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What makes a good beach read?

NPR has posted the 200 finalists for their “100 Best Beach Books” vote. But rather than this being a useful list of books I might want to take on vacation, it reads like a random assortment of people’s favorite books. The list ranges from “Bridget Jones’s Diary” to “Ender’s Game” to “War and Peace” and for me, very few of them are actually beach books. For me a beach book is light and fluffy, yet attention grabbing as well and many of these books don’t fit the bill (Anna Karenina? Really?) I assume this strange assortment is a result of everyone having different definitions of a “beach book”, a point which NPR concedes.

So what is your definition of a good beach book?

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