Marisa's Book Club: The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
Warning: Do not read this book if you are depressed. It's a bit of a bummer book. Basically, Wharton's heronine, Lily Bart, is a beautiful woman who is addicted to the world of luxury. The problem is that she is poor.
I found this online and thought it would give you a good idea of how this book is appreciated in literary circles:
"Wharton's achievement was not so much the study of high society as her ability to turn the society's debasement of people and values in a work of dramatic significance."
There are some VERY interesting themes and motifs in this book. If you're looking for a classic work of fiction that will get you thinking--pick up this book. If not, wait until you're so inclined.
Here's an interesting quote for you to ponder:
"'Don't you think, ... that the people who find fault with society are too apt to regard it as an end and not a means, just as the poeple who despise money speak as if its only use were to be kept in bags and gloated over? Isn't it faiere to look at them both as opportunities which may be used either stupidly or intelligently according to the capacity of the user?" (Lily, pg 74)