Books: Independent choice - Bridget Jones clones

Welcome to the post-Bridget Jones generation of heroines, invariably single, of fluctuating weight, fond of cardigans and more familiar than is strictly healthy with Saturday night TV schedules. Nothing very "post" about that, you might say. But if Bridget Jones appealed as Everywoman, Jane Green's Jemima J (Penguin, pounds 5.99), Isabel Wolff's The Trials of Tiffany Trott (HarperCollins, pounds 5.99) and Clare Naylor's Catching Alice (Coronet, pounds 5.99) are ambivalent about the extent to which they want their readers to identify with their characters and crises - be it blowing the fuses with the hairdryer, or the all-absorbing search for a man.

BEST-SELLERS: PAPERBACKS

1 The God Of Small Things Arundhati Roy Flamingo pounds 5.99

MONITOR: BOOK REVIEW

`BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY', (US EDITION) BY HELEN FIELDING

BRIDGET JONES WITH BALLS

She's been called 'the most famous young actress in the country' and 'a modern pop-culture legend'; and she has a Bafta to prove it. But it nearly didn't happen that way: Daniela Nardini had almost given up on acting when she got the part of Anna in 'This Life'. Now she's about to star in Channel 4's 'Big Women'

Paperbacks

1 The God Of Small Things Arundhati Roy Flamingo pounds 5.99

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VIDEO RETAIL

BOOKS: AUDIO BOOKS

2The Scarlet Pimpernel and The Triumph of the Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy read by Hugh Laurie, Hodder Headline pounds 8.99 each. More derring-do from "the best and the bravest man in all the world" ... you know the story. Put all thoughts of Blackadder away, Laurie refrains from buffoonery and delivers crisply defined characters: aristos and hags, men and women, whilst his menacing, sarcastic, thin-lipped Chauvelin exerts his own terror. A joyous bound through the revolutionary landscape.

The Things That Shaped Our Year: Bridget Jones Goes Global

From the death of Diana to the birth of Dolly, and from the rise of Bridget Jones to the fall of the Spice Girls - our writers choose the 10 people and events which made 1997 so special

All on your Bridget Jones...

Being single is exciting - fashionable, even. Then Christmas comes along...

TO HAVE ... AND HAVE NOT

Films made outside Hollywood litter the nominations for the 1997 Oscars, to be awarded in Los Angeles tomorrow night. But will a historic bias towards local product hold sway? ill a historic bias towards local product hold sway? ? Four of the nominees for Best Picture Oscars are either foreign or 'independent' - which means far more economical, less beholden to big money, and closer to being the work of uncompromised individuals

Film: The Oscars: Our odds-on favourites

They're just a bunch of no names or three-names, yelled the New York Post, bewailing this year's Oscars' lack of star status: "Billy Bob Who? Armin Mueller Which? Kristin Scott Huh?" Here in Britain, where we recognise that three names help to confer genuine star status, we are looking forward to next Monday rather more.

Five Oscar nominations, but fewer real laughs

Tom Cruise is a sports agent who saves his soul and earns a fortune. But that's not enough to make 'Jerry Maguire' a success

Jerry sees off Tomfoolery

Jerry Maguire Cameron Crowe (15)
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