Have your seen NPR’s best summer books contest? I usually don’t play along with things like this, but when it comes to a list of 100 books, I can’t resist.
This was ridiculously hard and quite shockingly emotional. I was practically choking back tears as I read through this long list of books at work. What is happening to me?? but there are so many memories associated with books, aren’t there? Old favorites you read 10, 15 years ago and still remember how much you miss them. They are like old friends in a way. Or those more recent that were so beautiful, they still sting a bit when you think of them.
I suppose that makes me a bit of a book romantic. But the books you read, they’re like a map of your life in some ways. Growing up in my family, you always had a book you were reading. It wasn’t like oh, are you reading something? It was, what are you reading right now? Not, did you bring a book? But, where’s your book? Yours. It’s like part of your identity while it’s on your nightstand.
My votes in no particular order
(My criteria for best beach read was more best vacation read. Most absorbing, all encompassing stories that are best read when you have hours and hours of free time, a cool drink and a spot in the sun)
east of eden
the harry potter series
the joy luck club
the poisonwood bible
pride & prejudice
the red tent
the time travelers wife
the bonfire of the vanities
the world according to garp (or any John Irving book)
the yiddish policemen’s union (i loved kavalier and clay too, but this one somehow was better)
Others I wanted to vote for but seemed more like just really good books:
heart of darkness
the sun also rises
the wind up bird chronicles
the unbearable lightness of being
the pillars of the earth
bridget jones (this being more a true beach read… hilariously endearing and all of that)
A few that were missing
eat pray love (UM, WHAT?? how did this not make the top 100 summer reads?)
the god of small things
my life in france (I know I’m reading it right now, but it’s soooo good)
forever amber (borderline historical romance, but a total epic nonetheless. 100+ 5 star reviews on Amazon. If you like historical fiction, you will LOVE this book. Like, loooooove.)
on the road
and like a bazillion more that I can’t think of at this very moment. It’s so hard to choose. I’m regretting a few of my decisions already.