Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding

I have considered Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding my favorite book for around a decade now. I can't remember the last time I read it and it is holiday themed so I thought it would be perfect for The Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge. (Unfortunately I finished it around 1 am January 1, 2014 so can't count it for my yearly challenges. Yeah I was reading New Year's Eve. I party hard! lol) 

I understand why it was my favorite book in my twenties. I was a socially awkward woman who was obsessed with my weight obsessed, with finding the perfect husband, and the genre of chick lit was all the rage. This is the book that launched the chick lit genre. 

Bridget is the most realistic character I have ever read about in a novel. She screws up over and over but she's got a good heart. She was my kind of heroine. I remember thinking in my 20's that I wanted to be like Bridget Jones when I was in my 30's.

Well now I'm in my 30's and while I still believe she is the most realistic character I have ever read about in a novel, most of the time I wanted to grab her by the shoulders and shake some sense into her. She's not the sharpest crayon in the box. Most of all I wanted her to punch Daniel in the face. He treated Bridget like utter crap. He was rude, verbally abusive, and I don't know why Bridget put up with it. Daniel was the kind of guy I dated in my 20's. By my 30's I knew better! It's almost a warning to women about the kind of guy they shouldn't date.

Yet there were things that still resonated with me: the obsession with food and losing weight, trying to find inner poise, and being respected in my career. And of course....finding the perfect husband. I'm a widowed single woman in my late 30's and like Bridget, I worry about my sell by date. The difference is that I've had two husbands, have five kids ranging in ages 11 months to 20 yrs old so I just can't relate to Bridget's single lifestyle. Why was a thirtysomething year old drinking soooo much? Seriously?

The book was still laugh out loud funny in places. I also could relate to her relationship with her parents on a different level now that I'm older. And like always, the book makes me want to run to the store, buy a diary, and write in it every single day.

While no longer my absolute favorite book of all time (which is now The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern) it is still one of my favorites. My rating: Photobucket

The Movie
This is one of the few instances where I love the movie more than I love the book. The book and movie are pretty similar except for the hilarious beginning of Bridget singing All By Myself by Celine Dion and that epic fight between Daniel and Mark. That makes the movie far better in my opinion. There's nothing sexier than two men fist fighting over you. (I suppose the fact that I think that is proof I have not matured in all areas.) 

Oh yeah, and the ending of the movie which actually is about her diary. That wasn't in the book. Another thing that is cool and funny about the movie and book is that in the novel there are places where Hugh Grant and Colin Firth are talked about. Hugh is even insulted in the book which makes it even funnier that he starred in the movie. And not to mention Colin Firth played the part of Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. I suppose this may be why he was cast for the part. I'e often heard that Bridget Jones's Diary is a modern day Pride and Prejudice.

Friday, 20 December 2013

The Nativity Story by Angela Hunt

I don't usually read Christian novels or novels based on movies, but I was curious about this book. I wanted to read something told from the point of view of Mary; what she felt and thought about being the mother of Jesus, the Son of God. This novel (Nonfiction novel? Historical? Not sure how to actually categorize this book.) was exactly what I was looking for.

One criticism is that I would have liked to know more about Joseph and his background. I'm pretty sure Joseph is ignored in most of the versions of the Nativity Story though and no one ever tells the story from his point of view.

*Warning: Minor Spoilers* 

I also wonder why Joseph only dreamed of the prophecy and was never actually visited by the angel Gabriel. But then again, Elizabeth was never visited by the angel either.

I could have done without the scene where Herod's soldiers were killing all the babies under the age of two. I know in good writing there is the rule to "show don't tell" but when it comes to graphic scenes like this I would have been okay with Angela Hunt just telling me.

My biggest complaint is that the story ends right when it gets really good. This is not the authors fault because people have wondered what Jesus was like as a baby and child for two millennia. Did he cry like other babies? Did he fall and skin his knees? Did he have to learn to walk and talk or was he born knowing how to do that stuff?

In the book, there are a few descriptions of baby John the Baptist having knowledge beyond his infant years so one could only imagine what a baby Jesus was like. The odd thing is that what baby John experiences can only be described as being psychic.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. Honestly, I just don't think the movie would be as interesting. Without knowing what's going on inside Mary's mind, I think it would be rather boring. I do plan on watching the movie though. I'm curious to know how the story was done compared to the novelization. 

My book rating:  Photobucket

Movie review coming soon!