It’s fitting, I think, that we find ourselves this month with three books—The Fault in Our Stars, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, and The Princess Bride—that have been adapted into films (some more successfully than the others!), given that the Oscars are coming up on March 2. (Our fourth choice, Swamplandia!, is on record as being adapted for HBO, but that puts us in Emmy territory.) So is our March discussion leader, RealSimple.com Social Media Editor Rachel Stein, a huge film fan? “I almost always like the book more than the movie or TV show, but that doesn’t stop me from experiencing it in every form possible…especially if popcorn is involved,” says the former television and movie critic and all-around pop-culture junkie. Rachel, the newest member of the RS.com team, is the face and voice behind our Facebook page and Twitter feed. She also handles the majority of Real Simple’s Pinterest boards, and she has her hand in our Instagram, too. “Real Simple has the most thoughtful fans,” she says. “I’m excited to really dig into a novel with such lovely people.” As for Rachel’s book picks, you can vote for your favorite below by 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 23. No interest in the Oscars? At least you’ll have a good book to keep you entertained.
The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green
Green’s blockbuster best-seller about two teens who fall in love under extraordinary circumstances—a former book club contender—is equal parts poignant, thrilling, and fun. Read it before the film version’s June 6 release.
The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, by Michael Chabon
Before Wonder Boys, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, and Telegraph Avenue, there was Chabon’s debut novel about a young man who falls into a strange love triangle as he struggles to find his place—anywhere but in his father’s shady business.
Swamplandia!, by Karen Russell
A declining alligator-wresting theme park serves as the fantastical setting for Russell’s first novel, in which a young girl tries to keep her family together in the face of threats both real (her Floridian family’s impending bankruptcy) and otherworldly (her sister’s elopement with a ghost).
The Princess Bride, by William Goldman
Haven’t yet read Goldman’s beloved tale of a princess, the pirate she loves, and the various swordsmen, giants, plotters, schemers, and double-crossers who populate her native Florin and its rival, Guilder? Inconceivable!