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Buzz In: What Kinds of Books Do You Read on Vacation?

Just as we Sugar girls are chatting about our favorite Summer reading picks (speaking of: if you take our quiz on our favorite titles, you can be entered to win a Kindle!), NPR has posted a list of the top 100 Best Beach Books Ever, as chosen by almost 16,000 readers. It's a fascinating mix of light and breezy reads, lengthy and sobering tomes, and plain ol' classics that people might not have time for during their regular routines.

I expected the first 10 titles on the list to be fairly easygoing reads since beach time, to many, is when we relax everything — including our brains. But The Kite Runner comes in at No. 3, and while it's immensely engrossing, it is hardly a "breezy" pick.

So what do you read on vacation? Do you just want something easy and fun? Or is a week of free time the best opportunity to tackle the heavier or more challenging books on your "to-read" list? To take a look at what tops the NPR list and share your thoughts,



  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


Join The Conversation
pargie pargie 7 years
Oh how I love Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood. I found the book in high school in the lost and found at my job, and fell in love with it. If I were to ever go on vacation I'm sure it would be my pick.
gingirl gingirl 7 years
On vacation, I usually try to bring a variety of books to suit my moods. But, on my recent vacations, I've been bringing along "Angela's Ashes." Def. a favorite of mine to read anywhere, anytime. But I'm big on the lighter fare, or anything good in paperbacks (much easier to tote around). Love HP on the beach.
Sarana Sarana 7 years
I read the same books that I would read when not on vacation. I read "Into Thin Air" about climbing the Mt Everest while on the beach :) For long flights I always hope to find a book that is impossible to out down.
Allyace Allyace 7 years
I read so much anyways, that I usually end up bringing a couple of books for the varying mood. Last week was our vacation and I took a Sookie Stackhouse and "When You Are Engulfed in Flames".
genesisrocks genesisrocks 7 years
I don't take a lot of time to read when I travel but when I have a relaxing day I like to read classics or more challenging books. Just finished up My Antonia by Willa Cather and starting Obama's Dreams of my Father for a seminar I'm taking.
deanna024 deanna024 7 years
anything by Sophie Kinsella or Marian Keyes are my good beach reading recommendations. I just wish they'd come out with more new books for me to read!
ilanac13 ilanac13 7 years
i tend to read really light fiction - not to say the books aren't long - the content just isn't that heavy. this way if i'm reading on the plane or at the pool/beach, and i miss a few bits of the story line - then i really don't miss anything really significant.
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