In case you’ve missed it (and yes, I’ve sort of beat readers over the head with it, but I’m excited – what can I say?), Wendy and I are hosting a Stephen King reading month – King’s March. It just so happens that this week’s top ten prompt, as hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is “favorite books from “x” genre”. In this case, x is equal to Stephen King. He’s published so much that he deserves his own genre, no?
Disclaimer: As I’ve not read all of his work, this list is neither definitive nor comprehensive. It is solely based on my good opinion – whatever that’s worth.
Bonus: The Dark Tower series. I ddn’t feel I could really include these without taking over the list. They belong in a category of their own (i.e. Stephen King’s magnum opus), but they do deserve at least a mention because they are fantastic.
10. Skeleton Crew. Most of the stories are good, but I adore The Mist. For the record, I hated the changed ending in the film version.
09. Lisey’s Story. King has gotten a lot of flak for not being able to write women, but this book proves that he can do it well.
08. Misery. In a rare combination: good book, good movie. (Like The Stand and The Shining, creepy Colorado…)
07. The Dead Zone. A rather melancholy novel, like Duma Key (review to come) it’s a tragedy all around.
06. The Long Walk. One of his Bachman books, this novel is almost a precursor to The Hunger Games. Plus, he’s quite succinct in this one. If anyone is looking for a short, solid Stephen King novel, this is a great one to start with.
05. ‘Salem’s Lot. A solid vampire story, but perhaps his greatest achievement is his use of place as character in this novel.
04. Pet Semetary. For me, this is the scariest novel of all because I can see myself reacting in exactly the same way.
03. IT. The reason I hate spiders and clowns can be directly attributed to this book. Side note: I cannot believe what I was allowed to read when I was younger.
02. The Stand. Possibly the definitive Stephen King standalone novel.
01. Bag of Bones. Deep down, Stephen King is a romantic. I’m not quite sure what it is about Mike and Jo (and later, Mike and Mattie), but this book makes me an emotional train wreck in all of the best ways – a haunted love story.
It should take me another 2-3 years to finish working through the rest of Stephen King’s backlist. I’m curious if that will necessitate any changes to this list and I’m looking forward to finding out. I always feel like the odd King fan out as I didn’t particularly like Carrie and I downright loathed Gerald’s Game, yet I enjoyed the much maligned Needful Things and Desperation. Just in case anyone is wondering (because it’s popular), The Shining would have likely come in around #15.
For those of you who have read SK, do you have a favorite novel? And because I’ve never asked this, if you don’t read Stephen King, is there a particular reason why?