The Most Popular "Beach Read" the Year You Were Born

Summer reading lists aren't just for kids.

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The perfect summer day involves sunshine, sand, and a good story to read. These books took the world by storm and millions of people have gotten lost in their pages.

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1950

BUY NOW: $4,

Kathleen Winsor's tells the story of Shireen Delaney — a woman living a life most people dream about, but longing for the one thing she doesn't have.

RELATED: The 25 Best New Books for Summer 2018

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1951

BUY NOW: $3,

A young Georgia woman named Fancy lifts herself up the social ranks near the turn of the 19th century. This novel was Frank Yerby's first to have a female protagonist.

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1952

BUY NOW: $12,

Daphne du Maurier was a "beach read" queen for decades and was no exception. It's the story of a woman who may or may not be poisoning the men who fall in love with her.

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1953

BUY NOW: $17,

In 1953, people couldn't get enough of the incredible story of Napoleon Bonaparte's real-life fiancée Désirée Clary. This fictional account of their relationship plays out over the pages of the teenager's diary as written by Annemarie Selinko.

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1954

BUY NOW: $12,

Francoise Sagan's salacious novel tells the story of a conniving 17-year-old spending summer vacation with her father in a villa outside of Paris.

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1955

BUY NOW: $13,

Patrick Dennis's novel about an orphaned boy who goes to live with his free-spirited aunt spent 112 weeks on the best seller list. It has been adapted into a play, a musical, and two movies — and the other based on the musical.

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1956

BUY NOW: $10,

Patricia Highsmith's famous sociopath (portrayed by Matt Damon ) made his debut in 1956. She went on to write four sequels.

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1957

BUY NOW: $13,

was such a phenomenon upon its release that it became a figure of speech people used to refer to a town or group holding in secrets. It inspired two soap operas, a big screen movie, and two made-for-TV movies.

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1958

BUY NOW: $17,

This classic courtroom drama tells the story of a Michigan lawyer who takes on a case defending a young Army lieutenant against murder charges. It was also adapted into starring Jimmy Stewart.

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1959

BUY NOW: $15,

Robert Condon's political thriller still resonates with readers decades after its initial publication. So much so that Meryl Streep and Denzel Washington starred in of it back in 2004. The hit theaters in 1962.

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1960

BUY NOW: $29,

Years before House of Cards, there was . Allen Drury's novel won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1960 and is considered a "landmark in political fiction."

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1961

BUY NOW: $10,

Irving Stone struck gold with this biographical novel about the life of Michelangelo. The author based some of the story on letters written by the artist himself translated from Italian.

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1962

BUY NOW: $10,

is the story of a diverse group of passengers on a German cruise ship sailing from Mexico to Europe. It was also turned into an in 1965.

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1963

BUY NOW: $17,

Helen Gurley Brown set out to inspire women to break free from their financial dependence on men and embrace their sexuality in this iconic self-help book. It was pretty clear that the sexual revolution was underway when two million copies were sold over a three week period.

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1964

BUY NOW: $14,

is about eight Vassar graduates as they embark into adulthood and start their careers after college. The book was originally published in 1963 and remained on the best seller list for nearly two years.

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1965

BUY NOW: $4,

Bel Kaufman's novel explores the public school system seen through the eyes of a new school teacher who quickly learns that her career will be an uphill battle. Sandy Dennis starred in .

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1966

BUY NOW: $10,

It doesn't get "beach readier" than Jacqueline Susann's classic novel. The story of three women trying to make in New York City has achieved cult status in novel and .

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1967

BUY NOW: $13,

Readers fell in love with the Buendia family from the mythical town of Macondo in this Nobel Prize-winning book. It's considered one of the most acclaimed novels of the 20th century.

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1968

BUY NOW: $30,

Arthur Hailey's novel goes inside a major metropolitan airport during a huge winter storm and follows all the major players who work behind the scenes. It was the basis for the that scored a Best Picture nomination.

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1969

BUY NOW: $7,

Maya Angelou's unforgettable memoir follows her difficult childhood to her life in San Francisco where she learns that love for yourself and the kindness of others can be liberating.

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1970

BUY NOW: $7,

People love a good love story, but they also love a sad tragedy. Erich Segal hit all the right notes with this hugely successful novel about two people from opposite worlds who fall for each other. Ali MacGraw and Ryan O'Neal starred in the .

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1971

BUY NOW: $14,

Sylvia Plath's most well-known work about a young woman's mental breakdown mirrored the author's own struggle with depression and bipolar II disorder. Since its initial publication, it has become required reading for many high school students around the country.

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1972

BUY NOW: $14,

The origin of the New Testament of the Bible is the central focus of this thriller, which had everyone talking in 1972. It was adapted into an 8-hour miniseries in 1978.

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1973

BUY NOW: $1,

A journalist examines the life of a senator and his involvement in it as he travels to cover the man's funeral. It wasn't very well-received by critics, but readers ate it up nonetheless.

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1974

BUY NOW: $21,

Three generations of the de Salis family deal with a mysterious curse that plays out on the family's Irish estate.

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1975

BUY NOW: $14,

Edward Pierce is a gentleman in Victorian London who is also robbing people blind. He hatches a scheme to pull off his biggest crime aboard a locomotive, but things don't go exactly as planned.

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1976

BUY NOW: $8,

A woman learns her family estate has been left to her cousin upon her father's death, but starts obsessing over a curse that he warned her about prior to his passing. It was one of the highest-selling books of the year.

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1977

BUY NOW: $11,

Toni Morrison's Nobel-winning work follows the life story of Macon "Milkman" Dead III in Michigan. The novel became a best seller again in 1996 when it was chosen for Oprah's Book Club.

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1978

BUY NOW: $8,

A family is torn apart by greed over control of their pharmaceutical company following the death of the patriarch/president in a climbing accident. Audrey Hepburn starred in the .

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1979

BUY NOW: $13,

Four Radcliffe alums attend their 20-year reunion having had very different post-collegiate experiences.

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