Lists have no season but beach lists only come around once a year. This year, New York Magazine is recommending John Updike’s The Witches of Eastwick as one of “The 100 Best Beach Reads.”
What makes a “beach read”? NY Magazine thinks “the formula is pretty straightforward. Whether mass-market candy or high literature, a beach read needs narrative momentum, a transporting sense of place, and, ideally, a touch of the sordid.”
The best 100 books for sandy serendipity aren’t ranked, but rather listed in chronological order, starting with Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (1719) and ending with Catherine Banner’s The House at the Edge of Night (2016).
Of The Witches of Eastwick, NY Magazine writes, “Updike was clearly having a ball in his story of suburban witches shacking up with a warlock.” Don’t we know it.