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Literary Friday: Bridget Jones's Diary and The Alchemist

Friday, June 13, 2014

Good morning, My Lovelies!  It's yet another rainy day here in Central Alabama.  We're mildewed!!!

This week I read two books I've wanted to read for a very long time:  Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding and The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

I must admit that the Penguin Ink edition caught my eye in the bookstore.  I cannot lie!  I'm not that intrigued with tattoos generally speaking, but the art of these special editions are breathtaking!  

Even the backs and flaps of these books are illustrated.  You can learn more about Penguin ink Editions here.

Most of you have probably seen the movie, and it is a great adaptation of the book in my honest opinion, but if you haven't read the book, you should. Bridget Jones's Diary chronicles a year in the life of a "Singleton" extraordinaire.  She begins the year with admirable self-improvement goals: she basically wants to lose a few inches around her thighs, "form a functional relationship with a responsible adult," give more to charity, and get a better job. Bridget meticulously logs her caloric, tobacco, and alcohol intake, all obviously either helping or hindering her quest to be a better Bridget. Interestingly, the movie Bridget is a little more plump than the one in the book as Bridget fluctuates between 119 pounds and I think around 130 at the most.

What I love most about this book is Bridget's voice.  She must truly love her friends, especially the happily married ones who subject her to all sorts of abuse about her Singleton state.  I also admire her hope: She remains hopeful of finding a nice man to date in spite of witnessing her friend Jude's horrible boyfriend, "Vile Richard."  The witty dialogue between Bridget and Daniel Cleaver is entertaining if not sexual harassment lawsuit material.  He even puts it in writing through company's messaging system:

"You appear to have forgotten your skirt.  As I think is made perfectly clear in your contract of employment, staff are fully expected to be dressed at all times."

Then there's Mark Darcy…..*le sigh*…..What girls doesn't dream of dating a Darcy?  It's surreal in the book when Bridget writes about Colin Firth's Darcy, and Colin Firth plays Mark Darcy in the movie.  That was fun to read.  I love Mark Darcy's character.  I liked his subtle dialogue that was funny in the moment as well as his mannerisms.  What.  A.  Catch!  

Although I married young and obviously chose very well, I can still relate to Bridget's character.  Everyone struggles with self doubt and unrealistic goals. But if I could have a conversation with Bridget, I'd encourage her to read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho because the following quote alone would encourage Bridget:

Isn't this a fantastic quote?

I literally read The Alchemist in one day.  I couldn't put it down, and I'm ashamed it took me twenty-five years to read it.

The 25th Anniversary Edition has a new Foreword by the author.

This book is genius in its simplicity.  It's a fairy tale about a young shepherd boy from Andalusia named  Santiago.  He was sent to seminary at a young age, but he decides he doesn't want the priesthood because he wants to travel.  One night as he sleeps in a ruined chapel, he has a recurring dream about a treasure buried near the Egyptian pyramids.  Encouraged by a gypsy fortune teller and an elderly king, our young hero embarks upon a quest to find his treasure.  He sells his flock of sheep and heads for Africa. Along the way to the pyramids he meets many interesting characters: a thief, a crystal merchant, an English alchemist, a beautiful girl named Fatima, and a desert alchemist who has achieved the ultimate goal of alchemy.  The quest for treasure soon becomes a quest for knowledge and truth, and the full circle of the plot leads to a happy conclusion.  I enjoyed cheering-on young Santiago: He's a worthy hero.

Simple truths are shared in this little masterpiece.  I hope to read it many more times, and it's so good I almost want to learn Portuguese so I can read the original text.  You must read The Alchemist!

What have you been reading lately?  This is a linky!

Literary Friday

Until next time…

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill


  1. I've never heard of The Alchemist and obviously I've been under a rock or something. Bridge Jones's Diary sounds like something wonderful!

  2. I loved both books and it has been years since I read either.

    I too read The Alchemist in a day. I am looking for books to read on our upcoming vacation with a 5 hour flight. I might just take The Alchemist along since it is skinny and will fit in my carry on.

    Thanks for the reminder of an old favorite.

  3. Hi Ricki Jill. I adore bridget jones. I read that book years ago. I have heard the title of your second book but never knew what it was. I am desperately wanting a good read for these long summer days. Maybe I will head to the bookstore today.

  4. Sounds like two great reads! I loved the movie version of Bridget Jones, though I haven't read the book yet. Colin Firth knows how to play Mr. Darcy. ;-)

  5. I was going to stay away as you know how long my wish list is getting, but I just couldn't!!!! I am reading Fangirl right now---loving it!

  6. The Alchemist not a book I have heard of but then there are many books I have not heard of

  7. The Alchemist sounds great- how have I never heard of it before now? It's going on my library list today. Thanks!

  8. I just finished The Alchemist, as we are thinking about teaching it next year. Not something I would ordinarily read, but a GREAT book for discussion!

  9. You did a fun job of reviewing the following books.
    I am reading American Ace the story of Richard Bong at this time.

  10. Oh I loved The Alchemist. I just loved it! The boys were required to read this one.

  11. You know, I've been meaning to read The Alchemist since forever!

  12. I love Bridget Jones' Diary! I love these covers though. I have a movie cover one *shudder*


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.

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