Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Books I Love: Part 1

by Shirley Drew

It's impossible to talk about all of the books I've read throughout my life as a reader. Like many of you, I've always loved books. I love reading them, of course, but I also love smelling them, touching them, and flipping through the pages. It's important to get to know a book. Now I have a Kindle Fire--and I truly enjoy it--but nothing will replace the tactile pleasures of picking up a book for the first time.

People sometimes think that college professors only read "academic" or "literary" books--and this idea couldn't be further from the truth. I read from several genres, including popular fiction and several varieties of nonfiction. That said, I want to talk about one of my favorite authors--Stephen King. Many of my friends and co-workers know that I'm a fan of his work, and I get a fair amount of teasing about my taste for "horror stories" but I really don't care. And if you've read King's work, you already know he doesn't just write horror stories. Not by a long shot. But my primary reasons for reading Stephen King's books are simple. First, and most importantly, he knows how to tell a great story. Second, he writes about ordinary people in extraordinary situations, and then he develops his characters so fully that I hate to let them go at the end of the book. What could be better than that?

Here are four of my favorite Stephen King books, organized by publication date:

1. The Stand (1978)

2. The Dark Tower Series (1982-2004)
And specifically, The Drawing of the Three--1987. But you must read these volumes in order.

3. Bag of Bones (1998)

4. 11/22/63 (2011)

If you're interested in reading a King book, but aren't sure where to start, I would recommend Bag of Bones or 11/22/63. Let me know after you've read one. If you already have a favorite King book, tell me about it.

When asked, "How do you write?" I invariably answer, "One word at a time." ~Stephen King


Sarah Sullivan said...

I'm glad you wrote this post. Although I have only read a few of his short stories I think S.K. is a great storyteller and a terrific writer. I have always shied away from his novels, however, because I'm too much of a scaredy cat to read horror. I will now read Bag of Bones. It won't give me nightmares right?

Shirley Drew said...


I would suggest 11/22/63. Although Bag of Bones is not scary in the traditional "Stephen King" sense, it is a "ghost story"--kind of like the old classics--"Rebecca" by Daphne de Maurier, for example.So...scary in parts. But 11/22/63 is safe...Let me know!

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