Hi, Bookies!

My name is Terri Schlenger, and I’m very happy to be your guest editor this month. I’m a copy editor for the tablet editions of Real Simple (on the Nook, Kindle Fire, and iPad), as well as the print version of the magazine. I love to read, so I have what I think is the perfect job!

When my good friend Maura Fritz asked me to be the guest editor of the No-Obligation Book Club, I immediately decided to choose four books that were set in England early in the twentieth century. It is no coincidence that my favorite TV miniseries, Downton Abbey, is set in the same era—and since I now have to wait an entire year for Season 3 to be broadcast on our shores, I’m glad that there are equally romantic English novels to distract me in the meantime.

Almost from the start, Cold Comfort Farm was well ahead of the pack, so I’m guessing that many of you were looking for a fun, quick read. I was introduced to the story several years ago when I saw the hilarious movie by the same name, starring Kate Beckinsale, Rufus Sewell, and Ian McKellen. I am really looking forward to reading this much-loved comic novel and becoming reacquainted with the decidedly eccentric Starkadder family. I’m eager to find out how our heroine, the transplanted Londoner Flora Poste, engineers a brighter future for everyone she meets.

Cold Comfort Farm has 23 chapters, but at 233 pages it’s a very manageable length. Let’s read the book in thirds, so in the week ending March 9, we’ll cover Chapters 1 to 8; March 16, Chapters 9 to 16; and March 23, Chapters 17 to 23.

I’ll be back next week. Until then, enjoy the book!
—Terri

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