Hello all! I've decided that in addition to my I've Been Watching posts, I'm going to start doing "I've Been Reading" and "I've Been Listening to" (doesn't have the same ring to it, sadly, but what you gonna do?!) posts too! So welcome to the first I've Been Reading version. I'm going to do blog editions of this series too, letting you know what blogs I've been reading lately, but we'll get started with a good old fashioned book post. Baby steps, so I don't get overexcited...
I've seen the Bridget Jones movies but, despite loving them, I had never gotten around to reading the books. Emma decided the rectify that this summer, and got me the first two books (the only two books as far as I'm concerned, at the moment!) for my birthday.
What can I say - I adored these books. They are smart and funny without being pretentious or OTT-silly. They're clever without trying to be clever, and you cannot help but fall in love with Bridget. These books are so easy to escape into, like a cosy little refuge from normality. You can get lost in them so quickly, but without really having to concentrate on a complicated story. It's just like reading a letter from a particularly nutty and entertaining friend. I sat reading them on the bus into uni and laughed till I cried at some points, particularly in the second book.
If you don't know much about them, the books are (as the title suggests) the diary of Bridget Jones, an unlucky in love thiry-something year old Londoner in the nineties, trying to sort her life out. She's looking for love, a career she might actually enjoy, and balancing her own life with the mad-cap family dramas of her ridiculous mother and put-upon father. Basically, Bridget is the poster girl for every single normal woman, and that's what is so comforting about these books. She is far from perfect, and somehow manages to put her foot in it in most social situations. She and her best friends Jude and Sharon are all panicking about growing old alone, and Bridget's tumultuous career isn't helping her to feel any more confident. They drink too much wine, eat too much food, debate the workings of the male mind and worry about their appearance - they cannot help but remind you of yourself, however old you are! The brilliant thing about the books though is that no matter what trials and tribulations she faces (and believe me, come the second book there are a few), Bridget's unfailing optimism and strong friendships get her through it. Even when she's wallowing in self-pity after romantic disasters or a bad week at work, she picks herself up, drinks a glass of wine (or four) with the girls and never allows these setbacks to change who she is. It's such a refreshing read.
There's romance, there's comedy and there are some genuinely sad moments, all tied up in two of the easiest to read books I've read in a long time. So if like me you've seen the films but haven't bothered to give the books a shot, please do - you won't be sorry!
That's all for now, but I finished Gayle Forman's "If I Stay" a couple of days ago and again cried on the bus, but this time there was nothing funny about it. Seriously. I want to write a post on it before I see the film (which comes out next week I think!) so look out for that soon!
Thanks for reading!
Thanks for reading!