No-Obligation Book Club
You love curling up with a classic novel. You love talking with friends about the latest Jodi Picoult bestseller. But you can’t stand the obligations of a book club. (What time? What place? Who’s bringing the chip dip?)

We feel your pain. That’s why has started the No-Obligation Book Club.

No time frame, no deadlines, no obligations: just the pleasures of reading good books, as suggested―and led―by Real Simple editors. The goal is to get the benefits of a book club...without feeling overwhelmed by rigid schedules.

Recent Posts By No-Obligation Book Club

Vote for your May Book Choice!

Next month, the No-Obligation Book Club will be led by Jackie Monk, Real Simple’s deputy managing editor. Vote for your favorite of the four books below by Sunday, April 26.

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My Abandonment: Chapters 1 & 2

Well, I completed the first two chapters of My Abandonment. It was such an easy read that I wanted to continue on to chapter three, but I held back so that we’d all be on the same page (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun).

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December: Elizabeth Hartley Winthrop Answers Your Questions

After finishing this suspenseful novel, most of us were left with questions about Isabelle’s illness and why she eventually spoke. Author Elizabeth Hartley Winthrop answers them.

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My Abandonment: Introduction

Hi, everyone!

I’m Jaimee Zanzinger, a deputy editor of special projects at Real Simple, and I’m excited about sharing My Abandonment with you.

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The winner of the April poll:

My Abandonment, Peter Rock’s novel based on a real-life Vietnam vet who, in 2004, was discovered living in an Oregon park with his 13-year-old daughter. Please join Jaimee Zanzinger, Real Simple’s deputy editor of special projects, as she introduces the book and herself later this week.

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Have you made your pick yet for April’s book?

Vote for your favorite of the following four books by Sunday, March 29: My Abandonment, by Peter Rock: In 2004, a Vietnam vet and his 13-year-old daughter were discovered living in an Oregon park, then disappeared. Rock imagines how the real-life pair survived, what happened when they were forced back into civilization, and where they are now. Angels of Destruction, […]

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December: The Conclusion (Spoiler Alert!)


I hope you all enjoyed the end of December………

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December: Pages 116 to 173

Hello: I hope you enjoyed reading my last post. Let’s dig in! My overall impression of this middle section of December is that it gets closer to the core of each of Winthrop’s characters. Ruth can no longer be maligned for her tough-love attitude, but revered for her devotion to her daughter, although at her personal sacrifice. Yes, she bitches […]

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Book Choices for April

Apologies to those of you who tried to vote in this poll earlier today. There was a technical problem that we believe is now fixed. If you continue to experience problems, please post a comment on this post and we’ll take care of it right away. Thanks! April’s discussion will be led by Jaimee Zanzinger, Real Simple’s deputy editor of […]

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December: Pages 67 through 115

Hey, gang: Welcome back! First and foremost, thank you so much for contributing your thoughtful comments to the book’s discussion. It sounds like everyone agrees Isabelle is suffering from OCD or some form of an obsessive disorder. We also all seem to agree that before she went silent, there were a few episodes that weighed heavily on her—for example, when […]

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