Scott’s Top 20 Stephen King Books

stephen-king-collection
Credit: Onward Cyclops

I was raised on Stephen King books, which is a little odd considering I have very little memory of buying his books before adulthood. They just seemed to appear in my life: at a friend’s house, in an older brother’s bedroom, hidden on a library shelf behind something else. His books have always been with me and have informed me as a writer, and perhaps more. I haven’t read every Stephen King book but I’ve read my weight in them, and I am not a small man.

I’m frequently asked for my favorite King book. That answer has changed over time, not because of new releases (with King, the further back you go, the more consistent he becomes) but because I matured and my gauges changed and I care about different things in books than I did when I was ten or fifteen or twenty-five. Today this is my list. It’s roughly ranked. This is NOT a list of what I think are his best books. The Stand is his greatest achievement (again, not best), and he has books that are better written than the ones that are high on my list. But I LIKE these books in this order; for whatever reason, I enjoyed these books this way. In advance of my upcoming lecture/reading on King this month, this is good to have in (sand)stone.

My Patreon followers get this list with extra notes added per title over on my page.

  1. Night Shift 1978
  2. The Dead Zone 1979
  3. Different Seasons 1982
  4. Skeleton Crew 1985
  5. Firestarter 1980
  6. Pet Sematary 1983
  7. The Long Walk 1979
  8. The Green Mile 1996/2000
  9. The Shining 1977
  10. Misery 1987
  11. Thinner 1984
  12. ‘Salem’s Lot 1975
  13. 11/22/63 2011
  14. From A Buick 8 2002
  15. Revival 2014
  16. The Running Man 1982
  17. Cujo 1981
  18. The Stand 1978
  19. The Dark Half 1989
  20. Carrie 1974
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5 thoughts on “Scott’s Top 20 Stephen King Books

  1. I like this. I’ve even read all of them. Now I feel an urge to compile my own favorites list ,and I guess I’m going to have to do twenty. (I don’t think I can limit it to just ten.) Also my inner nerd feels a need to classify them into various categories of scary and not scary.

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