Light but not (too) dumb

This is an eclectic list of books to read when you're just not in the mood for something heavy or overly depressing, but don't want a lot of eye-rolling moments either. It can be a thriller, romance, chick-lit, family saga, memoir, non-fiction, or anything else that's enjoyable and easy to read.
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3.97 avg rating — 332,281 ratings
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36

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45

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3.56 avg rating — 1,586,156 ratings
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3.94 avg rating — 621,809 ratings
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49

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51

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3.73 avg rating — 289,036 ratings
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52

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53

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54

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55

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56

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57

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58

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60

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61

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3.63 avg rating — 54,752 ratings
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63

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3.69 avg rating — 2,424,179 ratings
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64

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 41,456 ratings
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65

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66

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72

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81

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82

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83

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84

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85

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95

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96

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 90,099 ratings
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97

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98

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3.99 avg rating — 153,162 ratings
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99

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4.06 avg rating — 574,479 ratings
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100

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842 books · 881 voters · list created September 3rd, 2008 by K (votes) .
130 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


K 1195 books
483 friends
M 1479 books
250 friends
Tamar 1529 books
1174 friends
Haley 778 books
93 friends
P. 3765 books
109 friends
Jen 135 books
23 friends
Ruth 781 books
46 friends
La Petite Américaine 403 books
521 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-47 of 47 (47 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie I was surprised by some of the books here. Tis list is supposed to be for not-too-heavy books. And, for example, The Book Theif for me was a really thought-provoking and powerful book. Anything that takes place in Nazi Germany isn't light. And My Sister's Keeper wasn't light either.

Right. So my point? None.
I hope I wasn't an annoyance. I suppose I just wished to express my dissagreement. And I suppose that would be my point.

Right. Have a good day.


message 2: by Kate (new)

Kate White Oleander is "light"??


message 3: by Alana (new)

Alana Moore Revolutionary Road didn't strike me as light either.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Stephanie wrote: "I was surprised by some of the books here. Tis list is supposed to be for not-too-heavy books. And, for example, The Book Theif for me was a really thought-provoking and powerful book. Anything tha..."

I agree. Some of these books made me cry and IMO that is not light.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

In Cold Blood is very depressing! Who added that? This list needs to be edited IMO.


Mike (the Paladin) That's what I find interesting about "these lists". I like to see the differences in what we think. For me the idea of something being a light read implied a certain amount of humor, not too serious as well as not so deep. Then I saw books dealing with fairly serious topics. It says to me that the actual phrase meant something different to each of us. As "Spock" would say...."fascinating".


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Mike wrote: "That's what I find interesting about "these lists". I like to see the differences in what we think. For me the idea of something being a light read implied a certain amount of humor, not too seriou..."

We think alike on what light should mean here. I think sometimes people don't carefully read what is asked and I have been guilty of the same.


message 8: by Margarida (new)

Margarida Lord of the Flies is light since when?


message 9: by Margarida (new)

Margarida Alice wrote: "Margarida wrote: "Lord of the Flies is light since when?"

Oh, very true! That is not light either."


There's at least 5 books in this list that I would never classified as light.


Mike (the Paladin) As I said...just wondering about it. Either the words meant something totally different to some, or....well, I suppose that maybe they just didn't read the heading


message 11: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn Mike wrote: "As I said...just wondering about it. Either the words meant something totally different to some, or....well, I suppose that maybe they just didn't read the heading"

I thought of adding The Crucible and Last Exit to Brooklyn. Or perhaps Journal of the Plague Year.


message 12: by Lobstergirl (last edited Jun 15, 2010 05:06PM) (new)

Lobstergirl I'm trying to figure out how to add the Book of Job.


Mike (the Paladin) There's always Alive....


message 14: by Deb (new)

Deb I wouldn't even call the Harry Potter books "light". Light is the opposite of dark, surely?


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads I voted for Harry Potter. It is a fast, fun read, at least for me.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Lobstergirl wrote: "I'm trying to figure out how to add the Book of Job."

How about some Samuel Beckett?


message 17: by Tanya (new)

Tanya Deb wrote: "I wouldn't even call the Harry Potter books "light". Light is the opposite of dark, surely?"

I believe they don't mean that kind of light. I think they mean books where you don't really have to think about (like Harry Potter). Not hard to read, simple.


message 18: by Zoe (new)

Zoe ummm... white oleander light? i dont think so!


message 19: by Tanya (new)

Tanya 'The Great Gatsby' and 'Catcher in the Rye' are considered light? I really don't get this list.


Mike (the Paladin) Okay....I'm very much a "to each their own" sort of guy, but I'm now forced to the conclusion that either there are a large number of people with a sense of irony...or they just don't understand the point of this list as I do/did. Murder, racism, death...all "light but not too dumb" oooookkkkaaaayyyyy.


message 21: by Deb (new)

Deb Possibly the people who voted for "Lord of the Flies" think it's a simple adventure story and don't understand the underlying message?


Mike (the Paladin) Ya but, Pillars of the Earth(murder, broken lives), To Kill a Mockingbird (racism, bigotry), Animal Farm (totalitarian rule, betrayal), The Count of Monte Cristo (false imprisonment, more murder), I could go on, but...at this point I'm forced to the conclusion that some people have a totally different view of a "light read" than I do.


message 23: by Lioba (new)

Lioba Not many light reads here altogether.


message 24: by kerri (new)

kerri I agree with Mike....... different strokes. Strange choice of words for this title.


♥ Marlene♥ I agree with you here. What about the Wally Lamb books on the list. They are both definitely NOT light at all. lol


message 26: by Lesley (new)

Lesley Twilight is NOT too dumb?


Mike (the Paladin) I think the problem here may be the definition of "too". :)


message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

Stephanie wrote: "I was surprised by some of the books here. Tis list is supposed to be for not-too-heavy books. And, for example, The Book Theif for me was a really thought-provoking and powerful book. Anything tha..."

I agree as some of these books are anything but light IMO.


message 29: by Dominique (new)

Dominique Maybe it's light as in a light read? Like, easier to handle than, say, War and Peace. If so, some of these should NOT be on here.


message 30: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn Yaste Many of these books cannot possibly be considered light! Who is adding this stuff?


message 31: by Mauve7 (new)

Mauve7 The Hobbit is light reading???


message 32: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Aug 23, 2011 08:29PM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads I like how tastes vary.


message 33: by Danna (new)

Danna such a brilliant list!


message 34: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Les Mis is a really heavy book. Someone who has actually read the book knows that it is way more intense than the musical. The musical is sad/depressing yet in most ways much lighter than the book. Whomever put this book on the list was not (too) intelligent.


Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship I'm forced to conclude that some people just go around adding their favorite books indiscriminately to every list they can find.


message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

Emma wrote: "I'm forced to conclude that some people just go around adding their favorite books indiscriminately to every list they can find."

That is definitely true. I have noticed it over and over too.


message 37: by Tisa (new)

Tisa Gardon I have to agree with most of them; a lot of items in this list cannot be labeled light.

But of course, isn't lightness subjective?


message 38: by Isabella (new)

Isabella Roland This is just a random assortment of books. Very few of them even coordinate to the list. Poor poor list.


message 39: by Elisabeth (new)

Elisabeth Kite Runner is so not a light book.


message 40: by Stela (new)

Stela Honestly, people will vote anything!


message 41: by Tunkabean (new)

Tunkabean Is this list some kinda parody twist? A LOT of the books mentioned here are NOT light reads


message 43: by Summer Breeze (new)

Summer Breeze I don't understand. Does “light” mean a book that is easy understand and does need much though before flipping the page? Or is it that the book doesn't deal with death or any other serious issues. Either ways there are way too many books that don't belong here.

The Harry Potter books, especially the last ones, The Pact and My Sister's Keeper made me cry like a baby.


message 44: by Joy (new)

Joy SNOW FLOWER AND THE SECRET FAN has a horrendously detailed depiction of foot-binding.


message 45: by BookLovingLady (last edited Nov 07, 2015 11:33PM) (new)

BookLovingLady Stephanie wrote: "I was surprised by some of the books here. Tis list is supposed to be for not-too-heavy books. And, for example, The Book Theif for me was a really thought-provoking and powerful book. Anything tha..."

Tunkabean wrote: "Is this list some kinda parody twist? A LOT of the books mentioned here are NOT light reads"

Tisa wrote: "...But of course, isn't lightness subjective?"


It's all about what people think, or read into it, I guess. I for one was surprised to see Pride and Prejudice on this list, to name just one title, as it definitely isn't what I would consider 'light' reading.

To me, Georgette Heyer's books, which I love by the way, are light reading. Or Agatha Christie's novels. Or Leslie Charteris' books about The Saint. And so on, and so forth.


message 46: by Andy (new)

Andy Booklovinglady wrote: "Stephanie wrote: "I was surprised by some of the books here. Tis list is supposed to be for not-too-heavy books. And, for example, The Book Theif for me was a really thought-provoking and powerful ..."

Mike (the Paladin) wrote: "There's always Alive...."

Oh gawd! Just thinking about that story is traumatic.


message 47: by BookLovingLady (last edited May 31, 2018 05:18AM) (new)

BookLovingLady Susanna - Censored by GoodReads wrote: "I voted for Harry Potter. It is a fast, fun read, at least for me."

Yeah, same for me, so I totally support your choice :-)


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