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."