“Speaking personally, you can have my gun, but you’ll take my book when you pry my cold, dead fingers off of the binding.”—Stephen King
At a time when we’re all desperately scouring the internet for new means of entertainment, horror master Stephen King has delivered a list of his suggested reading material to help self-isolation pass a little easier.
The undisputed king of the horror genre, the award-winning novelist who has enjoyed unprecedented success when transitioning his work into cinema, has named his 10 favourite novels which range from the likes of George Orwell, J.R.R. Tolkien, Katherine Anne Porter and more.
“Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent,” King once said. “What I wonder is why everybody doesn’t carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life.”
When reflecting on what it takes to become a writer, the iconic novelist laid it out simply: “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”
Here, as we’re trying to stop ourselves from being slumped in front of a screen all day, we’re following the advice of King himself with his 10 favourite novel suggestions. “Any list like this is slightly ridiculous,” King admitted as a precursor to his suggestions for Goodreads. “On another day, ten different titles might come to mind, like The Exorcist, or All the Pretty Horses in place of Blood Meridian. On another day I’d be sure to include Light in August or Scott Smith’s superb A Simple Plan. The Sea, the Sea, by Iris Murdoch. But what the hell, I stand by these.”
He added: “Although Anthony Powell’s novels should probably be here, especially the sublimely titled Casanova’s Chinese Restaurant and Books Do Furnish a Room. And Paul Scott’s Raj Quartet. And at least six novels by Patricia Highsmith. What about Patrick O’Brian? See how hard this is to let go?”
With the likes of George Orwell, J.R.R. Tolkien, Thomas Williams, Adam Johnson and more, see the full list below.
Stephen King’s 10 favourite novels:
- Lord of the Flies by William Golding
- Ship of Fools by Katherine Anne Porter
- Watership Down by Richard Adams
- The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson
- The Hair of Harold Roux by Thomas Williams
- Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
- Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
- 1984 by George Orwell
- American Pastoral by Philip Roth
- The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien