What you see above is a paper rendering of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, an American classic. Three of our four choices this month are American classics, too; the fourth is a much-loved novel by a Brit. All of the picks come by way of our November discussion leader, Jenny Brown, the associate copy editor on the print version of Real Simple. The copy editors are the grammatical gatekeepers of the magazine, keeping out misspellings, dangling modifiers, sloppy punctuation, and other no-no’s. They are hardworking, reading every last word of each issue repeatedly to catch any mistakes, and passionate about what they do. Jenny brought that same commitment to choosing our books this month. See the four picks below, then vote for your favorite by 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday, October 21.
The Beautiful and Damned, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The glamorous, young, hard-living Cafe Society couple at the heart of Fitzgerald’s second novel, set at the dawn of the Jazz Age, bears more than a passing resemblance to the author and his own beautiful, doomed wife.
The Awakening, by Kate Chopin
Controversial when it was first published in 1899, The Awakening was both praised and condemned for its frank subject matter: a woman’s desire for a life—and love—beyond her marriage.
Beloved, by Toni Morrison
Inspired by a true story, Morrison’s novel—with its characters literally haunted by slavery—won a Pulitzer Prize in 1988.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
Adams’ sci-fi comedy, which follows the adventures of a hapless Englishman as he planet hops across the galaxy, is a cult classic.