We've gotten so many responses about your favourite characters, both male and female, that we have another list of recommendations. Happy reading!
SARAH: Kinsey Milhone and Jim Qwilleran
I love Kinsey Milhone (from the Sue Grafton series). She’s a strong woman who can take care of herself, and she’s got quirks that I love (every time I read one of the books I start craving McDonalds and I start running again…)
I also love Jim Qwilleran (from the Cat Who series by Lilian Jackson Braun). He’s such a kindly character who loves his cats so much (which makes him quite quirky…)
JULIA: Jane Eyre and Thomas Cromwell
The story of formation of a strong and independent female protagonist, a nineteenth-century feminist, light-years ahead of its time. Society claimed Jane Eyre lacked charm, beauty, and grace, but Charlotte Bronte trusted her readers to see beneath the surface to Jane’s integrity, intelligence, imagination, individualism, and generosity. With a heroine full of yearning, the dangerous secrets she encounters, and the choices she finally makes, Charlotte Bronte's innovative and enduring romantic novel continues to engage and provoke readers.
Thomas Cromwell (advisor to Henry VIII) – Wolf Hall (and Bring Up the Bodies) by Hilary Mantel.
Tudor England. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no heir. Cardinal Wolsey is charged with securing his divorce. Into this atmosphere of distrust comes Thomas Cromwell (advisor to Henry VIII from Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel) - a man as ruthlessly ambitious in his wider politics as he is for himself. His reforming agenda is carried out in the grip of a self-interested parliament and a king who fluctuates between romantic passions and murderous rages.
PAT: Amelia Peabody and Edgewick Lamplighter
One of my favourite female characters is Amelia Peabody in the mystery series by Elizabeth Peters. Amelia was a woman ahead of her time, always willing to forge her own path. She would move fearlessly into dangerous situations, steel-tipped parasol in hand, if her family or friends were threatened. She was loyal, kind true to herself. What more could one look for in a memorable female?
For a favourite male character, I would pick Wick (Edgewick Lamplighter) in the fantasy series, The Rover, by Mel Odom. Wick is a Halfling, a humble librarian, thrown out into the cold, cruel world, who rises to the life-threatening challenges which arise and finds himself and his courage.
Last week Phil and Brent talked about memorable females from fiction (Aomame from Haruki Murakami's 1Q84 and Helen of Troy from the Iliad). Here are their favourite male characters:
"Dionisio Vivo from Louis de Bernieres' Latin American trilogy (The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts, Señor Vivo and the Coca Lord and The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman). A philosophy lecturer who grows into a national hero, a magical 'brujo' taking on some seriously evil drug lords wrecking his stress-free existence. Señor Vivo's strength seems to come from never letting anything bother him and falling madly in love, which turns out to be an incredibly dangerous combination."
"I always liked reading about Oedipus, known for solving the riddle of the Sphynx. Although his story had a tragic ending, he was a very brave and smart character." (Sophocles' tragedies Oedipus the King and Oedipus at Colonus)