When I sat to do this piece, one thing became clear that if I had a choice and the ability, the occupation I would have crafted for myself would have involved books, food and magic and of course people, friendly people.
Not for me the life of an adventurer, not a spy or a mountain climbing braveheart. No sir! I’d much rather be with a bunch of people I like, talking to them about books in a cafe, weaving some kind of magic and/or cooking up something delicious.
It’s entirely another matter that I can barely cook to save my life and also that outside books, I’m a practical Capricorn who hardly believes in magic.
Anyway, here they are:
Top Ten Characters From Books Whose Job I Wish I Had
1. Minerva MacGonagal from the Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling
My first pick, as with anything bookish at all, has to come from the Harry Potter series and so I pick MacGonagal. Well yes obviously. What’s not to like in teaching transfiguration? Believe me when I say I struggled between her and Lupin and Snape oh and also Mad Eye Moody. But then the idea of turning myself into a slinky cat at will won it for her.
2. Vianne Rocher from Chocolat by Joanne Harris
Can there be a better combination than chocolate and magic? I fell in love with Vianne as well as her cafe – a warm, happy, mystical place offering solace from the cold outside – both physical and metaphorical. I loved all her creations from the simple hot chocolate bubbling in her kitchen to the elaborate Easter Sunday fiesta. I’d have loved to be able to do that.
3. Willy Wonka from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
While on chocolate, why not make some of your own? Yeah I would have loved to be in Willy Wonka’s shoes running a chocolate factory making awe-inspiring confectionary. Though I’m not sure I’d have imported the poor Oompa Loompas and I’d have definitely dialled down the crazy factor.
4. Tiffy Moore from The Flatshare by Beth O Leary
Moving on to things more bookish, I’d have loved to be a book editor like Tiffy (Tiffany). In the book we find her in the middle of editing a book on crafts and that’s just fantastic. She’s part-time model too for her author’s creations. I’m not sure I’d have liked that kind of limelight but then the modelling was just a side hustle.
5. Cussy Mary from The BookWoman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
During the Great Depression, Cussy Mary would travel on horseback through the harsh Kentucky territory, to bring books to starving children and penniless adults. She helped the barely literate mountain people to fall in love with books, adding a spark of happiness to their lives. That’s as brave a task as any I can think of and I closely identified with her joy of sharing books and stories.
6. Mr Penumbra from Mr Penumbra’s 24 hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
Running a 24 hour bookstore is a dream worth having — a place where stacks of books reach right up to the ceiling so high as to be almost invisible. That’s heaven enough. Add to it some crazy intrigue – heading a secret society, reading books in special code, in a specific order. Oh I’d like to be him for sure.
7. Sophie Neveu from The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
Before I read the book I didn’t even know there existed something like a Police cryptographer. I found her job fascinating. What thrill it must be to make sense of disconnected bits, to see patterns in things no one else can!
8. Kristoff from The Lost Letter by Jillion Cantor
It must require an unusual combination of skill, talent and hard work to be a stamp engraver. It was such an unusual occupation and 18-year-old Kristoff, was a dedicated apprentice in this delightful WWII book. He engraves stamps commissioned by the Nazi Government and manages to hide away a message in them too.
9. Tilo from The Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
This one’s pure magic. Tilo runs an Indian grocery store in contemporary California. She breathes magic into her spices turning them into curatives for her customers’ physical, mental and emotional troubles. I fell in love with Tilo, her relationship with spices, her understanding of their magical properties and her ability to pick out just the right one for the right person.
10. Bertie Wooster from Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen (and many other books) by PG Wodehouse
Lastly but not at all leaslty (See, I did a Dr Seuss there!) I want to do what Bertie Wooster did. I’m not quite certain exactly what it was, that he did. As far as I understand it was basically Nothing. Unless you call getting into scrapes and being rescued by Jeeves a job. Wiki describes his occupation as ‘Socialite/Idle Rich. I most definitely want to be that.
Endnote: My list of favourites is incomplete without the mention of Isabel Pullman – mom of Auggie Pullman from Wonder by RJ Palacio. Being the mom of a child, specially one who is homeschooled for most of his young life, is a full-time occupation and Isabel absolutely excels at it.
Joining book-lovers at Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. Drop by for some super interesting book-related prompts each week. Drop by here for the rules and a list of topics for the forthcoming Tuesdays.
The prompt for this week, as you might have guessed, was Ten characters whose job I wish I had.
Do share your favourite.