NPR Listeners Pick Best Beach Reads

NPR ‘s audience are  book lovers, so they were asked to name their favorite beach reads. Almost 16,000 people answered the call and cast 136,000 votes. From the votes, NPR picked the top 100.

Top of the list?
The Harry Potter series.

Did Twilight make it?
Yes, at #20

How about James Patterson?
Nope.

The Fountainhead?
Sigh, yes; at #67

Am I wrong to roll my eyes when a publisher compares a new book to the 1977 blockbuster, Thorn Birds?
Despite what you may think, it seems people still remember it. It’s on the list at #39.

How many classics made the cut?
Defining what’s a “classic” is always dangerous territory, but these sixteen titles are fixtures on school reading lists:

2. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

5. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

7. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

15. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

21. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain

32. East of Eden, by John Steinbeck (see also, Oprah Pick)

42. Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy (see also, Oprah Pick)

47. The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas

51. Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott

57. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll

66. The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway

71. The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway

74. The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding

76. Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte

81. Cannery Row, by John Steinbeck

100. Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson

How did Oprah’s picks do?
Of the 64 titles that Oprah has picked for her Book Club, ten are on the list:

10. The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver

19. Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides

32. East of Eden, by John Steinbeck

35. One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

41. Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett

42. Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy

49. I Know This Much Is True, by Wally Lamb

53. She’s Come Undone, by Wally Lamb

81. The Pilot’s Wife, by Anita Shreve [tie]

86. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy

James Frey didn’t make the list?
No. Neither did Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections.

Are there any recent titles?

55. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Barrows

84. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson

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