Top Ten Tuesday: Female Characters I admire

I thought it was time to join The Broke and the Bookish’ Top Ten Tuesdays again and this one just felt so right!

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

I decided to choose Top Ten Characters that I admire because of lately I have been more and more inspired by bookish characters. So, here they are:

1. Irene Adler, from the Sherlock Holmes canon by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.- THE woman. Need I say more?

2. Dr. Kay Scarpetta, from the Kay Scarpetta series by Patricia Cornwell.- She is a hard-working, strong, independent, very clever, very smart and powerful woman. She is also a workaholic, so it is easy to feel comfort in her lack of sleeping and no-time-for-eating schedule when I am overworked.

3. Coroner Jenny Cooper, from The Coroner by M.R. Hall .- Another strong, independent woman, but with a dark side. She also has dark, long hair and loves fashion.

4. Dr. Temperance Brennan, created by Kathy Reich.- Ok, so I admit my knowledge of Dr. Brennan comes from the TV show Bones rather than the books. But I think she is amazing nevertheless!

5. Grace Marks, from Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood.- Grace is your typical 19th century inmate. Or is she not?

6. All the ladies from Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell.- The sisterhood these ladies created to help and support each other is just marvellous.

7. Eve Dalladay, from Keep Your Friends Close by Paula Daly.- She is a modern femme fatale verging on psychopath.

8. Ursula Todd, from Life After Life by Kate Atkinson.- Even though she was not conscious of it, I learned about the many ways life can go on and how it is okay to live your own life in your own terms.

9. Louise Monroe from When will There be Good News by Kate Atkinson.- A great detective and an average mother and partner judging by the patriarchy.

10. Esther Greenwood, from The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath.- Another female character from which I learned it is fine to want it all and nothing at the same time. But, above all, I learned the right to be confused by society’s expectations of women.

Feminist Sunday


Feminist Sundays is a weekly meme created at Books and Reviews. The aim is simply to have a place and a time to talk about feminism and women’s issues. This is a place of tolerance, creativity, discussion, criticism and praise. Remember to keep in mind that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, although healthy discussion is encouraged.

It’s been a while since I wrote a Feminist Sunday because I have been super busy. But, I really missed the posts and all the healthy discussion and sharing that comes along. I am surprised every Sunday about how much of your personal and private issues you are willing to share in this community. So, thank you.

Spring is here and temperatures are rising which means… Spring clothes! I am thinking of white jeans, short-sleeves and, in general, more exposure of everyone’s bodies. And, somehow, people think they have the right to comment on women’s bodies which I think is always rude and a bad idea. I wish people stopped and thought before opening their mouths if they would be voicing the same comments to a man.

This may sound a little extreme and I am aware of that. Just recently I lost weight because… life. I really have no idea why. And everyone has a right to comment on how good I look now, so I ask myself: “How did I look before?!” Hand in hand comes the thought: “If I lose more weight or if I re-gain it. How will I look?” I also ask myself why people think they have a right to comment on my body when I usually omit anything not only about their bodies, but about their minds too.

As I am writing this post, I am also thinking of Everyday Sexism and how personal comments are still not considered an aggression. There are even women who do not consider it as such, but if you ask them: “Would you cross the street to avoid it?” Most would say yes.  Here it is a video of how ridiculous it would be if women acted like some men do. Why is it that when women do it is “ridiculous”?

So, what do you think about this right to talk about a woman’s body in such a free way? How does it affect you?

Reading Around the Web

Just some fun links for a Saturday afternoon. Enjoy!

The WoMentoring Project


I just read this amazing post by Naomi and I wanted to share it in case any of you needed it. I think creating a supportive sisterhood is key and we can help each other much more than we think!

Originally posted on The Writes of Woman:


Today sees the launch of a brilliant new initiative, The WoMentoring Project. The project came about when Kerry Hudson, author of Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice-Cream Float Before He Stole My Ma and the forthcoming Thirst, identified a need for peer-mentoring for female writers at the beginning of their careers. I was on Twitter when Kerry mentioned the idea and watched offers come in from so many brilliant women – writers, editors, agents – offering their time and expertise for free.

I’m one of a significant number of bloggers promoting the project today and I’m doing so for two reasons: one is because I set this blog up to promote writing by women and I know how many brilliant females there are writing and working in the publishing industry who can help other women find a place; two is because I was lucky enough to do an MA in Creative…

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Spring Break

Hi, everyone!!

It has been a while since I last blogged, but there were a lot of things going on. So, here’s a little update in the middle of my Spring Break:

  • I stepped out of my comfort zone and decided to fill in the form to be a TEDx speaker. Lucky me, I got chosen and a month later I was on the stage talking about my passion: crime fiction. It was scary and amazing, but above all, I learnt that stepping out of your comfort zone is something we should all do more often.
  • I finally started watching True Detective and the first thing I have to say is that I want a leather notebook to bring to my crime scenes. I know I do nto have any crime scenes… but can I least have the Southern drawl, please? Bear with me, I am still on episode 2 and then we can talk about that amazing finale you all talk about.
  • I managed to get a review copy of the following books:
  1. Someone Else’s Skin by Sarah Hilary.- I heard about this on Twitter and I almost harrassed the Sam, the publisher, for a review copy. Lucky me, I got one (and Sam was amazing.)
  2. Linda, as in Linda the Murder by Leif G W Persson.- I read about this at a few blogs and I loved the idea of a murder at a police academy.
  3. Blue Monday, Tuesday’s Gone and Waiting for Wednesday by Nicci French.- I was emailed by the publisher to review Waiting for Wednesday and, cheeky me, I asked for the two previous books in the series. Luckily, I was emailed the three of them.
  • I finally discovered that I need writing to be happy: a writing day is a happy day.
  • I no longer have to attend lessons… in 3 years, which is kind of bittersweet, but I can’t wait to start this new chapter!

So, are you enjoying your Spring Break?


Anorexic by Eavan Boland

I am not a huge fan of poetry and I do not really know why. I guess I tend to read novels since I still have to find crime-fiction- poems. Or maybe I should write some myself. Anyway, I have this professor who loves poetry and every time I attend her lessons I wonder why I find it so hard to read poetry when it is so inspiring. Yesterday, we analyzed this poem with her and I fell instantly in love with it. I do not want to write the analysis here, but just its context so that you interpret it yourself and see what it means to you. Eavan Boland writes in 1980′s Catholic Ireland where women’s bodies were silenced. Here it is:

ANOREXIC (Eavan Boland)

Flesh is heretic.
My body is a witch.
I am burning it.

Yes I am torching
ber curves and paps and wiles.
They scorch in my self denials.

How she meshed my head
in the half-truths
of her fevers

till I renounced
milk and honey
and the taste of lunch.

I vomited
her hungers.
Now the bitch is burning.

I am starved and curveless.
I am skin and bone.
She has learned her lesson.

Thin as a rib
I turn in sleep.
My dreams probe

a claustrophobia
a sensuous enclosure.
How warm it was and wide

once by a warm drum,
once by the song of his breath
and in his sleeping side.

Only a little more,
only a few more days
sinless, foodless,

I will slip
back into him again
as if I had never been away.

Caged so
I will grow
angular and holy

past pain,
keeping his heart
such company

as will make me forget
in a small space
the fall

into forked dark,
into python needs
heaving to hips and breasts
and lips and heat
and sweat and fat and greed.


Borrowed from Elite Skills