Saturday, August 15, 2009

NPR's Top 100 Beach Books

In an act of blatant thievery, I just stole this list off of Daphne's blog. Books highlighted in green are ones that I've read.

1. The Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling(technically I've only read the first four but I sort of feel that if I've read one, I've read them all)

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 (Love this book.)

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 (Although this one was read in high school and I couldn't tell you a single thing about it.)

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'd always considered myself fairly well read, but that fact that I've only read 20 books out of this list of 100 is quite eye opening. Clearly I have work to do. (Mari: Isn't #84 the book you mentioned the other day? I think the fact that it's been brought to my attention twice in one week means I need to get off my butt and get myself a copy.)

Thinking ahead to next years reading goal, maybe I'll try to read all the (unread) books on the list. Any thoughts on where I should begin? I know a lot of you are fans of Barbara Kingsolver. I've only read Animal Vegetable Miracle. She has quite a few books listed. Any recommendations?


BloomingAlmond said...

I'm feeling so bad... I've only read one of those books... I've seen movies from others... I've told myself I would read some others but gosh...... i'm a terrible reader.... And I buy a lot of books! Gosh............. lol

did you read all of that? or are planning to? :P

Daphne said...

Isn't it a great list? By the way, the LAST Harry Potter book is worth suffering through the rest of the series...

Daphne said...

Some other favorites are The Poisonwood Bible (which was in my top 10 for a long time), Time Traveler's Wife (which you just asked about), The Princess Bride (book is very funny and worth reading), Lonesome Dove, if you ever have endless boring hours to fill (it's very long, but I loved it), and Kavalier and Clay was really unexpectedly amazing too. I liked a lot of these. The Shell Seekers was another favorite long ago -- it's a perfect summer read.

sitting on the mood swing at the playground said...

I love these kinds of lists. If you haven't read Bel Canto, I would suggest that as well as The Time Traveler's Wife.

There are so many on this list I haven't read but I (and the rest of my book group) slogged through One Hundred Years of Solutide. It just didn't click with us the way it does with so many readers.

I haven't read Water for Elephants but have heard terrific things about it.

Mari said...

Well, I've read 41, but a lot of them aren't beach material; for instance, I cried my way all the way through Poisonwood Bible years ago, and I don't want to cry at the beach!

Not Your Aunt B said...

31. And I agree with Mari. Some of these I would not want to read at the beach! It's my vacation, I don't want to feel all sad!

Maria Rose said...

Well, I am well read but that is a pretty random list. I will have to take a few suggestions. For the past decade I've been reading "the classics" which means I will never really get through them. The result is that I am not reading a ton of contemporary authors. I do really love Marie Darrieussecq and highly recommend her.

Barefoot_Mommy said...

I agree with Daphne that The Princess Bride is worth the read. If you've ever seen the movie, the book is just as clever except that Buttercup makes a bigger fool out of herself in the book. LOL

Also, Good in Bed was really funny. I enjoyed that one too.

Carla said...

There are so many good books out there that to only have read 20 on this list....don't feel bad. I've read some that I wish I hadn't.

Tammie said...

daphne: now im intrigued by harry.

i think the poisonwood bible is going to be one of the first ones i try...there seems to be a lot of positive buzz around it.

mag: i loved water for elephants and i didnt think i would.

mari and b: that was sort of my thinking too, that some of these dont seem like beach reading. but as i was reading through some of the comments on NPR, a lot of folks said the beach is the perfect place to read a sad book because the sadness doesnt overtake you the way it would if you were sitting alone in your house.

maria rose: i'll have to check her out.

barefoot: ive seen the movie but dont remember too much about it, so i think it would be all new to me.

carla: you're totally right. and it seems like i have an ever growing list of books i want to read.

hester said...

Oh dear...I'm late as usual! That's a great list with lots of my favourites. I loved the Poisonwood Bible too but it took me a few pages into it to love it. And Prodigal Summer was beautiful as well.

I'll have to try the Time Traveller's Wife. The title is intriguing.

Layrayski said...

What you said about Harry Potter *gasp!* blasphemy! =P

Layrayski said...

I've read 13, ouch. But about Lonesome Dove that's so depressing! I hate Larry McMurtry. What a sad book. He likes murdering his cool characters. I've always wanted to read Kurt Vonnegut. Haven't had the opportunity yet. I'm a kind of serial reader. Like Janet's book even though I'm getting tired of the series I just had to finish the whole thing. One for the money up to 12. I collect books by Agatha Christie (or will collect them in the future) so I'm so frustrated not to be able to cross that agatha book off the list.

The Dune book that I came across was so old and dusty I didn't want to provoke my allergies too much so I didn't attempt reading it.

My cousin just mentioned loaning me The Count of Montecristo. Maybe I'll give it a whirl.

And by the way my favorite of the Harry Potter is the last one. My favorite. It doesn't get old for me but I figure it'll be a tough book to translate into a movie.

The books I've read on the list:

Harry Potter
Bridget Jones Diary
Hobbit- read this in high school
Lord of The rings-ditto
Huckleberry Finn
Lonesome Dove
She's come undone
Love in the time of cholera- I like this, but my cousins couldn't finish this one
The little prince
One for the money-- the fifth book is my favorite. Hilarious.
Dead until dark-
Summer Sisters- This is my idea of a beach book, although I cant explain why. Maybe because one setting in the book was in a beach. Mmm. That's it.

I've watched The Great Gatsby, The Hitchhiker's guide, Joy Luck Club-- tear jerker, the count of montecristo.

Tammie said...

lyra:i didnt mean to offend you with my potter comment. ha ha
i read the first four immediately after they all came out and i did love them, but for some reason by the time five was out, i just wasnt that interested. and everything about them all started to mesh together in my brain and i couldnt tell any of the characters or events apart. apparently im missing something by not having read the last one though.

i like the janet series too. i havent read the whole series, but its good easy reading.

ive never read anything by larry mcmurtry. are they all sort of cowboy-ish?

Layrayski said...

The two mucmurtrys that ive read were cowboyish, I think. it was so long ago and I've blocked them from my memory. Yeah I just had to go and buy another one. =) I don't really hate hate him but a lot of his characters died, and what's worse is he kills the characters that I liked.

Anyway, happy reading! I'm gonna try to read the serious books my cousin is pushing on me. I've been attempting to read Persuasion and I still haven't progressed beyond the 3rd chapter.

Love in the time of cholera was a weirdly compelling read for me. I read (skimmed) the whole thing in one night. Yup, wasn't able to put it down. What's unfortunate is that I wanted to read it hoping that it'll put me to sleep.

CT said...

I'm gonna go against the current and say it: I dont care much about Gabo's 100 years of solitude or love in the times of cholera, but if you ever come across a book of his called "Strange Pilgrims: twelve stories" you'll find it a much much better work of his...

I dared not count how many of those books I've read, I have to confess, much as I love Harry Potter, book Five was a bit hard to read...and then came book 6 and he was redeemed! lol! it is incredible, and book 7 is just how every series should end...

I think I'm gonna read the list again and check the ones I've read and then let you know.. hehehe!

kirsten said...

wow - i wonder what the reasoning is on some of those...

you need to finish harry potter! the 'real' plot starts in book 5!

(also, add ender's game to your list - it's on NPR's list, too).

Bridge said...

Hurry read all the Barbara Kingsolver books on the list. She is my favorite and I think I you will adore these books! Great goal by the way!

Beck said...

I have read quite a few of those but very few of the same ones as you! That's funny.

Barbara said...

Thanks for the recommendation on Water for Elephants. I have three books here now and another 5 on a wait list at the library, but I will add it to the list.
If you have trouble reading the Harry Potters, the audio books are really good. The guy who reads them does a fantastic job and makes the characters really come alive. I read the books, but my husband was having trouble keeping the characters straight. Listening worked much better for him. I really do think the books are soo much better than the movies (just so many more things, sub plots, character development, etc.), it is worth the read (or listen - a trip to Virginia and we were down one book).