Middlemarch Madness

Middlemarch Madness III: The Reaping

Your literary tributes are below the cut. May the odds be ever in their favor. 

First, we’re totally in a fight about Turtle. If, perchance, I win the lottery this year, I’m sending all of you copies of The Westing Game and not speaking to any of you until you read it. I shan’t believe for a moment that anyone who has actually read the book wouldn’t vote for Ms. Wexler, who was an unapologetic, pre-teen, brilliant, third-wave feminist in the 1970s. I shan’t. All of you go sit over there and think about what you did. Hrrmph.

Text reads "R.I.P. Turtle Wexler 'This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you.'"
The entire book was a word puzzle, people.

Since I can’t throw my boundless enthusiasm and mediocre Photoshop skills at my first choice, I have no choice but to join my partner-in-shenanigans-and-ladyblogging, PoM.

Text reads "She's BFFs with witches, bitches. hashtag TeamLyra or GTFO."
Like a motherfucking boss.

I’m putting aside my desire for a bloodfeud to announce this year’s tributes for Middlemarch Madness III: March Harder. Last week’s poll put Ms. Luna Lovegood head and shoulders above all the other candidates. Will the Potter-lovers hold onto this lead, or will the Austenphiles, the Pratchettonians, or the dark horse L’Englites rally in time to defeat the wee lady wizard? Stay tuned. I predict it’s going to get ugly in here.

Logo for Persephone Magazine's Middlemarch Madness

[fancy_header bgColor=”#870d44″ textColor=”#ffffff”]Young Adult Sci-fi/Fantasy/Dystopia[/fancy_header]

[fancy_numbers variation=”slategrey”]

  1. Luna Lovegood, Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling
  2. Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins
  3. Meg Murray, A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle
  4. Lyra Belacqua, His Dark Materials trilogy, by Phillip Pullman
  5. Alice, Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll
  6. Ella, Ella Enchanted, by Gail Carson Levine
  7. Violet Baudelaire, A Series of Unfotunate Events, by Lemony Snicket
  8. KatsaGraceling, by Kristin Cashore
  9. Kealdry of MindelanThe Protector of the Small quartet, by Tamora Pierce
  10. CimoreneEnchanted Forest quartet by Patricia Wrede
  11. SabrielLirael and Abhorsen, by Garth Nix
  12. Arietty, The Borrowers, by Mary Norton
  13. Tally Youngblood, The Uglies series, by Scott Westerfield
  14. SeptemberThe Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, by Catherine M Valtente
  15. Ann, Hexwood, by Diana Wynne Jones
  16. Gemma DoyleGemma Doyle series, by Libba Bray


[fancy_header bgColor=”#870d44″ textColor=”#ffffff”]Young Adult Literary Fiction[/fancy_header]
[fancy_numbers variation=”slategrey”]

  1. Pippi LongstockingPippi Longstocking series, by Astrid Lindgren
  2. Harriet, Harriet the Spy, by Louise Fitzhugh
  3. Ramona Quimby, Ramona series, by Beverly Cleary
  4. Nancy Drew, Nancy Drew series, by Carolyn Keene
  5. Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi
  6. Laura Ingalls, Little House series, by Laura Ingalls Wilder and Rose Wilder Lane
  7. Charlotte A. Cavatica, Charlotte’s Web, by E. B. White
  8. Paperbag Princess, The Paperbag Princess, by Robert Munsch
  9. Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins, by P.L. Travers
  10. Karana, Island of the Blue Dolphins, by Scott O’Dell
  11. Claudia Kincaid, From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, by E.L. Konigsburg
  12. Hazel, The Fault in our Stars, by John Green
  13. LeslieBridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
  14. Liesel MemingerThe Book Thief, by Markus Zusack
  15. Anastasia Krupnik, Anastasia Krupnik series, by Lois Lowry
  16. Weetzie Bat, Weetzie Bat, by Francesca Lia Block


[fancy_header bgColor=”#870d44″ textColor=”#ffffff”]Adult Sci-fi/Fantasy/Dystopia[/fancy_header]
[fancy_numbers variation=”slategrey”]

  1. Offred, The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
  2. Daenerys Tagaryen, A Song of Ice and Fire series, by George R. R. Martin
  3. Death, Sandman, by Neil Gaiman
  4. Thursday Next, Thursday Next series, by Jasper Fforde
  5. Morgaine, The Mists of Avalon, by Marion Bradley Zimmer
  6. Nanny Ogg, Discword series, by Terry Pratchett
  7. Claudia, Interview with the Vampire, by Anne Rice
  8. Sunshine, Sunshine, by Robin McKinley
  9. Alexia TarabottiThe Parasol Protectorate series, by Gail Carriger
  10. Kathy H.Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro
  11. YeineThe Hundred Thousand Kingdoms series, by N.K. Jemison
  12. Phèdre nó Delaunay, Kushiel’s Legacy series, by Jacqueline Carey
  13. Reverend Mother Gaius Hele Mohiam, Dune series, by Frank Herbert
  14. MoretaMoreta: Dragonlady of Pern, by Anne McCaffrey
  15. Surreal SaDiabloBlack Jewels Trilogy, by Anne Bishop
  16. Sorcha, Sevenwaters trilogy, by Juliette Marillier


[fancy_header bgColor=”#870d44″ textColor=”#ffffff”]Adult Literary Fiction[/fancy_header]
[fancy_numbers variation=”slategrey”]

  1. Jane Eyre, Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë
  2. Beatrice, Much Ado About Nothing, by William Shakespeare
  3. Elinor Dashwood, Sense & Sensibility, by Jane Austen
  4. Penelope, The Odyssy, by Homer
  5. Miss Marple, assorted works, by Agatha Christie
  6. Scarlet O’Hara, Gone With the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
  7. Cassandra,  I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith
  8. Esther Greenwood, The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath
  9. Grace Makutsi, The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, by Alexander McCall Smith
  10. Cecily, The Importance of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde
  11. Sethe, Beloved, by Toni Morrison
  12. Lily Owens, The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kid
  13. Catherine Earnshaw, Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë
  14. Mary Katherine “Merricat” BlackwoodWe Have Always Lived in the Castle, by Shirley Jackson
  15. Ree Dolly, Winter’s Bone, by Daniel Woodrell
  16. Ada, Cold Mountain, by Charles Frazier


By [E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

33 replies on “Middlemarch Madness III: The Reaping”

Oh man, I just saw that Meg and September are against each other in the first bracket! THE FIRST BRACKET.

I’m really torn, here. Meg is a childhood favorite and I want to see her lose only to Lyra. But September, ill-tempered and irascible, totally stole my heart. Why must I have to vote against her so early?!

This is going to be painful! But Lyra, Harriet, and Cassandra are on there! LYRA!

But seriously…we are in a fight about both Turtle AND Cassie from Roll of Thunder. How does Cassie not get chosen?!?! I think she and Lyra might kick everyone’s ass in real life.

Is there anywhere we can see the original list from which these 64 were chosen? I’m curious about who was not included, but since the poll is closed I can’t see the names!

Holy cow…aside from y’all’s ongoing delusion that Offred is any kind of badass, the adult sci-fi/fantasy/dystopia category is AMAZING. Actually, I’m excited about most everyone who has made it on to the bracket (at least most everyone of the characters I know.) This is awesome, but it’s going to get so difficult…

On another note, can someone please explain the appeal of Weetzie Bat to me? Because I had to read that for class recently, and I couldn’t STAND it. But I know it’s crazy popular and a lot of people really love it, I just don’t GET it.

This could be a year with some upsets, but it’s interesting to look at the correlation between popularity and badassery quotient. For science, let’s look at last year. Minerva McG clearly scores off the charts in both popularity and badassery. This years top seeds don’t match her thunder. Luna is a great sidekick, she pushes the action along for the main characters well, and she’s interesting. At the same time, one could argue that she strays into Manic Pixie Dream Wizard territory. If the last vote is an indicator, she’s very, very popular. 83% of voters picked her. Luna gets a solid six for badassery and a ten for popularity. Pippi has the highest badassery quotient of all the #1s, but got the fewest overall votes of #1s. We’ll give her an eight for badassery, and a five for popularity. Offred, pish. She got the second highest number of total votes, but her badassery is arguable. Lets give her 9pop/4BAQ. Finally, Jane Eyre. I’d say the unfortunate woman in the attic is more badass than Jane. I’d say my plastic ficus tree is more badass than Jane. This isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy reading about her adventures, I very much did, but if I were to list a million badass women, Jane Eyre would not be on it. Her total vote count was third of four. We’ll give her a 6pop/3BAQ.
It could be anyone’s game. I could see a crafty six or seven seed going all the way, in any category. Aside from the #1s, the top five ladies in each bracket are formidable, but not so wildly popular they couldn’t be knocked out.

I would agree in all categories EXCEPT…Pippi Longstocking is pretty freaking badass. Also, I have not actually read Harriet the Spy (I know, how must my childhood have been!) so I can’t fully get on board with that one.

I would agree with every other category though! I like Luna well enough, but no way is she more badass than Katniss.

I’m so glad I’m not alone! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not casting aspersions upon the importance or impact of The Handmaid’s Tale, but I think it’s told from the perspective of someone who is clearly not an actual badass. To me, that’s kind of the point.

And I second Silverwane. I love Harry Potter (and was FIRMLY Team Hermione the first year) but I think the Luna thing is about the series, not the character.

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