#32 Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

Lady Catherine confronts Elizabeth about Darcy...

There is a long list of reasons that so many people cite this book as a favorite. Mine is that it’s hilarious. Jane Austen knows all about people—knows how they are and how they think and how silly and absurd and hypocritical and clever and lovely they can be. She knows how people can change for the better (unless they’re snobs, that is, because snobs are bound for an eternal life of snobtacular snobbery). She also knows about life, and how it’s important to live by your convictions, and how good things come to those who wait.

And she knows, most of all, that the truth will out, usually in the form of a well-timed letter that makes all of your favorite characters fall in love, at the right place and the right time for the right reasons.

Pride and Prejudice centers around the Bennet family—notably Mrs. Bennet’s efforts to marry off her five daughters. Elizabeth Bennet is the One You Want to Come to Life and Be Your BFF. Mr. Darcy is the Well-Respected, Good-Looking Rich Dude Who Somehow Also Has a Great Personality. Caroline Bingley is That Sorority Legacy No One Actually Likes. Love is Thwarted and then Prevails.

And you’ll laugh the whole time.

Is It One of the Greatest Books of All Time? 

Yes, if only for the ingenious invention of Mr. William Collins.

Favorite Quotes:

A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.

If your daughter should have a dangerous fit of illness, if she should die, it would be a comfort to know that it was all in pursuit of Mr. Bingley.

You are never to stir out of doors till you can prove that you have spent ten minutes of every day in a rational manner.

Is not general incivility the very essence of love?

I must learn to be content with being happier than I deserve.

Read: 2003, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2017, and so on to infinity