Jane Austen redux

The talk around the Circulation Desk this morning was of the WGBH’s new version of Emma. Two people liked it and two did not. I didn’t even finish watching the whole episode. I am in the middle of listening to Emma on tape read by Prunella Scales who plays Miss Bates in the Kate Beckinsdale version. It is so funny that the television show paled in comparison. The show just didn’t give the combination of poking fun at and really caring for the characters that Austen does so well. What do others think?

We also were talking about reading a Jane Austen book together with one of the books based on her books. Any one think of a good pairing?


Best Books of 2009

I am just putting the finishing touches on the Best Books of 2009 list. I’m publishing it with the NextReads e-newsletter program so it has pictures and blurbs as well as clickable links to the catalog. What books have been your favorites of the past year? I haven’t read all that many on the list, but I really liked The Help and The Girl who Played with Fire but I also found Dog On It by Spencer Quinn and the Louise Penny mysteries were the ones I talked to people about.

Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood

The Anthologist by Nicholson Baker

Complete stories of J.G. Ballard by J.G. Ballard

Children’s Book by A.S. Byatt

Await your reply by Dan Chaon

Little Bee by Chris Cleave

Spooner by Pete Dexter

Homer & Langley by E.L. Doctorow

Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi by Geoff Dyer

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Tinkers by Paul Harding

Believers by Zoe Heller

Blame by Michelle Huneven

Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver

The Girl who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

Chronic City by Jonathan Lethem

Vagrants by Yiyun Li

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann

Love in Infant Monkeys by Lydia Millett

Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore

In Other Rooms, Other Wonders by Daniyal Mueenuddin

Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro

Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk

Lark and Termite by Jayne Anne Phillips

Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin

Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned by Wells Tower

Love and Summer by William Trevor

This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

Short History of Women by Kate Walbert

Financial Lives of the Poets by Jess Walter