There's a metric ton of summer reading lists out there, many of which feature books that by international law must have a colon in the title. Books with names like, Murderous Flapjacks: An Esoteric Halflife of Breakfast.
These books feature incredibly deft use of language, explore themes of human suffering or perhaps reveal deeper truths about lasting peace. Or they rip your heart out of your chest and hand it to you. There you are, at the pool, at the beach, on a warm green hillside in the cool, breezy mountains, eager for a vacation that took months to plan. And the book you're reading leaves you feeling bleak.
Vacations, in my world, are a time when rules do not apply, when you can have two scoops of ice cream for dessert every night – heck, when you can have dessert with breakfast. (Pass those esoteric pancakes, please.) So in my world, I treat my brain to a vacation, too. I want ice cream for my brain. I want happy endings, laughter, sparkling plots, memorable characters, and blissfully good writing.
Behold my "Guaranteed Brain Vacation Reading List." These are books in various categories that in my never-humble opinion have stood the test of time in their perfection for beachside, mountainside, poolside, or even commuting-and-wishing-for-vacation-side reading.
The Queen of Good Vacation Reading: Nora Roberts