Real Simple’s online No-Obligation Book Club chooses its October 2013 book.

By Real Simple
Updated September 11, 2013
Monica Buck

Hi, Bookies!

No tricks, just treats here: The October book poll is now open. Our leader for the month is Rebecca Daly, whose name you may know from our fashion pages and our blog, on which she offers up tips that make fashion fun and accessible (a pretty good description, too, of Rebecca herself, I think). Real Simple’s fashion market editor, Rebecca is regularly out visiting showrooms, tracking trends and looking for pieces that feel right for RS readers. She helps pull in and style the clothes that you see on the magazine’s fashion pages—and she often writes the stories, to boot. A voracious reader, she’ll make her debut as an NOBC moderator in October. As for what we’ll read, see below for your four choices: three novels, new and old, and one remarkable true story. The poll is open until 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday, September 29. Happy voting!


Visitation Street, by Ivy Pochoda

Two teenage girls escape the stifling heat of a July night in rough-and-tumble waterfront Red Hook, Brooklyn, by taking a moonlit paddle into the harbor. One washes up ashore, barely alive; the other disappears. As the locals are drawn together by the event, characters gradually reveal themselves in a mystery that is nothing short of riveting.

Zeitoun, by Dave Eggers

In the days that followed Hurricane Katrina, Syrian-born painting contractor Abdulrahman Zeitoun worked to rescue stranded neighbors and animals in his small canoe. But in the aftermath’s chaos, Zeitoun was accused of looting, among other things, and jailed with no contact allowed with either family or legal representation. A true story of one family (who, it must be noted, took another sad turn in the course of events that occurred after this book was published).

The Lowland, by Jhumpa Lahiri

The new novel from Pulitzer Prize winner Lahiri (The Namesake, Interpreter of Maladies) follows two tightly bound brothers who find themselves at opposite sides of the world—and at the opposite ends of the political spectrum. But when tragedy befalls one brother, it is left to the other to pull together their shattered family. Though it won’t be released in the States for a few days yet, The Lowland has already been nominated for Britain’s prestigious Man Booker Prize.

White Teeth, by Zadie Smith

Centered on an unlikely frendship, born in the waning days of World War II, between an Englishman and a Bengali Muslim from Bangladesh, Smith’s 2000 debut is a time-spanning family saga teeming with characters, voices, events. With its working-class, multicultural London setting, it offers a surprisingly comic look at such complex topics as race, religion, culture, and heritage.