Top 10 Books in Belle's Library

Anahita Padmanabhan ’18 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Princess Belle from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is the book-lover we all aspire to be. She has it all—a crown, a smoking hot prince (to be played, allegedly, by Ryan Gosling), and now Emma Watson is going to portray her! Can life be better? Yes, it can, because Belle also has the library of our dreams. Here are Belle’s top ten books, in no particular order.

1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Belle is a romantic, and nothing beats this classic love story. This story of an unexpected love between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy is one for the ages. The writing is comedic, keeping Belle entertained, and the beautiful imagery transports her to a different world and time.

2. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

How can this not be one of Belle’s favorites? It has everything! A far-off place? Check. Daring fights? Magic spells? Check and check. There’s even a prince in disguise! A half-blood prince, but it counts. No further reason needed.

3. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

This is another classic romance novel that mirrors Belle’s life, making it one of the books Belle loves to read over and over again. The parallels between Jane and Rochester and Belle and Adam are hard to miss, and that’s why Belle loves this book.

4. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

This book is a testament to Belle’s French heritage. The story takes place before and during the June Rebellion in 1832 Paris. While the book may not be the happy book Belle would typically read, this book is an important one to Belle. The characters are very real and Belle felt connected to them since she first read the book; they are outcasts just like she was.

5. Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

This is another book that is similar to Belle’s life. Christine gets trapped with the Phantom in order to protect others. The Phantom hopes to get Christine to fall in love with him by keeping her there with him and eventually marries her. While the ending of the novel is not the same as Belle’s, the idea of a woman caring for a beast or phantom, which would make others cringe, is what draws Belle to the story.

6. The Help by Kathryn Stockett

This immensely popular book is definitely one of Belle’s favorites. A woman who is different from society and doesn’t shy away from that is part of what makes Belle so special. It’s what also makes Skeeter special. This story, written about a society that shuns and a woman who stands out against it, is one of Belle’s favorites.

7. The Selection by Kiera Cass

This series is like The Hunger Games meets The Bachelor. It’s about a girl who volunteers to go on a show to try to be the prince’s wife, despite not loving him, in order to help her family. She eventually falls in love with him. The idea of a daughter doing whatever she can for her family is very much like Belle’s story. And as it turns out, both Belle and The Selection’s protagonist, America, end up finding the loves of their lives.

8. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

This book is one that Belle will read to her kids. Belle relates to Sara because both only have their fathers, but end up losing them. While Belle eventually gets her father back, Sara never does—but Sara finds her own happy ending. The love that Captain Crewe has for his daughter mirrors the love Belle’s father has for her, and she loves this book for that very reason.

9. A Midsummer Nights Dream by William Shakespeare

This play never fails to make Belle laugh. The crazy mess that drives the plot is what makes this play one of Belle’s all-time favorites. It’s a classic Shakespearian work, with all the drama and wit that never bores Belle. Adam loves the play too; he surprisingly has a good sense of humor when it comes to magic spells.

10. Grimm’s Fairy Tales by Brothers Grimm

The dark, twisted nature of these tales is not something with which Belle would associate. But the thing is, Belle knows all the characters in the book, and she knows how their stories actually ended. The dark tone makes all those happy endings more special to her. Also, they are just really good stories.
Though we may all not be able to be Princess Belle, we can certainly read like her – and honestly, isn’t that close enough?

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