Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Top 10 Tuesday, March 2: Characters Whose Job I Wish I Had

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Today's theme: Characters Whose Job I Wish I Had.

Top Ten Characters Whose Job I Wish I Had

10)  John Rodríguez (aka "Control") from Jeff Vandermeer's Southern Reach trilogy): A different me would have to have this job because the shit going on in Area X is too petrifying for current me to handle. But it would be so interesting! Even though I'm a total wimp, I love weird conspiracy X-Files-y type ambiance (in fiction, not real life!) so I imagine there's a fictional me that would enjoy (or "enjoy") working at Southern Reach. All three of the books in this trilogy are gorgeous, and REALLY weird, and very creepy, and worth reading.

9) Millie from Mishell Baker's Arcadia Project trilogy): This is another one where I wouldn't want to be Millie, but I wouldn't mind a job at the Arcadia Project, which is kind of an agency that manages Earth / Faery Realm relationships and all that. Not that Baker's fairy realm is all fluff and fancy; it's deliciously, terrifyingly dark, and I'd like to be someone who could succeed there.

8) Kivrin from Connie Willis' Doomsday Book: In this book, academics do their research via time travel (the book is set in the 21st century) but medievalists like Kivrin aren't really allowed to travel to that era because of the dangers. Imagine how fascinating it would be to do on-location research in various historical eras? (Obviously, lots of ethical questions about academic 'observation' and judgment and all that, which I supposed I'd be wrestling with if I were a time-travelling academic?!). If you haven't read this wonderful book, add it to your TBR because it's also a pandemic thriller on top of fascinating historical novel and sci fi think piece.

7) Philippa from Rumer Godden's In This House of Brede: This book caused me to research becoming a nun and for a few weeks, I did some daydreaming about it. (Then I remembered all the problems I have with the Catholic Church and the ways I don't think convent life does much for the world.) Demi Moore's daughter is named for Godden, and this book launched my deep dive into Godden's backlist (which really varies from quality to trash). But this book reminded me of how I sometimes dream of a monastic kind of life (hello, Hildegard von Bingen...!).

6) Ginger from Mary Robinette Kowal's Ghost Talkers: First, our heroine here is an heiress, and I have to confess I'm shocked I don't have more heiresses on this list as I'm confident I would make an uh-mah-zing lady of leisure. Second, this is a historical fantasy in which Spiritualism is real and Ginger is a medium whose job it is to debrief soldiers killed on the front. It's a tender, terrifying job but one I'm kind of obsessed with.

5) Nix from Heidi Heilig's The Girl From Everywhere: More time travel! On a ship, too, and with a fascinating crew (save for Nix's terrible father). Heilig's novel is gorgeous and intense and beautifully imagined, and while I don't want Nix's precise journey (pretty much all my responses here are couched in caveats, oops!), I wouldn't mind being able to travel through time by way of historical maps...

4) Claudia from Penelope Lively's Moon Tiger: Claudia is a war correspondent and amateur archaeologist, and those were both pretty much my dream jobs when I was a kid. Add to that the romance of a World War II romance and all that, and yeah, this hits all my Martha Gellhorn-fangirl dreams.

3) Bathsheba Everdene from Thomas Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd: My wife would be rolling her eyes so hard right now but whatever, she's not the boss of me. In all actuality, being a farmer is really, really, really hard work so I am being quite precious for including this job on the list, but whatever, Hardy sold me on Bathsheba and her life (in the drama of it all and what not). Bonus if I get to look like Carey Mulligan as I do so.

2) Pauline from Tessa Dare's Any Duchess Will Do: I was telling my wife how surprised I was that more romance novel heroines weren't appearing on this list, and we easily imagined a half dozen I wouldn't mind being. But Pauline really rose to the top for a variety of reasons, mostly that she owns a bookshop, lives in Spindle Cove with some amazing friends, and has a pretty dreamy spouse (terrible past aside that we'll handwave away). 

1) Patricia from Charlie Jane Anders' All the Birds in the Sky: God, this book wrecked me. It's the story of a witch and a scientist, once childhood friends, pitted against each other as adults as they attempt to save the world. You know, ordinary challenges. So flippin' good. Patricia is the witch, and Anders' world-building here had me so desperate to attend Patricia's witch school. (It appears being a witch might be the thing I want to be the most, followed by heiress...) But this isn't a light or comedic story about nature versus science, and it's that deep emotional core that has kept this book with me. Patricia's ability to work right and wrong in a just and fair manner is Goals.

Okay, so there are my 10 -- any characters whose job you wish you had?


  1. Heiress is a great pick! Wish I'd thought of that one. :)

    My post: https://lydiaschoch.com/top-ten-tuesday-characters-whose-job-i-wish-i-had/

  2. X-Files investigator sounds like a great job. In theory. In reality, it would terrify me completely!

    Happy TTT!


  3. Yes, I would love to be a time traveller like Nix!
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2021/03/02/top-ten-tuesday-305/

  4. I would love to research using time travel. I've also thought about becoming a nun someday, when I am a widow.