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I absolutely adore reading - my love for books has had a huge impact on my life! I'm going to grad school to be a children's/YA librarian.

Bridget Jones' Diary

Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding

Meet Bridget Jones—a 30-something Singleton who is certain she would have all the answers if she could:

a. lose 7 pounds
b. stop smoking
c. develop Inner Poise


"123 lbs. (how is it possible to put on 4 pounds in the middle of the night? Could flesh have somehow solidified becoming denser and heavier? Repulsive, horrifying notion), alcohol units 4 (excellent), cigarettes 21 (poor but will give up totally tomorrow), number of correct lottery numbers 2 (better, but nevertheless useless)..."

Bridget Jones' Diary is the devastatingly self-aware, laugh-out-loud daily chronicle of Bridget's permanent, doomed quest for self-improvement — a year in which she resolves to: reduce the circumference of each thigh by 1.5 inches, visit the gym three times a week not just to buy a sandwich, form a functional relationship with a responsible adult, and learn to program the VCR.

Over the course of the year, Bridget loses a total of 72 pounds but gains a total of 74. She remains, however, optimistic. Through it all, Bridget will have you helpless with laughter, and — like millions of readers the world round — you'll find yourself shouting, "Bridget Jones is me!" (source)

 

This book was absolutely hysterical. I expected it to be funny because I'd heard that the movie was, but I did not expect it to be THIS funny. The entire time I was reading this, I'd be sitting on the couch giggling to myself while my husband grew increasingly confused and probably concerned for my sanity. I rarely actually laugh out loud or cry while reading - I may find something amusing or tear up a bit, but for me to literally laugh or cry at a book is rare. Bridget Jones' Diary definitely didn't make me cry , but it kept me laughing the whole way through. 

 

As funny as this book was, I was a bit put off by Bridget's obsession with her weight. I realize that a lot of women, myself included, struggle with feeling like their bodies aren't quite good enough, but Bridget took this to extremes at times. She starts out the book at around 130 pounds - a weight that I haven't seen since early high school, by the way - and constantly refers to herself as too fat. I'm well above 130 pounds, but I'm at a healthy weight for my height, and while I would like to lose a bit of weight, for the most part, I'm happy with myself. Of course, Bridget could be built very differently from me, but her frustration with herself for being anything above 125 definitely got old. Her tactics for losing weight were incredibly unhealthy, too. Somedays she'd binge and eat anywhere from 3000 to 5000 calories, other days, she'd eat only 500 or so, which is HORRIBLY unhealthy. Bridget's weight/eating issues are never really resolved - I know that this is something that many, many women go through, but it bothered me that Bridget's self image never really improved at all in the course of the book.

 

At the same time, I do think that Bridget Jones' Diary addressed experiences that a lot of single women in their thirties do go through (or so I hear - I'm married and in my early twenties, but I've certainly heard a lot that suggests that BJD would be pretty relatable to a lot of women). She struggles with dating while a good bit of her friends are married with children, she struggles with her parents' separation, she struggles with dating a co-worker (her boss, actually), and, again, her weight. Each of these experiences, along with many others that I haven't mentioned, is addressed with humor as Bridget fumbles her way through life, making many mistakes with hilarious results and much embarrassment for her. 

 

I don't think that Bridget Jones' Diary will ever be regarded as on the same literary level as, say, Pride and Prejudice or Gone with the Wind - it's far too crass and isn't quite as sophisticated. But this book is so fun to read and I'm so glad that my tumblr book club chose it for our reading list this summer. To fans of chick lit with snarky heroines, I absolutely recommend Bridget Jones' Diary - you'll love this one!