There is only one thing better than stretching out on the beach allowing the sun to kiss the parts of your body that rarely see the light of day; that is stretching out on the beach being kissed by the sun and being actively engaged by a good book.

The following list of great books to take to the perfect beach, this summer or anytime, has been chosen from a list of the all-time best-ever 100 beach reads compiled by the audience of National Public Radio. Toss one of these favorite books or romance novels into your beach bag and get ready for your best summer yet! From historical fiction to murder mystery novels, from real-life stories to dark secrets and magical realism, this list will surely get you to your happy place!

The Time Traveler’s Wife By Audrey NiffeneggerThe Time Traveler's Wife

A wonderfully crafted time-travel romantic comedy novel. You will be pulled into the story, fall in love with the perfect couple, and it will stay with you long after the book is finished. Buy on Amazon

Lunch In Paris: A Love Story, With Recipes By Elizabeth Bard Is The Perfect BookLunch in Paris

In this tasty little memoir, American journalist, Elizabeth Bard recounts how she sat down to lunch with a handsome Frenchman, and everything changed. Interspersed throughout this summer romance story are delectable recipes, both French and American, that nicely complement Bard’s thoughtful anecdotes. Buy on Amazon

Committed By Elizabeth Gilbert For A Summer Beach VacationCommitted

In this follow-up to Gilbert’s previous best-selling memoir, Eat, Pray, Love, Gilbert finds herself reluctantly marrying Felipe to resolve immigration issues. The skeptical Gilbert makes peace with the institution of marriage and examines the history of marriage in Western culture in order to come to terms with her decision. Buy on Amazon.

Remarkable Creatures By Tracy Chevalier For A Five-Star WeekendRemarkable Creatures By Tracy Chevalier

Set in 19th century England, on the island of Lyme, it is a remarkable new book about an upper-class woman, Elizabeth Philpot who has an interest in archeology, and her friendship with a young working-class girl, Mary Anning, who finds fossils on the beach in front of the beach house, to sell for the support of her family. The women discover some major archeological finds that bring them attention, a love triangle, and disappointment. Buy on Amazon

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Caught By Harlan Coban Should Be On Your Summer Reading ListCaught By Harlan Coban

This thriller is an entertaining page-turner with an intricate plot that involves a man who may or may not be guilty of pedophilia, a missing teen-age girl, and a reporter who exposes him only to have second thoughts. Buy on Amazon. 

Searching For Tina Turner By Jacqueline E. Luckett Is One Of The Best Beach ReadsSearching For Tina Turner By Jacqueline E. Luckett

The engaging story of a woman who has devoted two decades of her life to a husband and a family that has turned against her. Inspired by Tina Turner, she is willing to give up everything that she has in order to start over.

Twilight By Stephanie Meyer Is A Great Beach ReadTwilight

The first debut novel of four best-selling teenage vampire novels. Set in modern times, an introverted young woman, Bella Swan, after moving in with her father in Forks, Washington, finds herself romantically involved with the vampire, Edward Cullen. It is a suspenseful romantic new novel that is hard to put down. Buy on Amazon. 

Interview With The Vampire By Anne Rice Should Be On Your Bucket ListInterview With The Vampire By Anne Rice

A brilliant novel of the vampire genre that is both erotic and horrific. Louis, a depressed vampire from the eighteenth century chronicles his life to an interviewer who is known only as “the boy”. Rice’s historical knowledge and lyrical style of writing makes this kind of book a perennial favorite of the vampire genre. Buy it on Amazon

The Prince of Tides by Pat ConroyThe Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy

Tom Wingo is the main character of this captivating, beautifully written narrative. As it begins, things are not going well for Tom, and as this southern story unfolds you get to witness his tragic past and become involved emotionally with all of the characters.

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The Hunt for Red October, by Tom Clancy if you like mystery thrillersThe Hunt for Red October, by Tom Clancy

Jack Ryan, CIA analyst, is the main character of this cat and mouse Cold War thriller, and it will hook you right from the beginning. Buy it on Amazon

Lonesome Dove By Larry Mcmurty Is A Good Beach ReadLonesome Dove By Larry Mcmurty

Not just your typical cowboy story, Lonesome Dove is a modern classic and a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The story is about an epic cattle drive from southern Texas to Montana with an incredibly memorable cast of characters. Buy it on Amazon. 

The Godfather by Mario Puzo – a bestselling authorThe Godfather by Mario Puzo

This book is undeniably one of the best novels of the twentieth century. It is a gripping saga about the Corleone family and their world of organized crime. Buy on Amazon

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre DumasThe Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

One of the best books of the nineteenth century and hard to put down. The story follows Edmund Dantes, a sailor about to be married, who was wrongly imprisoned and after paying his debt to society, returns to cleverly dole out revenge to those deserving, as the Count of Monte Cristo. Buy on Amazon

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

This is a hilarious science fiction novel that is also quite poignant. You will begin your journey with Arthur Dent, your average human being, as he is rescued by Ford Prefect just moments before the earth is destroyed. From there you will be transported to strange places and be introduced to bizarre characters as you traverse the galaxy with Dent. Buy on Amazon

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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie BarrowsThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

An epistolary novel that takes place in decimated post-war England during the mid-1940s. The main character, Juliet, a humorous newspaper columnist searching for a book subject, begins corresponding with a group of diverse individuals who reside on the British island of Guernsey, in a small town, who found fellowship and escape from German occupation through reading and discussing books. The characters are well-developed, the story is enthralling and a delight from the beginning to a happy ending. Buy on Amazon

One For The Money Janet Evanovich

One For The Money Janet EvanovichThis is the first of about twenty Stephanie Plum novels. If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting this unique crime fiction heroine, you are in for a treat. Out of work and out of money, Plum, out of desperation, asks her sleazy cousin Vinnie for a job at Vincent Plum Bail Bonds. Lack of experience as a bounty hunter doesn’t stop her from attempting to take down some serious criminals. The characters are very unique and well-developed. This laugh-out-loud novel takes more twists and turns than a drunk driver on a mountain road. Buy on Amazon

Jaws by Peter BenchleyJaws by Peter Benchley

What beach reading list would be complete without this classic beach thriller? The citizens of the sleepy summer town of Amity, Long Island, NY are terrorized by an enormous man-eating shark. It is a short and suspenseful read, but be forewarned, the book is different than the movie. Buy on Amazon

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