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

By Real Simple
Updated September 16, 2013
Monica Buck

Hi, Bookies:

A quick reminder that time is running out on our October poll. To recap: Real Simple Fashion Market Editor Rebecca Daly will lead the discussion of one of the four books below (one of which, I might add, is killing it!). The poll is open only until 11:59 p.m. ET this coming Sunday, September 29, so vote if you haven’t already!


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.