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Bookish Lists... > NPR Top 100 Best Beach Reads

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message 1: by Erin (last edited Aug 11, 2009 12:58PM) (new)

Erin Carney | 183 comments 1. The Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling
2. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
3. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
4. Bridget Jones's Diary, by Helen Fielding
5. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
6. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, by Rebecca Wells
7. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
8. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
9. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, by Fannie Flagg
10. The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver
11. The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
12. Life of Pi, by Yann Martel
13. The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan
14. The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
15. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
16. Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
17. Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett
18. The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
19. Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides
20. Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen
21. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
22. The Bean Trees, by Barbara Kingsolver
23. The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, by Alexander McCall Smith
24. The World According to Garp, by John Irving
25. Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
26. The Prince of Tides, by Pat Conroy
27. Like Water for Chocolate, by Laura Esquivel
28. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman
29. The Accidental Tourist, by Anne Tyler
30. Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer
31. A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole
32. East of Eden, by John Steinbeck
33. The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant
34. Beach Music, by Pat Conroy
35. One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
36. Rebecca, by Daphne Du Maurier
37. Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card
38. Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurtry
39. The Thorn Birds, by Colleen McCullough
40. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, by Michael Chabon
41. Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett
42. Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
43. Interview with the Vampire, by Anne Rice
44. Cold Mountain, by Charles Frazier
45. Empire Falls, by Richard Russo
46. Under the Tuscan Sun, by Frances Mayes
47. The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas
48. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, by Tom Robbins
49. I Know This Much Is True, by Wally Lamb
50. Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie
51. Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
52. The Stand, by Stephen King
53. She's Come Undone, by Wally Lamb
54. Dune, by Frank Herbert
55. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
56. Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
57. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll
58. Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov
59. The Godfather, by Mario Puzo
60. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith
61. Animal Dreams, by Barbara Kingsolver
62. Jaws, by Peter Benchley
63. Good in Bed, by Jennifer Weiner
64. Angle of Repose, by Wallace Stegner
65. Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson
66. The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway
67. The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand
68. Breakfast of Champions, by Kurt Vonnegut
69. Cat's Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
70. The Big Sleep, by Raymond Chandler
71. The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway
72. The Hunt for Red October, by Tom Clancy
73. Cold Sassy Tree, by Olive Ann Burns
74. The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
74. Bonfire of the Vanities, by Tom Wolfe [tie:]
76. Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte
77. Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon
78. The Shell Seekers, by Rosamunde Pilcher
79. Prodigal Summer, by Barbara Kingsolver
80. Eye of the Needle, by Ken Follett
81. Cannery Row, by John Steinbeck
81. The Pilot's Wife, by Anita Shreve [tie:]
83. All the Pretty Horses, by Cormac McCarthy
84. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson
85. The Little Prince, by Antoine De Saint-Exupery
86. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
87. One for the Money, by Janet Evanovich
88. Shogun, by James Clavell
89. Dracula, by Bram Stoker
90. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, by Milan Kundera
91. Presumed Innocent, by Scott Turow
92. Franny and Zooey, by J.D. Salinger
93. The Secret History, by Donna Tartt
94. Dead Until Dark, by Charlaine Harris
95. Summer Sisters, by Judy Blume
96. The Shining, by Stephen King
97. How Stella Got Her Groove Back, by Terry McMillan
98. Lamb, by Christopher Moore
99. Sick Puppy, by Carl Hiaasen
100. Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson

message 2: by Liz (new)

Liz (busy91) 14 of these I have read, but many of these are on my shelves. Much better and attainable list for me.

message 3: by Bluedaizy (new)

Bluedaizy | 135 comments what a great list!

message 4: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (jennifertudor) 14 for me as well. I really like this list.

message 5: by Erin (new)

Erin Carney | 183 comments 12 books for me :)

message 6: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10060 comments Mod
22 for me, though I have to argue about some on here. I really cant believe Count of Monte Cristo is considered a beach read. Or The Road and Angle of Repose for that matter. Beach reads to me are lighter fluffier reads...

message 7: by Emily (last edited Aug 12, 2009 08:49AM) (new)

Emily 31 for me... I agree with Lori that a lot of these seem too heavy (in my opinion) to want to read at the beach -- I might have given myself up for shark bait if I had been at the beach while reading a few of them.

message 8: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10060 comments Mod

message 9: by April (new)

April (booksandwine) | 954 comments 44... sounds like this list writer invaded my TBR and my Read list!

message 10: by Roseann (new)

Roseann | 400 comments 27 for me. I agree, some of these I would never consider "Beach Reads" and what's up with Jaws, at the beach!! I could barely swim in a pool without being worried after reading that one!

message 11: by Bhumi (new)

Bhumi | 524 comments lol I wouldn't say Pillars of the Earth or The Fountainhead are "beach reads."

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 1736 comments I've read 30, but I'll agree that is kinda a weird variety on that list.

message 13: by El (new)

El I've read 62, but I agree that a lot of them aren't necessarily books I would want to read on the beach - and I can normally read anywhere! Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit in particular would not be a beach read... seems more appropriate to me for them to be read in the woods or on a mountain. :)

message 14: by Carol (new)

Carol (caroldias) 12 reads and 28 to-read.

The rest of then, no interest at all lol

message 15: by Donna (new)

Donna | 137 comments 17 for me. I agree a number of the titles don't really seem like beach reads. Maybe they counted students doing required summer reading on the beach?

Great list nonetheless.

message 16: by Tammy AZ (new)

Tammy AZ (tammyaz) 49 for me & I think I'd put the rest on my TBR list.

message 17: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) I've read 35, but I like lighter fare than many listed here for the beach.

In another group here, we posted our top 10 beach reads and here was my list (I couldn't get to my shelves at the time so it was off the top of my head):

1. The Arm of the Starfish by Madeleine L’Engle
2. The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby
3. Housekeeping vs. the Dirt by Nick Hornby
4. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (Thursday Next series)
5. A Long Way to Go by Borden Deal
6. The Moonspinners by Mary Stewart
7. Contact by Carl Sagan
8. From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
9. The Object of My Affection by Stephen McCauley
10. Flotsam by David Wiesner

Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) I've read a whopping 38, with about 15 more on my TBR list, but I have to agree with the rest of you that about half of this list doesn't seem like beach reads to me. To me a beach read is something light, an easy read. Although the books on the list are great (mostly), some of these books are neither light, short, or easy to read!

message 19: by Stephanie (last edited Dec 28, 2009 05:18PM) (new)

Stephanie (sbez05) | 556 comments I've read 26, with a bunch more on Mt. TBR. But I completely agree with all the comments above. I don't want to be holding a brick above my head while I'm laying on my back - that's bad for the wrists. :D I need something light in content AND physical weight.

message 20: by Nicole (last edited Aug 15, 2009 04:02PM) (new)

Nicole  | 155 comments 39 for me, and I'm on board with everyone about questioning "beach reads". I will say this is one of the best lists that I have seen that mixes books of all sorts from classic to current and fun to heavier topics.

message 21: by Wendy (new)

Wendy | 246 comments I've read 53... Some of their selections were heavy both in content and volume. My beach reads would have been more fun like Prep by Sittenfeld or The Help by Stockett or Small Island by Levy.

message 22: by Ed (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 193 comments In my opinion it's too hot to read on the beach but...I've read 39 of these books and have another 17 on my TBR list.

If you consider that this list is from an NPR audience, its heaviness is not that surprising. (Grin)

Abigail (42stitches) | 360 comments 34 for me. I would tend to agree that beach reading ought to be fluffier stuff until I remember that I started The Name of the Rose on a road trip in April where we went to an indoor water park in Ohio...So I suppose it doesn't really make a difference to me where I read anything. Maybe it being an NPR listener's list does make a difference. I never would have thought of that. Lol...

message 24: by Bonnie (last edited Aug 27, 2009 12:20AM) (new)

Bonnie | 271 comments 33 for me.

And this is probably the one list that it's the heavier books that people are surprised to find on the list and the lighter books that seem to fit. That's pretty great. This may be my favorite list...some really good choices and a good mix of light/fun and serious.

Though I agree that it would be difficult for me to get through something like Old Man on the Sea, period, and no way would I read it on the beach! Oh, and Lolita would make me feel creepy if I read it on the beach...I was uncomfortable enough reading it in public when I was in Japan and no one would know what I was reading.

Also, whoever made this list LOVES Barbara Kingsolver. Three of her books are on the list. They tried to disguise it by spreading them out (#10, 22, and 61). I'm going to read Poisonwood Bible soon, so I'll see if that love is deserved.

Petra mostly on hiatus in hospital in Mexico (petra-x) 37, not all of them enjoyed by any means, and there isn't one more I want to read.

message 26: by Diane (new)

Diane  (dianedj) I've read 20 of them - or 27 - do we get to add 7 if we read The Harry Potter series - LOL.

And agreed that quite a few seem to 'heavy'for beach reading - Anna Karenina? I loved it, but not to take to the beach.

message 27: by Katie (new)

Katie (katieisallbooked) | 109 comments I've read 18. There are another 6 or 7 that I've worked into my plan for Cynthia's Fall Challenge.

I expected to open this thread and see lots of fluff, but it's a very nice mix.

message 28: by Poetically (new)

Poetically (poeticallychallenged) | 1 comments I've read 44 - but I agree with others that many of these would not qualify as a beach read! We've got Anna Karenina in the same list as One for the Money...maybe people are reading at quieter beaches than I am!

message 29: by Melissa (new)

Melissa (macyboston) I have read 19 of these and own another 10 that I just haven't gotten to since they are on my mountainous TBR list.

message 30: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 7 comments I've read 40, and a number of these would still be on my list. This is a fun list.

Elizabeth (Miss Eliza) (strange_misseliza) | 46 comments Hmmm 18, but some many are on my tbr pile...must read faster!

message 32: by Susan (new)

Susan wow, I have soooo many new books to add to my TBR pile after reading this post! LOL

message 33: by JenniferD (new)

JenniferD (jooniperd) This is an interesting list. Every March break and summer I look for suggestions for good beach or holiday reads.

I have read 47 from the NPR list. There are a few that I wouldn't personally suggest as beach reads, but that's just my personal taste. Many are perfect for a holiday read. Thanks for posting this list.

message 34: by Paul (new)

Paul Hollis | 194 comments 31 for me

message 35: by Tamara (new)

Tamara (tamaralee) 7 for me.. A lot on my TBR list.

Tanya (aka ListObsessedReader) (listobsessed) | 317 comments I've read 31 of these with quite a few others on the tbr mountain.

I find it hilarious that they list Jaws as a beach read! Only something to pick up after you've finished swimming I think!

message 37: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 7 comments 42 for me, but some I read in college (coming up on my 45 yr reunion). If you count seeing the movie, the number goes up by 2.

message 38: by Liesl (new)

Liesl (lieslm) | 170 comments 17 for me; quit3e a few on my TBR, several I've tried and had to give up on, several more I have absolutely no interest in. I agree with most of you, that some of these are not beach reading.

message 39: by Liz (new)

Liz I've read 20, not to mention the fact that many of the other books are on my TBR.

message 40: by Erin (new)

Erin I've read 46, gave up on one, and have a few on my TBR list--

message 41: by Lianne (new)

Lianne (eclecticreading) Thanks for posting this list; I've read about 23 from this list. Not sure if some would be considered beach erading (well, I wouldn't read them on the beach) but it was an interesting mix nonetheless =)

message 42: by Celeste (new)

Celeste (celestelueck) | 107 comments I was shocked to see I've read 35 of the above, but I must say I would consider some of these beach reads. I am proud of myself.

message 43: by Krista (new)

Krista (kacey14) Wow, I surprised myself. :-) 47 for me, and many more on my TBR shelf. Janet Evanovich, Judy Blume, and Alexander McCall Smith seem appropriate for the beach, but some of them not so much. Just think about how much sand you'd get in Anna Karenina. But Dune seems SO appropriate. (At least from the title. I haven't read it yet.)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 1736 comments Dune (aside from the very appropos title) could indeed make a good beach read.

message 45: by Alex (new)

Alex Wow, that is a random list. I've read a bunch of 'em...but only the crappy ones. :)

And I want to go on record as saying that Confederacy of Dunces is not all that great.

message 46: by El (new)

El Alex wrote: "And I want to go on record as saying that Confederacy of Dunces is not all that great."

You got that right.

message 47: by Alex (new)

Alex We've read a lot of the same books, El. And your reviews are hilarious.

message 48: by El (new)

El Thanks, Alex. I appreciate the vote of confidence.

message 49: by Sheila (new)

Sheila | 35 comments 24 of the books from the list I have read, alot more are on the TBR list. Many good books on the list.

message 50: by Chantelle (new)

Chantelle (chantelle13) | 90 comments I've read 33 of them with several more on my TBR shelf.

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