A beach read is any library book that gets returned with sand underneath its mylar jacket. No, really: a beach read is a book that is fun to read. It can be read anywhere, but only in the summertime. If you do not like your beach book, you must stop reading it immediately. I once read a bestseller about an unemployed investment banker who becomes a shrimp wholesaler, and have always regretted not staring out of the plane window for 2 hours instead.
Whether or not you are going down the shore for Memorial Day weekend, here are some lists with ideas for books to take with you:
NPR's series My Guilty Pleasure asks writers what books they love but are ashamed to be seen reading. You would think this was a list of Harlequin romances, but no, they're embarrassed about loving Eat, Pray, Love. Last July NPR also polled its listeners for the Best 100 Beach Books Ever.
Library Journal published lists of summer reads for men (ugh, another way to say action, thriller and mystery) and women (relationships & romance).
If you're looking for something more literary, one you can make your book group read later, try Oprah's list.
Amazon's list is pretty diverse. These books have been published in paperback, so they're old enough that most of them don't have a waiting list at the library.