- Language level: upper intermediate, advanced, proficient / B2, C1, C2
- Skills: advanced English reading skills
- Time: 5 minute read
8 reasons why Bridget Jones's Diary is a great book to read in English
Bridget Jones´s Diary, by Helen Fielding, is a great comedy novel about a British single woman in her thirties and all the problems she faces. The international bestseller will mark 25 years in 2021! And we still love it!!!!
To quote Elizabeth Gleick from The New York Times:
mental clutter * (expression) anything that keeps you from thinking straight. (Clutter means mess)
spot on * (expression) completely accurate or correct
Without a doubt it’s a good read – it’s sold over two million copies worldwide. However, what makes it a good book to read if you are reading it as a learner of English? Well if you have an advanced or proficient level of English, Bridget Jones’s Diary could be the perfect book to sink your teeth into*.
Let’s find out why!
sink your teeth into * (expression) to become completely involved in something
1. You already know the story
It’s very likely that if you haven’t already read the book in your own language, you have at least seen the film.
Therefore, you can relax! Since you know the story, you are free to concentrate on the language: the English is challenging and interesting without being over-the-top difficult.
2. The diary narrative
The diary narrative form makes the story easy to follow because of its linear nature and simple style.
The personal diary style also makes it an intimate experience, so you feel like Bridget is your friend and is confiding in you!
3. You can relate to her
Who hasn’t been pressured by their mum to stop being single?!
What woman (or man?!) hasn’t drowned her (or his) sorrows on a Saturday night and sang alone to a ballad? Enough said!
*to drown your sorrows = idiom: if you say that someone is drowning their sorrows, you mean that they are drinking alcohol in order to forget something sad or upsetting that has happened to them.
Reason number 4 to read Bridget Jones's Diary in English: the English is awesome!
You’ll come across some fabulous vocabulary and British English expressions while you read!
5. You'll also learn some invented vocabulary
One of the pleasures of reading Bridget is the vocabulary Fielding invented which has now been embedded into the English language! Words like ‘singleton‘ and ‘smug-marrieds‘. You read them here first!
6. We need some light relief in this Covid era
This seemingly endless pandemic has us all social distancing in our homes like hermits, and because of that, most of us also have more time to read.
While some of us may take advantage of this to finally get round to reading that copy of War and Peace you’ve had sitting on your shelf since your uni days, others among us are looking for something light-hearted, fun, clever and amusing.
Grab your copy of Bridget!
7. It's inspired by Austen and started a movement!
The plot is loosely based on Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, so it can’t be bad!
Furthermore, critics assert that Fielding’s book arguably began the popular fiction movement known as chick lit.
This book is cool!
8. The ultimate reason to read Bridget Jones's Diary in English? It's funny!
Last, but not least, the 8th reason Bridget Jones’s Diary is a great book to read in English: it’s FUNNY. Laugh out loud funny!
What did the critics say?
“Bridget Jones is channeling something so universal and (horrifyingly) familiar that readers will giggle and sigh with collective delight.”
“Hilarious but poignant.”
—The Washington Post
“Bridget’s voice is dead-on . . . will cause readers to drop the book, grope frantically for the phone, and read it out loud to their best girlfriends.”
—The Philadelphia Inquirer
I think we can all do with a laugh at the moment!
So there you have it! 8 reasons why Bridget Jones’s Diary is the perfect book to read in English.
Have we convinced you?!