What’s a beach read? NPR defines:
“When you read one, your surroundings recede, time bends and you’re transported, mesmerized, enthralled. These are page turners to be sure, but that doesn’t mean they’re brainless. This year’s list will be fiction only; any genre, any period.”
Personally I feel like the key is the page-turning part. You’re at the beach! You’re relaxing! There are distractions! The brain should not be overly taxed, but the book should still be really fun and engaging to read.
Which is why I was a littttle surprised to see NPR’s choices for the top 100, including such literary heavyweights as Dostoyevsky’s THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV and Lawrence Durrell’s Alexandria Quartet.
Don’t get me wrong – I love me some Lawrence Durrell (I represent his estate in the US for crying out loud) and you should absolutely buy JUSTINE and take it to the beach or wherever else you want to read it because it’s incredible. It’s just not quite what I’d think of as a “beach” read. It’s a great literary masterpiece after all, and thus I see it more in the “lounging by the fireplace in cold weather” arena.
I think we can do better than NPR.
So. What are your favorite beach reads of all time?
What are your favorites?