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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.’”
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.”
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.”
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.’”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
22. Brighton by Michael Harvey
What King Said: “Helluva Boston crime novel. Helluva novel, period. If you liked The Departed, you'll like this.”
23. Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt
What King Said: “A wicked witch holds an upstate New York town prisoner. This is totally, brilliantly original.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
30. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
What King Said: “Terrific novel of escape, sacrifice and redemption. Reminded me a bit of Larry McMurtry”
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.”
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.”
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.”
35. You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott
What King Said: “What an excellent novel. Gave me the creeps in the best possible way.”
36. Darktown by Thomas Mullen
What King Said: “A brilliant blending of crime, mystery and American history (Atlanta, just after WWII). Terrific entertainment.”
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!”
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.’”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.’”
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.”
46. Into the Black Nowhere by Meg Gardiner
What King Said: “Excellent. You know the drill, bookstore near you. Buy now, thank me later.”
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.”
48. Sunburn by Laura Lippman
What King Said: "Suspenseful as hell and she writes like a dream. It's got a cool James M. Cain vibe. Lippman's always good, but this is a cut above."
49. The Hunger by Alma Katsu
What King Said: "Deeply, deeply disturbing, hard to put down, not recommended reading after dark."
50. The Darkest Secret by Alex Marwood
What King Said: "If there has been a better mystery-suspense story written in this decade, I can't think of it."
51. I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara
What King Said: "It appears police have caught the Golden State Killer. Go get Michelle McNamara's excellent book about the case."
52. Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
What King Said: "...a great whodunnit. It's as good as an Agatha Christie. Better, in some ways. Cleverer."
53. Paul Simon: The Life by Robert Hilburn
What King Said: "Every now and then—rarely!—a book casts a little light on the creative development of a gifted artist... Read it if you like Simon; read it if you want to discover how talent unfolds itself."
54. The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner
What King Said: "Most literary fiction doesn't last very long. This is going to be around. It's the real deal. Jarring, horrible, compassionate, funny. BTW, Kushner reads the audio and knocks it out of the park."
55. How It Happened by Michael Koryta
What King Said: "Excellent mystery-suspense novel. Page turner. Perfect summer reading."
56. Those Girls by Chevy Stevens
What King Said: "Getting tired of suspense novels with 'girl' in the title? I was too until I found Those Girls... Incredibly scary and suspenseful."
If you're looking for something to fit the "a book recommended to you" theme of the 2018 EPL Reading Challenge, any one of King's picks would be a perfect choice!
More in the mood for some of King’s own books? EPL’s got ‘em.