Top Ten Tuesday: Character Names in Titles

Haven’t done a Top Ten Tuesday list in a while! I’m jumping ahead to a February prompt but I just couldn’t resist this one.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl, and each week there’s a prompt for you to use in building your own bookish top ten list.

Today’s topic (or the one I’ve chosen for today) looks at titles with characters’ names in them so I thought I’d use my 2021 reads for my list. And as usual, I’m taking some liberties with my picks today but that’s how I roll!

Graphic for Top Ten Tuesday. Pink, orange, and yellow text that reads "Top Ten Tuesday www.ThatArtsyReaderGirl.com" over a white background.

Books with Character Names in the Titles

1) The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde | My review
Genre: Paranormal | Humour

This is more the character’s title but it still works! A classic that I finally got to visit this year, Wilde gives a humorous spin to the ‘family moves into a haunted house’ story. The British ghost who’s “lived” in and terrified the residents of his mansion for years finds the new Americans who’ve moved in tough to crack. It’s a funny story with a more heartfelt ending, and there are many free digital and audio versions available if you’re looking for something to read over the holidays!


2) Sarahland by Sam Cohen
Genre: Short Stories | LGBTQ

This one was quite easy as each of the stories in this collection has a character named Sarah. I just read Sarahland this month and it’s quite a graphic book but a funny, queer exploration of all these different Sarahs, some familiar and some new, and I really enjoyed it.


3) Piranesi by Susanna Clarke | My review
Genre: Fantasy

Another book that was quite easy to pick for this prompt. Piranesi is the narrator in this strange, mysterious book as he introduces the readers to his world but that world seems to have many secrets that he’s just discovering. Great read for fans of Narnia but wanting something a little darker and a mystery that takes its time in revealing itself.


4) Sir Gawain and the Green Knight translated by Simon Armitage | My review
Genre: Poetry | Adventure

TWO characters named in this poem’s title! I read this one earlier this year after many folks recommended it in advance of the new movie. It’s a great adventure and this translator does a fantastic job in retaining the rhyming and meter of the original if you’re not up for reading Middle English.


5) Dava Shastri’s Last Day by Kirthana Ramisetti | My review
Genre: Fiction

I’ve talked about Dava quite a lot recently and it makes a lot of sense that Dava’s name would be in the title, both as the main character in this story and as someone who is so obsessed with leaving behind a legacy. This book follows her family at their Christmas gathering, when they learn that Dava has a terminal illness and has chosen assisted dying. And she leaked her death to the press early so she could read everyone’s reactions. A sad book but if you like reading about chaotic families, this is certainly up there.


6) The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller | My review
Genre: Historical Fiction | LGBTQ

A book I’m sure many readers have heard about. I read The Song of Achilles with my book club and was interested in Miller’s interpretation of Achilles’ story, having studied some Greek mythology throughout school. If you know the original, you know this is another sad book, but there were a lot of interesting things that Miller brings to life here and a lot of details that I hadn’t known from not reading the original text.


7) Pauls by Jess Taylor | My review
Genre: Short Stories

Another short story collection that uses a similar name for characters in each story. In this case, there are many Pauls, sometimes multiple Pauls per story. I really enjoyed this one and its more Canadian spin, and as well as a mini exploration of Toronto and its surrounding suburbs, it’s also a look at young adults and their struggles in figuring out life.


8) Tilly and the Crazy Eights by Monique Gray Smith
Genre: Fiction

I just, just, finished this one and it was delightful! One of my IndigAThon picks though I only got to it this month, Tilly and the Crazy Eights follows Tilly and eight elders from a First Nations reserve in BC as they embark on a bucket list adventure on their way to the Gathering of Nations Pow Wow in Albuquerque. It’s so funny and beautiful and while these elders are having a great time, they’re also reflecting on their experiences in residential school, their cultural practices being outlawed, and personal journeys through terminal illness and discrimination. Some tears and some laughs makes for a beautiful book.


9) The Mothers by Brit Bennett | My review
Genre: Literary Fiction

This one is cheating a little bit but in my defence, many of the characters in this book are “mothers”, so… I think it works. This book starts in a small town with some teenagers and the gossip that follows them through to their adult lives. It gets real messy and stressful and you’ll be begging the characters to make any other decisions, but I still can’t get over how well Bennett writes and I can’t wait to read more by her.


10) Wayward Witch by Zoraida Córdova | My review
Genre: YA Fantasy

Another book that’s questionable for this list. I actually can’t remember if the term “wayward witch” is ever used verbatim in the book but it refers to the main character, Rose, who’s figuring out her powers and where she belongs. A fun way to close off this trilogy and finally get to see Rose in action!


It feels good to fill out a list with books I’ve actually read vs those on my TBR!

Have you read any of these?

Cover images from Goodreads, graphic from That Artsy Reader Girl.

5 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Character Names in Titles

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