Meme: Top Ten Tuesdays

Posted 20 January, 2015 by Lianne in Meme / 23 Comments

Just a heads up in case I haven’t gotten to your blog (so sorry!) or it didn’t show up on the feed or whatnot, this is the blog formerly known as πŸ˜‰ My new URL domain was applied a few weeks ago; you can read more about my updates in this post πŸ™‚

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme 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!

This week’s topic: FREEBIE

Yay! I love Freebie weeks πŸ˜› So, it took some thinking, but in the end I went for zany/dysfunctional families. Because they’re entertaining and crazy-making, conflicted, complicated, and sometimes just simply a mess. The following families can be any of the following, they can either make you laugh or it’s just tragic.

In no particular order:

  1. The Drummonds from Douglas Coupland’s All Families Are Psychotic — One of the earliest dysfunctional families I’ve encountered in novels. I read this book in high school, my first Douglas Coupland, based on the title alone and its allusion is true to its word. The Drummonds and respective come together to celebrate daughter Sarah’s (the only family member who’s pretty well off all things considered) space shuttle blast off, resulting in a series of mad events (hah, I was reading the premise again and totally forgot the “death in Walt Disney World” bit), misdemeanors (actually, crimes of all sorts O_o), secrets and resentments coming out in the open. That statement doesn’t even do the book justice on how dysfunctional they are xP
  2. The Foxmans from Jonathan Tropper’s This Is Where I Leave You (review) — Another book where a family comes together, under one roof this time for seven days to sit shiva, where (as I quote from my review) “pretty much everything comes out in the open, from fractured sibling relationships to tensions behind marriages and closeted relationships. It’s pretty zany: fist fights, weed, swimming pools, and circuit breaks are involved.”
  3. The Karnokovitchs from Stuart Rojstaczer’s The Mathematician’s Shiva (review) — Think the last book sounds like an insane way to sit shiva? Try having a number of mathematicians over to sit shiva too. The Karnokovitchs ended up on my list because they’re such a strange family marred by their experiences of the war and the Soviet period, brilliant in math and languages, steeped in their culture and perplexed by America. Their interaction cracks me up, it’s just so offbeat and my kind of humour xD
  4. The Lannisters from George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire (100 Things) — Toss up between them and the Baratheons, but I think the Lannisters take the cake as the most dysfunctional family in Westeros. Ruled by such a commanding patriarch, you’ve got twincest with Cersei and Jaime, Cersei hating her dwarf younger brother Tyrion, Tyrion being the perpetual outsider in his family because of his physical stature and the death of his mother when she gave birth to him, Cersei struggling to be recognised for her political machinations, and Jaime torn between the two of them and wanting to defy his father’s expectations and demands of them. Yeah, this family…
  5. The Bertrams from Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park (review) — It’s an interesting contrast to see how the Bertram children fare compared to their poor cousin Fanny Price. All of them act without thinking about the consequences and are pretty selfish (even Edmund, who’s pretty straight-laced, is tempted briefly), their mother is quite lazy, their father is distant, and their aunt Mrs. Norris plays favourites to the detriment of their upbringing.
  6. The Merrivilles from Georgette Heyer’s Frederica (review) — lol, the Merrivilles are such a colourful cast of characters, each with their own interests and personalities, and with the oldest sister Frederica keeping tabs on everyone and making sure they’re all taken care of. They’re such a charming family though, even Lord Alverstoke couldn’t say no to them! πŸ˜€
  7. Philip IV of France’s family in Maurice Druon’s The Iron King (review) — Can’t have a dysfunctional family list without some royalty involved. Philip IV’s daughter shows promise of being a good leader while his sons…well, have their own personalities. Oh, and there’s a curse that’s also hovering over this family and adding to their troubles. Good times.
  8. The Greek Gods from Marie Phillip’s Gods Behaving Badly — No dysfunctional family list is complete without the gods appearing somewhere πŸ˜‰ The Greek gods win by a mile in terms of dysfunctionality, and they translate quite well in this novel with their inclusion in the modern world. xD
  9. The Lisbons from Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Virgin Suicides (review) — Why did the Lisbon girls commit suicide? What was really going on in their family behind closed doors? What role did their parents play in the matter? So many questions, and the family dynamic equally mysterious.
  10. The Clearys from Colleen McCullough’s The Thorn Birds (review) — The generation of Cleary women, dysfunctional because of the times, because of their great loves, because of who they are. It’s curious how the mother-daughter relationship had affected their personalities, the course of their lives, the tragedies they would have to endure.

And that’s my list of books for this week! Have you read any of the books I listed? Or what books have you read featuring dysfunctional families that you liked reading?


23 Responses to “Meme: Top Ten Tuesdays”

  1. Fi

    Great list! Definitely agree that the Lannisters are a dysfunctional family πŸ™‚ And the Lisbons, definitely yes to dysfunctional otherwise the book wouldn’t have been called The Virgin Suicides. I keep meaning to reread VS, maybe I’ll pick it up next week now. I think All Families Are Psychotic is only one of two Coupland books I haven’t read but definitely want to now after reading your synopsis!

  2. This is a fantastic topic! Books with dysfunctional families tend to make a deeper impact sometimes, don’t they? Even if I don’t like the book (i.e. Game of Thrones), I still appreciate the time and creativity that goes into coming up with a family with that many problems.

  3. Ha, I love the topic! Of course, I think the Lannisters go WAY beyond dysfunctional. πŸ™‚ I suppose you could make the argument that most of Austen’s families are dysfunctional (Lydia, Mary, and Kitty Bennett, plus their mother — what a household!). I still need to read This Is Where I Leave You.

  4. Funny, I would never thought of adding Druon’s books for dysfunctional families, but actually it makes totally sense, lol. Which reminds me I have to keep up with the series, they are also very well translated in English, I think

  5. I adore reading about quirky or dysfunctional families, although I am more attracted to those that are funny in the end. Like in the movie ‘Little Miss Sunshine’.

  6. I think it’s sort of an understatement to describe the Lannisters as dysfunctional lol. My friends and brother have been trying to get me to watch GoT again and I rewatched the last episode of season 1 and I forgot exactly how messed up that family is. Anyways I should get back to watching the show lol. I read Mansfield Park when I was in my second year of University and you’re right about the Bertrams! I had forgotten about them until you mentioned them. Have you seen the adaptations of it? Thanks for stopping by and commenting Lianne!

  7. Great list!! I have This is where I leave you on my Kindle but haven’t read it yet. D’oh! I love dysfunctional families though. Such an original topic. πŸ™‚

  8. I love this topic! I, alas, have only read Mansfield Park and GRRM, but, you know. Dysfunctional families are definitely an interesting topic in literature. I definitely plan on picking up The Virgin Suicides soonish.

    (Also, on the topic of Mansfield Park: HOW do you feel about the Edmund/Fanny first-cousinly predicament? It’s something I must ask all new friends.)

  9. What a great topic! Probably if I read more adult novels, I would be able to think of some wacky dysfunctional families. As it is, I just get to enjoy your list. πŸ™‚

  10. Aww Frederica! I wouldn’t say that family is dysfunctional, per se, but they certainly do get into a lot of trouble! And you’re spot on with the Bertrams…every one of those people has Serious Issues. (Is Lady Bertram narcoleptic or just high on laudanum all the time?)

  11. Yay on the new domain! The Bertrams really end up so sadly but I’m always grateful that the father at least figures out in the end the mistakes he made.

  12. Hah Lannisters, indeed! Crazy bunch! But at least they have some honor! Greyjoys have none, and Boltons make me want to strangle someone as well!
    If you like crazy families, read A Spot of Bother, it’s hilarious! There’s also a movie, in French. Une petite zone de turbulences. Loved it. πŸ˜€

  13. Philip IV’s family was cray! I recently finished The Iron King and I enjoyed it very much! I can’t wait to read the rest of the books in the series.

    Also, a giant YES to the Lannisters and the Lisbons!

  14. OH, how fun! Love this topic, Lianne. ‘Mansfield Park’ is a brilliantly good addition. That family is unique and you summed them up perfectly. πŸ™‚

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