The No-Obligation Book Club Reading List

A chronological guide to our monthly selections (plus all the runners-up).

Photo by Ngoc Minh Ngo

For more information on Real Simple’s No Obligation Book Club itself, click here.

September 2008

Winner: I Feel Bad About My Neck, by Nora Ephron

The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak

Valley of the Dolls, by Jacqueline Susann

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, by Anne Fadiman


October 2008

Winner: Run, by Ann Patchett

Brother, I’m Dying, by Edwidge Danticat

The Book of Other People, edited by Zadie Smith

The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho


November 2008

Winner: Revolutionary Road, by Richard Yates

The Blood of Flowers, by Anita Amirrezvani

Mrs. Bridge, by Evan S. Connell

Me Talk Pretty One Day, by David Sedaris


December 2008

Winner: I Was Told There’d Be Cake, by Sloane Crosley

American Wife, by Curtis Sittenfeld

The House at Sugar Beach, by Helene Cooper

The Position, by Meg Wolitzer


January 2009

Winner: Dear American Airlines, by Jonathan Miles

Purple Hibiscus, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Dreaming in Cuban, by Cristina Garcia

The White Tiger, by Aravind Adiga


February 2009

Winner: Testimony, by Anita Shreve

Night of the Gun, by David Carr

Olive Kitteridge, by Elizabeth Strout

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows


March 2009

Winner: December, by Elizabeth Hartley Winthrop

Loving Frank, by Nancy Horan

People of the Book, by Geraldine Brooks

Boomsday, by Christopher Buckley


April 2009

Winner: My Abandonment, by Peter Rock

Angels of Destruction, by Keith Donohue

The Believers, by Zoe Heller

The Survivor’s Club: The Secrets and Science That Could Save Your Life, by Ben Sherwood


May 2009

Winner: Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen

Outliers: The Story of Success, by Malcolm Gladwell

Unaccustomed Earth, by Jhumpa Lahiri

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Díaz


June 2009

Winner: Busy Woman Seeks Wife, by Annie Sanders

Blithe Spirit, by Noel Coward

The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield

The Host, by Stephenie Meyer


July 2009

Winner: Sag Harbor, by Colson Whitehead

Flight, by Sherman Alexie

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Díaz

Haroun and the Sea of Stories, by Salman Rushdie


August 2009

Winner: The Help, by Kathryn Stockett

The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery

The Girl Who Played With Fire, Stieg Larsson

Change of Heart, by Jodi Picoult


September 2009

Winner: The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger

The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls

I See You Everywhere, by Julia Glass

The Scenic Route, by Binnie Kirshenbaum


October 2009

Winner: A Gate at the Stairs, by Lorrie Moore

The Hour I First Believed, by Wally Lamb

Crossing to Safety, by Wallace Stegner

Three Cups of Tea, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin


November 2009

Winner: The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein

Out Stealing Horses, by Per Petterson

The Blind Side, by Michael Lewis

Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich


December 2009

Winner: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

The Ten-Year Nap, by Meg Wolitzer

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

My Life in France, by Julia Child and Alex Prud’homme