Lisa Baldez, Director, Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning; Professor of Government and Program in Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies

One of the books I read on vacation went down fast and easy like a bag of M&Ms: Curtis Sittenfeld’s Eligible, a very of-the-moment retelling of Pride and Prejudice. In this version, Mrs. Bennett still has a myopic focus on marrying off her daughters, but her eldest writes for a sassy women’s magazine, Darcy is a neurosurgeon, and “Chip” Bingley has just completed a season as the star of Eligible, a proxy for The Bachelor TV show. The action unfolds in Cincinnati, the dowdy backdrop to San Francisco and New York. Not much depth here—the faculty colleague who lent it to me dropped it off really fast, like she was guilty for having bought it—but pondering the parallels to Jane Austen did elevate the reading experience.