The Complete List of Books Recommended by Stephen King

Stephen King likes Twitter. A lot. The King of Horror can often be found tweeting about his dog Molly (affectionately dubbed “the Thing of Evil”), TV shows, politics and—most importantly—books.

Not only is King a prolific author, it’s clear from his Twitter feed that he’s an avid reader who likes to share his favourites with his followers.

These are all of the books King has recommended on Twitter. Ever. (Okay, okay: since October 2014. That was as far back as Twitter would let us scroll.)

Ranging from bestsellers to little-known gems, the list includes psychological thrillers, horror stories and suspenseful reads galore—including a few books written by King’s son, under the pseudonym Joe Hill.

They’re listed in chronological order with the oldest recommendations first. 

Many titles are available to borrow instantly from the Edmonton Public Library in digital formats. Prefer a physical book? We have those as well! For some titles, we also offer adaptive technologies (such as large print editions and DAISY accessible audiobooks) to make reading more accessible to people with disabilities, home bound individuals and older adults.

1. Brutal Youth by Anthony Breznican

What King Said: “Loving the book. Hilarious prologue. In a horrifying way.”

King also did a book blurb that appears on the cover of the novel. He said “If you thought high school was hell, has Anthony Breznican got a story for you…”

Brutal Youth is available as an eBook.

2. Dominion by C.J. Sansom

What King Said: “Great alternate-history novel. The Nazis win, occupy Britain… Check it out.”

What King (Also) Said: “That book Dominion is terrific. And no, this isn't one of those publisher-sponsored blurbs. I just fell in love with it. Nice and long, too.”

Dominion is available as a book, eBook and DAISY accessible audiobook.

3. The Killer Next Door by Alex Marwood

What King Said: “If you read Alex Marwood's The Wicked Girls, her new one—The Killer Next Door—is even better. Scary as hell. Great characters.”

The Killer Next Door is available as a book, eBook and streaming audiobook. The other novel King mentioned, The Wicked Girls is available a book, eBook and streaming audiobook.

4. You by Caroline Kepnes

What King Said: “Hypnotic and scary. A little Ira Levin, a little Patricia Highsmith and plenty of serious snark. Cool stuff.”

What King (Also) Said: “Totally original. Never read anything quite like it.”

You is available as a book, eBook, audiobook CD and downloadable audiobook.

5. The Secret Place by Tana French

What King Said: “Read The Secret Place, by Tana French, when it comes out. You'll understand then. Great book.”

The Secret Place is available as a book, eBook, audiobook CD, downloadable audiobook and large print edition.

6. Doing Harm by Kelly Parsons

What King Said: “Best damn medical thriller I've read in 25 years. Terrifying OR scenes, characters with real texture.”

Doing Harm is available as a book and downloadable audiobook.

7. Frankenstorm by Ray Garton

What King Said: “Remember when paperback originals were cool? Sex, action, suspense? Try Frankenstorm, by Ray Garton. It's old school.”

Frankenstorm is available as a book and eBook.

8. The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

What King Said: “Finishing The Paying Guests, by Sarah Waters. Awesome full-bodied novel. It's like she's saying, ‘Hey, dudes, this is how you do it.’”

The Paying Guests is available as a book, eBook, audiobook CD and downloadable audiobook.

9. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

What King Said: “Really great suspense novel. Kept me up most of the night. The alcoholic narrator is dead perfect.”

The Girl on the Train is available as a book, eBook, audiobook CD and large print edition. The book is also available in Chinese and the movie based on the novel is available on DVD.

10. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

What King Said: “Trivia Night is the climax of Big Little Lies... It's a hell of a good book. Funny and scary. She nails the feuding moms.”

Big Little Lies is available as a book, eBook, audiobook CD, downloadable audiobook (from OverDrive), downloadable audiobook (from RBdigital), large print edition and DAISY accessible audiobook. Season one of the HBO TV series is available on DVD.

11. The Niceville Trilogy by Carsten Stroud

What King Said: “Reading the last book in Carsten Stroud's horror/suspense Niceville trilogy, The Reckoning… Good God, what an achievement.”

Niceville, the first book in the Niceville trilogy, is available as a book and downloadable audiobook. The second book, The Homecoming, is available as a book and eBook. The Reckoning, the third and final in the series, is available as a book.

12. Day Four by Sarah Lotz

What King Said: “The new Sarah Lotz novel, Day Four, is really good… It's the cruise ship from hell.”

Day Four is available as a book, eBook and audiobook CD.

13. The Man in the Picture by Susan Hill

What King Said: “The book in the picture is The Man in the Picture, by Susan Hill. The Thing of Evil mustn't eat it. It's too good.”

The Man in the Picture is available as a book.

14. The Fixer by Joseph Finder

What King Said: “A great film noir line in the new Joseph Finder novel, The Fixer: ‘She had a body harder than Chinese arithmetic.’”

The Fixer is available as a book, eBook, audiobook CD, downloadable audiobook and large print edition.

15. World Gone By by Dennis Lehane

What King Said: “Dennis Lehane's World Gone By is the best gangster novel since The Godfather. Terrific story, shattering conclusion.”

World Gone By is available as a book, eBook, audiobook CD, downloadable audiobook, streaming audiobook and large print edition.

16. Bad Country by C.B. McKenzie

What King Said: “Terrific crime/suspense/mystery novel, but the real revelation is his fresh and original voice.”

Bad Country is available as a book.

17. The Blind Man’s Garden by Nadeem Aslam

What King Said: “An eye-opening, heartbreaking novel of the war in Afghanistan. Reminded me of Conrad's Nostromo.”

The Blind Man’s Garden is available as a book and eBook.

18. The Quick by Lauren Owen

What King Said: “A terrific (and terrifying) novel of the undead in London. Completely involving, impossible to put down.”

The Quick is available as a book, eBook and audiobook CD.

19. Close Your Eyes by Michael Robotham

What King Said: “The best Michael Robotham novel yet. Once I reached the last 100 pages, it really was impossible to put down.”

Close Your Eyes is available as a book and audiobook CD.

20. City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg

What King Said: “Dickensian, massively entertaining, as close to a great American novel as this century has produced.”

City on Fire is available as a book, eBook, audiobook CD and downloadable audiobook.

21. The Widow by Fiona Barton

What King Said: “If you liked Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, you might want to pick up The Widow, by Fiona Barton. Engrossing. Suspenseful.”

The Widow is available as a book, eBook, audiobook CD and large print edition.

22. Brighton by Michael Harvey

What King Said: “Helluva Boston crime novel. Helluva novel, period. If you liked The Departed, you'll like this.”

Brighton is available as a book and eBook.

23. Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

What King Said: “A wicked witch holds an upstate New York town prisoner. This is totally, brilliantly original.”

Hex is available as a book and eBook.

24. The Fireman by Joe Hill

What King Said: “Heat up your spring reading with Joe Hill's The Fireman. It will spark your interest and charbroil your nerves.”

The Fireman is available as a book, eBook, audiobook CD, downloadable audiobook, streaming audiobook and large print edition.

25. Disappearance at Devil’s Rock by Paul Tremblay

What King Said: “Paul Tremblay's uber-creepy follow-up to A Head Full of Ghosts… Don't miss this one.”

King also praised Tremblay’s other work, tweeting: “A Head Full of Ghosts, by Paul Tremblay: Scared the living hell out of me, and I'm pretty hard to scare.”

Disappearance at Devil’s Rock is available as a book, eBook, downloadable audiobook and large print edition.

The other book King mentioned, A Head Full of Ghosts, is available as a book, eBook and downloadable audiobook.

26. White Bone by Ridley Pearson

What King Said: “Ridley Pearson's new thriller, White Bone, is in stores now. Perfect for summer. You couldn't do better.”

White Bone is available as a book, eBook and audiobook CD.

27. Amnesia by Peter Carey

What King Said: “I enjoyed Peter Carey's wonderful novel, Amnesia—not least of all because it brought back memories of playing Zork.”

Amnesia is available as a book and eBook.

28. The Deep by Nick Cutter

What King Said: “If you want to cool off this summer with a fine horror novel, hunt up The Deep, by Nick Cutter. Scary as hell, and well written, to boot.”

King also did a book blurb for Nick Cutter’s first book, The Troop, saying that it “scared the hell out of me and I couldn’t put it down. He also called it “old school horror at its best.”

The Deep is available as a book, eBook, streaming audiobook and large print edition.

29. Slade House by David Mitchell

What King Said: “Hard to imagine a more finely wrought and chilling tale of the supernatural. One of the rare great ones.”

Slade House is available as a book, eBook and audiobook CD.

30. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

What King Said: “Terrific novel of escape, sacrifice and redemption. Reminded me a bit of Larry McMurtry”

The Underground Railroad is available as a book, eBook, audiobook CD, downloadable audiobook and large print edition. It is also available in French and Chinese.

31. Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman

What King Said: “Laura Lippman's latest novel, Wilde Lake, is a knockout. You should get right on that.”

Wilde Lake is available as a book, eBook, audiobook CD, downloadable audiobook, streaming audiobook and large print edition.

32. The Nix by Nathan Hill

What King Said: “I'm reading The Nix, by Nathan Hill. Just started, but so far it's got me laughing hysterically. First 50 pages are worth the price.”

The Nix is available as a book, eBook and downloadable audiobook.

33. Promise Falls Triology by Linwood Barclay

What King (Also) Said: “Loving The Twenty-Three, by Linwood Barclay. You should treat yourself to the whole Promise Falls trilogy.”

Broken Promise, the first book in the Promise Falls trilogy, is available as a book, eBook and large print edition. The second book, Far From True, is available as a book, eBook and large print edition. And finally, the third book, The Twenty-Three is available as a book and eBook.

34. Final Girls by Riley Sager

What King Said: “The first great thriller of 2017 is almost here: Final Girls, by Riley Sager. If you liked Gone Girl, you'll like this.”

Final Girls is available as a book, eBook and downloadable audiobook.

35. You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott

What King Said: “What an excellent novel. Gave me the creeps in the best possible way.”

You Will Know Me is available as a book, eBook, downloadable audiobook and large print edition.

36. Darktown by Thomas Mullen

What King Said: “A brilliant blending of crime, mystery and American history (Atlanta, just after WWII). Terrific entertainment.”

Darktown is available as a book, eBook, audiobook CD and downloadable audiobook.

37. Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

What King Said: “Spent most of the day reading the second half of Behind Her Eyes, by Sarah Pinborough. What the Brits call ‘a thumping good read.’ Bravo!”

Behind Her Eyes is available as book, eBook, audiobook CD and downloadable audiobook.

38. The Force by Don Winslow

What King Said: “Don Winslow's The Force… is mesmerizing, a triumph. Think The Godfather, only with cops. It's that good.”

(More of) What King Said: “In addition to being compulsively readable, nowhere in Don Winslow's The Force will you find ‘for a long moment’ or ‘for some reason.’”

The Force is available as a book, eBook, audiobook CD, downloadable audiobook and large print edition.

39. Fever by Deon Meyer

What King Said: “U.K. readers, you have a nice surprise coming. No, not Brexit, Fever, by Deon Meyer. Reminiscent of The Stand and The Passage. Great stuff.”

Fever is available as a book and streaming audiobook.

40. Golden Prey by John Sanford

What King Said: “The best Lucas Davenport story so far. The man has a fine touch for outlaws… Get it. Over and out.”

Golden Prey is available as a book, eBook, audiobook CD, downloadable audiobook and large print edition.

41. Natchez Burning Trilogy by Greg Iles

What King Said: “What some good summer reading? Grab all 3 volumes of Greg Iles's Natchez Burning trilogy. Pure suspense, pure backroads Americana.”

Natchez Burning, the first book in the trilogy, is available as a book, eBook, audiobook CD, downloadable audiobook and streaming audiobook.

Book two, The Bone Tree, is available as a book, eBook, audiobook CD, downloadable audiobook, streaming audiobook and large print edition. Mississippi Blood, the third book, is available as a book, eBook, audiobook CD and large print edition.

42. Killers by Howie Carr

What King Said: “While you wait for the next great Boston crime movie, pick up a copy of Killers, by Howie Carr. It's a terrific read.”

Killers is available as a book, audiobook and DAISY accessible audiobook.

43. My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent

What King Said: “This is one shattering can't-put-it down book. Both shocking [and] tender. Read it.”

My Absolute Darling is available as a book, eBook, downloadable audiobook and large print edition.

44. Strange Weather by Joe Hill

What King Said: “It's a gem. Am I prejudiced, sure, but Kirkus says ‘pitch perfect’; PW touts ‘emotional resonance.’”

Strange Weather is available as a book, eBook, audiobook CD, downloadable audiobook and large print edition.

45. The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay

What King Said: “Paul Tremblay’s new one, The Cabin at the End of the World, comes out in June. You should mark it on your calendar, it’s that good. Thought-provoking and terrifying.”

The Cabin at the End of the World is available as a book

46. Into the Black Nowhere by Meg Gardiner

What King Said: “Excellent. You know the drill, bookstore near you. Buy now, thank me later.”

Into the Black Nowhere is available as a book, eBook and large print edition.

47. The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor

What King Said: “Want to read something good? You won’t find it on the front bestseller table at your bookstore, but it’s new and will be there… If you like my stuff, you’ll like this.”

The Chalk Man is available as a book, eBook, audiobook CD, downloadable audiobook and large print edition

If you're looking for a book for the March theme of the 2018 EPL Reading Challenge—a book recommended to you—any one of King's picks would be a perfect fit! 

More in the mood for some of King’s own books? EPL’s got ‘em.

Read Stephen King

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