Saturday, August 8, 2009

NPR audience picks 100 best Beach Reads..

Apparently NPR had its audience vote on the 100 Beach Reads and I just read the list from The Boston Bibliophile. As I was scanning through the list, I immediately thought, "There is no way I'd read THAT on the beach." When I think of beach reads, I think something light, possibly funny, maybe a little murder mystery, but not something that requires your full attention when reading. Hence, why Pride & Prejudice didn't happen up at Higgins nor did Finding Faith. I've read many a James Patterson, Janet Evanovich, Nora Roberts, Marian Keyes or Jennifer Weiner on the beach. Jane Austen, Jodi Picoult, Shakespeare or Fitzgerald on the beach? Probably, not.

I also do not link beach read = summer read. When I was in school and working three jobs I did use the summer or winter breaks for lighter reads. I polished off almost the entire Harry Potter series one summer. Now that I've graduated college and I'm in semi-employment to un-employment I've read more 'meatier' reads or lighter reads depending on the mood. I want to catch up on books I missed out on and read more about subjects I find fascinating.

Now here is the 100 Best Beach Reads according to NPR. Italicized are ones I want to read, and bolded are ones I've already read. Asterics are the ones I'm currently reading. Underlined and bolded are ones I've actually read as a 'beach read.' Got all that? :)

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 * (I would have finished by now except that it is sitting 3 and a half hours away in a different state, oops.)
6. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, by Rebecca Wells * (I've started and stopped this about 3924324 times)
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 * (started and hated..undecided on finishing..)
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 Follet
t42. 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 Bront
e77. 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

I really can't think of Vonnegut, or Tolstoy being read on the beach. That's just me. What do you think? What do you consider a 'beach read;? What do you think of the list?


Amber said...

Everytime I see a list of books like that I feel overwhelmed because there are SO many amazing books out there that I want/need to read!!

I will always associate the Harry Potter books as a beach read - since they always came out in the summer I would ALWAYS end up reading them while lying on the beach during summer vacay!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I totally agree - beach reads needs to be light & airy reads, in my opinion. I think of books like Harry Potter or maybe a Shopaholic book or something like that. Nothing super heavy.

And I agree - summer read doesn't = beach read necessarily, at least not as an adult! I seem to tackle the toughest books in the summer!