Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday {Celebrating 10 Years & the 500th Topic}: Best Fictional Celebrations

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week a new theme is suggested for bloggers to participate in. This week’s prompt is Top Ten Tuesday Turns 10! Option 1: pick a past TTT topic you’ve done and re-do/update it (Perhaps you’d remove certain books you put on the list back when you first wrote it, or perhaps you have 10 MORE books you’d add to that list now. You could also re-visit TBR posts, whether seasonal or series you need to finish, etc., and tell us if you’ve read them yet or not. Any variation of this idea works. Feel free to be creative.) Option 2: pick a past TTT topic you wish you’d done, but didn’t get a chance to do.

Happy Top Ten Tuesday Birthday!! It’s hard to believe TTT is celebrating 10 years. That’s a lot of book love. I can’t wait to check out everyone’s posts. As someone who has only been blogging for less than a year, TTT is still very new to me, but one of my first posts was a TTT and I’ve been hooked since. Because I am a newbie, I’ll be going with option 2 but putting my own spin on it. Even though we can’t all be together, we can celebrate by taking a look at how the fictional world celebrates. No need for formal attire, but your welcome to grab a refreshment and your favorite hors d’oeuvre as we take a spin through the Best Fictional Celebrations!

(Possible spoilers. Link to synopsis on Goodreads through book title.)

1

The Grand House-Party

“In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

When I think of grand house parties, I think of The Great Gatsby. I know this book can be quite polarizing, but I’ve always loved it. It’s an atmospheric read that places the reader in the middle of a sultry summer in the 1920s. The writing is lyrical and the characters are dastardly.

2

The End of the World Party

“A dark line would now be drawn underneath the whole incident, underneath the whole sorry day, had not something happened that led to the transformation of Archie Jones in every particular that a man can be transformed; and not due to any particular effort on his part, but by means of the entirely random, adventitious collision of one person with another. Something happened by accident. That accident was Clara Bowden.”

Zadie Smith, White Teeth

I haven’t read White Teeth by Zadie Smith, but apparently it opens with Archie Jones wandering into a commune’s “end of the world party” that changes his life. Sounds like a good start.

3

The Fifth-Avenue Dinner Party

“There was an open doorway . . . a rich and rosy glow . . . the sound of a hive of excited voices . . .”

Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities

The Bonfire of the Vanities features a very different kind of party, a much more formal, black-tie occasion. I own this one but haven’t read it yet. Apparently it’s steeped in 80s Wall Street pretentiousness.

4

The Artists’ Party

“Now she flew around the mahogany room like a loon in her black silk dress, coating everything and everyone with flirtatious art babble and lilac laughter.”

Molly Prentiss, Tuesday Nights in 1980

Another book I’ve yet to read, also set in New York in the 80s, is Tuesday Nights in 1980. It opens with a lavish party for well-known and starving artists, perfectly setting up the evolving art scene that is the focus of this debut novel.

5

The Country Ball

“To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love…”

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Who wouldn’t want to attend a country ball like in Pride and Prejudice?? Especially if Elizabeth Bennett could quietly entertain us with her thoughts on all the guests.

6

The Never-Ending Tea Party

“‘No room! No room!’ they cried out when they saw Alice coming.”

Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

I’m not sure if the tea party in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland sounds like much fun, but I do love tea…

7

The Garden Party

“Cannot believe what I have been through. I drove for two hours, parked at the front of the Alconburys’ and, hoping I looked OK in the bunny girl outfit, walked round the side to the garden where I could hear voices raised in merriment. As I started to cross the lawn they all went quiet…”

Helen Fielding, Bridget Jones’s Diary

One of the most hilarious party scenes is the Tarts and Vicars Garden Party in Bridget Jones’s Diary, when Bridget arrives decked out in a bunny costume only to discover the theme for the party has been changed. It’s why we’re all a bit hesitant about costume parties.

8

The Costume Party

“Did my heart love till now? forswear it, sight!
For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.”

William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

Finding your OTP at a costume party is quite impressive. Way to go, Romeo and Juliet!

9

The Book-Themed Party

“From my vantage point at the edge of the driveway, the kaleidoscope of costumes, bursts of color from feather plumes and scarves, wigs and hats of all kinds, sweeping capes and furry boas, made the crowd on Henry and Tillie’s lawn look like a single organism, breathing and preening on the grass. It was a frightening sight, this crowd creature, as if it were about to open its mouth and swallow me whole.”

Karen Dukess, The Last Book Party

In The Last Book Party, set in the late 80s, Eve is an aspiring writer trying to get her foot into the publishing world. She’s excited to snag an invite to a popular end-of-the-summer book party where the guests dress like literary characters. By the end of the book and the arrival of the party, Eve has learned things aren’t always what they seem.

10

The Most Anticipated Party

“Every time she gave a party she had this feeling of being something not herself, and that every one was unreal in one way; much more real in another.”

Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway

One of the most anticipated parties in literature is in Mrs. Dalloway. The novel encompasses one day as the host finalizes some last-minute, seemingly mundane details in preparation for her party that evening. If you’ve never read this one, I highly recommend it.

…and one more

The Best Birthday Party Ever

“When every guest had been welcomed and was finally inside the gate, there were songs, dances, music, games, and, of course, food and drink.”

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of The Ring

And because this is a special occasion, I had to share one more. One of the most memorable party scenes in literature is Bilbo Baggins’ “eleventy first” (111th) birthday party that opens The Fellowship of the Ring. And as an introvert, I can totally appreciate his decision to disappear while the party continues without him.

What’s the most memorable party you’ve read about? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Wandering!

42 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday {Celebrating 10 Years & the 500th Topic}: Best Fictional Celebrations”

  1. Such a fun post! I especially love the Country Ball from Pride and Prejudice, and Bilbo’s Birthday Party sounded like the best. Oh, and of course the Garden Party from Bridget Jones, though I wouldn’t want to show up wearing a wrong costume 🙂

  2. The only one I’ve read is Pride and Prejudice and ugh, that scene (especially in the movie) gets to me EVERY SINGLE TIME. I love it so much 😍 I’m very curious about The Last Book Party after reading that description! Great list, Dedra 🙂

  3. Great topic! I can think of one more party/celebration to add – the Yule Ball christmas celebration from Harry Potter and it’s a party I would go to just to see magical happenings might occur or what ghosts will show up unexpectedly and the amazing decorations.

    Have a lovely day.

    1. Yes, I had that one jotted down as a possibility, but ended up not going with it since I use Harry Potter so often. Ha! Love the Yule Ball! It’s basically the most ultra prom ever. 😉

  4. I loooove this topic!! I would love to go to a country ball! Actually, I’ve always wanted to do a Masquerade ball!! I read about them all the time and think it would be so fun!!

  5. I suppose if you live to your eleventy-first birthday, you can do whatever you want at your party! I’d love to go to a party where you had to wear a beautiful dress with hoop skirts. Sadly, I don’t have an occasion to wear one.

    1. Ha! Right?? One of the benefits to being old. 😉 I think it would be fun to attend a recreation of a P & P ball, as well. I’d love to pretend I’m Lizzy for a few hours. <3

    1. I’ve been to a few memorable ones. My sister-in-law and brother-in-law know how to throw a great party. Whether it’s an ugly sweater Christmas party or a rock and roll themed birthday party, it’s always a fun time. Although as an introvert, I’m usually hanging out in the background. 😉

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