'm a rule follower and a loyal friend. In a word, like Diana, I'm boring. :-(

3. Meg from Little Women
Again, as with Rosalind, I see myself in Meg because she carries the responsibilities of her younger siblings. I have five younger brothers and two younger sisters, and it was in my nature to worry about them and try to help them.

4. Gretchen from The Happiness Project
Is it legal to use a real person? Because the whole time I was reading The Happiness Project, I kept thinking, I could be friends with Gretchen Rubin. (And, theoretically, since she is a real person, I really could be friends with her. Slim chance, but still...) I like to make lists and achieve goals and work towards resolutions. I'm passionate about reading. And I always have big dreams of improving and making myself better. (Now if I were only more organized about said personal improvements like Gretchen...)

5. Anne in Persuasion
I'm quiet and introverted. I'm shy. I overanalyze things. But I'm not quite as noble and selfless as Anne.

6. Tacy from Betsy-Tacy
I've been meaning to reread these books for ages, and now I have a reason to. I think I'm like Tacy (timid and shy in new situations and even sometimes with old friends), but my memory is poor, so I might be completely wrong. Is that what Tacy is like? At any rate, I am reserved with lots of people and occasionally even with good friends, so match me to whatever character is like that.

And now, I can't resist putting in a few picture books, although these ones might not paint me in the most favorable light...

7. Harriet's mother in Harriet You'll Drive me Wild
Harriet does one naughty thing after another. Her mother starts out very patient, but as the day wears on, she gets more and more frayed until finally (when Harriet accidentally tears open a feather pillow), she just loses it and yells and yells and yells. Sadly, I can relate perfectly to this mom. I start the day with the kindest of intentions. But if my boys disobey me enough and make a million messes, then finally the bucket overflows, and I have to take a break. But in the end, as with Harriet and her mom, we work things out and even laugh about all of the things that went wrong.

8. Mrs. Peters in The Seven Silly Eaters
I love this book. When I'm standing in the middle of my house, and all I can see is chaos stretching out around me in all directions, I feel just like Mrs. Peters. I have felt that same despair that she feels when, despite my best efforts all day, it hasn't been enough. The kids have won, they've beaten me, and I'm not sure I'll ever resurface and claim my house again. (But the other thing I love about Mrs. Peters is that she really does love her darling little Peters, and I really do love my boys, too.)

9. Little llama in Llama Llama Red Pajama
I've always dragged out bedtime. Now it's not so much that I don't want to go to bed as that I just have a really long routine. Also, I really don't like sleeping alone. I can remember sleeping in the hall to be closer to my parents' voices or on the living room couch or on a mattress outside their bedroom. I don't like being in a cold, dark room by myself.

10. The mother in I'll Love You Forever
I know this is a controversial book, and I have to agree it is a little disturbing to think of a 70-year-old woman breaking into her grown son's house to hold him on her lap and sing him a song. The sad thing is...I can totally see myself doing that! I love my little boys, and a part of me wishes they could just stay little forever. They're so sweet and (for the most part) innocent, and they love me best. Aaron and I play a little game where I say something like, "Aaron, you can't grow up. How about you skip your next birthday and just stay three?" And then he says, in a very exasperated tone, "Mom, I have to turn four. I just have to." I hope I'll be able to let all three of my boys go when the time comes, but I hope it feels like a long time in coming.

What do you think? If you know me personally, can you think of anyone I remind you of? Is there a character in a book who reminds you of yourself?


  1. This is my favorite list so far because you've got the Penderwicks, Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, Persausion!!!!! and Love You Forever. You just reminded me of how I used to fight with my friend over which one of us was Anne/Diana! This is my first visit/attempt at a Tuesday Top Ten

  2. Amazing list Amy! I had a character from Little Women and a Jane Austen novel as well! I think it's amazing that you find yourself to be like Anne Elliot as she's one of my favorite characters of all time!(:

    Ivy Book Bindings

  3. List of great characters, I very much enjoyed going through it! Now that I go through lists of others, I find other characters I could have added to my list. :)

  4. No, Diana Barry is not boring! She is like Elinor Dashwood. All of us Marianne Dashwoods wish we were more like Elinor. (At least, I do.)

  5. Great list! I like that you included someone from LIttle Women and Jane Austen!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  6. I love it...oh what a fun list to make. I like what you had to say and can relate to some of your character choices.

  7. You are not Diana. My opinion. And I DO think she is boring and I also think Elinor Dashwood is boring and Sense and Sensibility is the only Austen that I have not finished and I'm straying off topic... You are much too opinionated to be a Diana, don't you think??? Would Diana create a blog and review books? Would you ever call Diana bossy? Not that I know anything about you being bossy I'm just referencing your words. I can see Meg. I think you're being a little too hard on yourself by canceling out some of the good traits.

  8. This is such a great list! Rosalind and Meg do have an awful lot in common, don't they?

    Also, you are NOT boring - this book blog alone is proof of your creative impulse!

  9. OHHHH the mother in I Love You Forever. Yes. Makes me cry every time.

    And I love your picks of Anne Shirley and Meg :-)

    Thanks for stopping by my TTT!

  10. Fun list!
    Now, at this age, I can't think of anyone off the bat.
    But I use to connect with Jo from Little Women.
    I was totally like her growing up.


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