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

The Heights, Parts 1 and 2

Hello, Bookies: Wow. There are so many great comments from you in response to the question on my last post about whether you read your books on tablets or old-fashioned hard copies. Call me wishy-washy, but reading your answers through, I was convinced by them all. “Yes,” I said to myself, “why bring more clutter into the house when I […]

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Hello, Bookies!

Hi, everyone: It’s nice to be back. I’m Lygeia Grace, and two years ago I led the discussion on The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I had such a good time—and learned so much from you about World War II, the setting of the book—I was delighted when Maura asked if I wanted to return. This month’s book, […]

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The Imperfectionists: “Cold War” Through “Gunman Kills”

Hi, Bookies, Well, we’ve come to the end of our October book. It was a great read, and I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed sharing it with all of you! The last few chapters of The Imperfectionists flew by for me, and I think that’s largely due to Rachman’s deft ability to build momentum. The strange and mysterious […]

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The Imperfectionists: “Sex Lives” Through “76 Die”

Hi, Bookies: I hope you all enjoyed the third installment of Tom Rachman’s The Imperfectionists. I definitely did. It’s become difficult to stop myself from reading ahead. With each chapter, I become more enamored of Rachman’s writing style—and even more curious about how this will all turn out. To start, I want to share some exciting news: Tom Rachman has […]

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The Imperfectionists: “Global Warming” Through “U.S. General Optimistic”

Hi, Bookies: Thank you for all of your great comments on the first quarter of The Imperfectionists. I’m happy to know that I’m not the only one hoping the stories will come together in some way, and I loved hearing your reactions to the characters’ emotional pitfalls and triumphs. (And to give one specific shout-out: Ann—I thought your analysis of […]

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The Imperfectionists: “Bush Slumps…” Through “Europeans Are Lazy…”

Hi, Bookies: I hope everyone is enjoying The Imperfectionists. Thanks for reading along with me. I’m so excited to hear your thoughts. A quarter of the way in, I’m ready to classify the book as a pleasure read. Rachman can really write, and his characters jump off the page. So far, I can vividly imagine just about all of them—Lloyd […]

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Unbroken: Part V

Hi, Bookies: Wow, I can’t believe our story has finally come to an end. I think that we all pretty much agree that Hillenbrand has told a gripping tale of survival and endurance. We witnessed what it really means to embrace the power of faith, forgiveness, and redemption. We met a modern-day hero. When Part V opens, Louie returns to […]

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Hello, Readers!

My name is Julia Edelstein, and I’m an associate editor at Real Simple magazine. I write the Simple List, contribute to the Solutions section (the home of “New Uses for Old Things”), and edit the Your Words and Book Club pages. (I’m the one who comes up with those book questions you answer on this blog. Thanks for your answers!) […]

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Unbroken: Part IV

Hi, Bookies: Thank you again for all of your comments and for sharing so many links. It’s amazing that so many of you have had the privilege of hearing Louie speak in person. Section IV hit me very hard. As soon as I started reading, I knew the worst wasn’t yet over for Louie. The power of Hillenbrand’s words brought […]

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Unbroken: Chapter 9 of Part II Through Part III

Hi, Bookies: Thank you all for your honest and insightful comments on last week’s post. I know many of you have already read the book and am so happy that you’re sharing your feedback with us as we read. I must confess, I keep stopping myself from getting too far ahead. I think it’s fair to say that in this […]

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