Top Ten Tuesday: Salute to Father’s Day


Top Ten Tuesday is a wonderful weekly event hosted by the wonderful blog The Broke and the Bookish where each week a different top ten list is featured! If you haven’t checked out their blog, I encourage you to head over there since it really is a fantastic site!

This week’s top ten list is all about fathers in honor of Father’s Day coming up Sunday, June 18th. It’s a Father’s Day Lit freebie list, so I’ve decided to list the top five worst dads in literature and the top 5 greatest dads in literature. I’ll start with the worst dads and then do the greatest. I’ll be going in descending order so my number 10 will be the not so awful of my worst dad picks with number 6 being the absolute worst dad in my opinion in literature! So, my number 5 will start my greatest dad picks and the countdown to number 1, who will be my pick as the greatest fictional dad of all time!

Let’s get started:

The Five Worst Literary Dads: Number Ten to Six

10. King Lear from King Lear by Shakespeare: one of my favorite of Shakespeare’s tragedies, and one of my favorite of his characters. Nothing says you’re the father of the year like a dad who pits his three daughters against the other just to see which one of them loves him the best or who casts aside the only daughter who actually does love him (sarcasm here). At least he learns what’s what before it’s too late, well it is too late since he’s gone insane but at least he is able to make amends with his beloved Cordelia before they both tragically die.


9. Don Vito Corleone in The Godfather by Mario Puzo: Ok, Don Corleone was a little tough to put on my list of bad fathers because I actually like him. He strongly believes family comes first and truly loves his children. Yet, his Mafia ties were a deal breaker for him being a good dad since his deals led to the deaths of two of his children. No great dad would put his children in a situation where they could die. Not ever.


8. Lucius Malfoy in The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling: Malfoy is just a very horrible man who has supremacist and elitist views that he has no problems passing down to his awful son Draco. Plus, he is a cold-blooded killer since he is a Death Eater, and he wants to force his son to follow in his footsteps killing Muggles and anyone who is not “pureblood”. Of course, his treatment of Harry just makes him all the more despicable a father since he should know better than to treat a fatherless boy with so much hate and anger.


7. Jack Torrance in The Shining by Stephen King: This book gave me nightmares and is one reason that I rarely if ever, ever read books by Stephen King or watch his movies. This book is just insane, like well Jack Torrence, who tries to kill his son Danny. If that is not worst dad material, then I don’t know what is!


6. Humbert Humbert in Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov: Humbert might be Dolores Haze’s stepfather and not her real father, but he is the worst of the worst and gives fathers of every kind an evil and horrific name. I read this book and felt dirty afterward even if the writing is stellar.


The Five Greatest Literary Dads: Number Five to One

5. Horton in Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss: Yes, I know this is a kid’s book, but it is also one of my favorite children’s book and has an excellent moral lesson. Horton truly shows what it means to be a father (or even a parent) when he shows exactly the patience and faithfulness needed to do a parent’s job when he refuses to forsake the egg for any reason. Just like he said, “I meant what I said and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful one-hundred percent!” (Dr. Seuss) that applies to 100% to the role of fathering as well. To be great, no, a fantastic dad, you must be faithful to the task just like Horton!


4. Alex Cross in the Alex Cross series by James Patterson: Before Patterson started spitting out suspense “fluff” every couple of months, I became hooked on his Alex Cross series, which is the only series or any of his books that I automatically read anymore unless they look really, really good. Alex Cross is not just a superb detective and psychologist, but he is one amazing dad to his three kids Damon, Janelle, and Alex Jr. He is involved in their school, extracurricular activities, teaches them boxing, plays basketball with them, is very strict, and has a very strong moral code that he not only lives by but enforces. Sure, his job gets in the way at times, but he always tries to make up for lost time with them, and I love how Patterson makes family dinner and conversation an integral part of the books.

3. Jean Valjean in Les Misérables by Victor Hugo: Jean Valjean may not have been the biological father to Cosette, but he shows us that it takes more than just contributing biological material to make a man a loving father since he sacrifices so much of his life to ensure that Cosette is safe and well-cared for and in return, Cosette saves Jean from himself. He is one of my favorite characters in literature because he is noble, brave,  and selfless.


2. in The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling: Arthur Weasley may be a bit of comic relief and lets his wife Molly wear the pants in the family, but he proves time and time again that there is nothing that he would not do, even putting his life on the line many times, to protect his large brood of kids or Harry. He’s a great example of a father who would sacrifice it all for his kids and is also a fun, caring, and loving dad.


1. Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.  Atticus is my favorite literary father. If I had to pick a fictional dad, he would be hands down, my top choice. He has unquestionable moral fiber, and no one can argue that he is kindhearted, loyal, brave, and just. These are all traits that any father would want to pass to their child, and any child would want to have as part of their moral character. A lot can be learned from Atticus Finch.









31 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Salute to Father’s Day

  1. Ooh, what a neat twist on this week’s topic. I never would have thought to talk about the worst dads in fiction as part of it.

    Lucius Malfoy was definitely not a good father in any way.

    Atticus Finch was a good choice for the best dads, although I still would have put Arthur Weasley ahead of him. Haha! 😀

    Here is my Top Ten Tuesday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That one was a tough call, but I honestly went with Atticus partially because he reminds me so much of my daddy. My dad grew up in the 50s in the South and just his mannerism and morals are total Atticus.I just believe that’s how so many of that generation were raised since my Uncle is the same. Now, Arthur Weasley would definitely be a more laugh a minute dad 😄


    1. If you do, I’d recommend starting in order since they probably make better sense that way since some serial killers are recurring or tie-in to other books down the road. And important character’s storylines change throughout the series. Book 1 is Along Came a Spider. Since he writes them alone and without a cowriter like he does all his other books, I think they are his best. Not the best books ever, but a fast paced psychological thriller with a very human, down to earth man as the main character. I hope you enjoy them if you give one a try!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I started reading Go Set a Watchman and have gotten over 1/2 way but still need to finish it. I wanted to really take my time and analyze it and read it after rereading To Kill a Mockingbird. Atticus is portrayed differently, but he is much more humanized. I don’t think he’s the raging racist many people have accused him of but more a product of his southern upbringing and belief system although he may certainly have racist views. He’s not right certainly, but that’s what the mindset of the day was, and he seems to have a sense of that being an injustice, but his sense of fighting for injustice still appears to be ingrained into his moral fiber. If anything, I think it’s worth reading for it’s literary worth, but I can understand it ruining TKAM for some.

      I love The Women’s Murder Club series too! I hated the canceled the show on tv years ago! I thought it was really good. I’m a little behind…I need to read books 14 and 15 before I can read the new one! At least I have them, so I can hopefully read them this summer!

      Thanks for sharing your list! I’ll check it out 😀


  2. Oh my goodness these are such wonderful choices!! I agree so much with Don Vito- cos while I like him- I agree he has his faults! And yeah Lucien Malfoy is not a great father. agree with you about the writing in Lolita too- but yeah, Humbert Humbert is so gross and that book overall is just yeuch!! And Jean Valjean is brilliant character!! Atticus Finch would be hands down my top pick too- I don’t think there can be anyone else!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 🙂 I love Don Vito (part of my wonders if I’m influenced by Marlon Brando’s excellent portrayal, lol)! Lucien is awful…I despise him. The writing for Lolita is brilliant but the story is so disturbed and sickening. I read it because I had to for class, but I will never read it again! I love Jean Valjean and the musical 🙂 Atticus is brilliant!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome! 😀 Ahh me too lol!! hehehe yes me too!! and yes, I was the *exact* same- I don’t think it’s possible to not be grossed out. I had to read it for class too- otherwise I’d have dnf’d it (in fact I had previously dnf’d it) Yeah there is *no way* I’m reading that again!! Me too!! Yes!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. LOL, you are too funny! I teach college English, and I have heard other professors go on and on about what a wonderful novel it is…I almost threw up. I’m hoping they were just talking about the writing style and not the content! You never know….

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Yeah, he was a tough choice!! I really, really like him but a part of me wondered if I liked him more as the movie character than the book character, lol. Brando played him superbly! Then, I thought no matter what, if my husband did anything like Don Vito to jeopardize the lives of our 3 kids, he’d be a horrible father (and I would have to hurt him),so Don sadly had to go on my list 😔

      Liked by 1 person

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