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, opens a new window 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, opens a new window: “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, opens a new window.

2. Dominion by C.J. Sansom

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

What King (Also) Said, opens a new window: “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, opens a new window, eBook, opens a new window and DAISY accessible audiobook, opens a new window.

3. The Killer Next Door by Alex Marwood

What King Said, opens a new window: “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, opens a new window, eBook, opens a new window and streaming audiobook, opens a new window. The other novel King mentioned, The Wicked Girls is available a book, opens a new window, eBook, opens a new window and streaming audiobook, opens a new window.

4. You by Caroline Kepnes

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

What King (Also) Said, opens a new window: “Totally original. Never read anything quite like it.”

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

5. The Secret Place by Tana French

What King Said, opens a new window: “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, opens a new window, eBook, opens a new window, audiobook CD, opens a new window, downloadable audiobook, opens a new window and large print edition, opens a new window.

6. Doing Harm by Kelly Parsons

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

Doing Harm is available as a book, opens a new window and downloadable audiobook, opens a new window.

7. Frankenstorm by Ray Garton

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

Frankenstorm is available as a book, opens a new window and eBook, opens a new window.

8. The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

What King Said, opens a new window: “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, opens a new window, eBook, opens a new window, audiobook CD, opens a new window and downloadable audiobook, opens a new window.

9. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

What King Said, opens a new window: “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, opens a new window, eBook, opens a new window, audiobook CD, opens a new window and large print edition, opens a new window. The book is also available in Chinese, opens a new window and the movie based on the novel is available on DVD, opens a new window.

10. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

What King Said, opens a new window: “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, opens a new window, eBook, opens a new window, audiobook CD, opens a new window, downloadable audiobook, opens a new window (from OverDrive), downloadable audiobook, opens a new window (from RBdigital), large print edition, opens a new window and DAISY accessible audiobook, opens a new window. Season one of the HBO TV series is available on DVD, opens a new window.

11. The Niceville Trilogy by Carsten Stroud

What King Said, opens a new window: “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, opens a new window and downloadable audiobook, opens a new window. The second book, The Homecoming, is available as a book, opens a new window and eBook, opens a new window. The Reckoning, the third and final in the series, is available as a book, opens a new window.

12. Day Four by Sarah Lotz

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

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

13. The Man in the Picture by Susan Hill

What King Said, opens a new window: “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, opens a new window.

14. The Fixer by Joseph Finder

What King Said, opens a new window: “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, opens a new window, eBook, opens a new window, audiobook CD, opens a new window, downloadable audiobook, opens a new window and large print edition, opens a new window.

15. World Gone By by Dennis Lehane

What King Said, opens a new window: “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, opens a new window, eBook, opens a new window, audiobook CD, opens a new window, downloadable audiobook, opens a new window, streaming audiobook, opens a new window and large print edition, opens a new window.

16. Bad Country by C.B. McKenzie

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

Bad Country is available as a book, opens a new window.

17. The Blind Man’s Garden by Nadeem Aslam

What King Said, opens a new window: “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, opens a new window and eBook, opens a new window.

18. The Quick by Lauren Owen

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

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

19. Close Your Eyes by Michael Robotham

What King Said, opens a new window: “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, opens a new window and audiobook CD, opens a new window.

20. City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg

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

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

21. The Widow by Fiona Barton

What King Said, opens a new window: “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, opens a new window, eBook, opens a new window, audiobook CD, opens a new window and large print edition, opens a new window.

22. Brighton by Michael Harvey

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

Brighton is available as a book, opens a new window and eBook, opens a new window.

23. Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

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

Hex is available as a book, opens a new window and eBook, opens a new window.

24. The Fireman by Joe Hill

What King Said, opens a new window: “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, opens a new window, eBook, opens a new window, audiobook CD, opens a new window, downloadable audiobook, opens a new window, streaming audiobook, opens a new window and large print edition, opens a new window.

25. Disappearance at Devil’s Rock by Paul Tremblay

What King Said, opens a new window: “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, opens a new window: “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, opens a new window, eBook, opens a new window, downloadable audiobook, opens a new window and large print edition, opens a new window.

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

26. White Bone by Ridley Pearson

What King Said, opens a new window: “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, opens a new window, eBook, opens a new window and audiobook CD, opens a new window.

27. Amnesia by Peter Carey

What King Said, opens a new window: “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, opens a new window and eBook, opens a new window.

28. The Deep by Nick Cutter

What King Said, opens a new window: “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, opens a new window 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, opens a new window, eBook, opens a new window, streaming audiobook, opens a new window and large print edition, opens a new window.

29. Slade House by David Mitchell

What King Said, opens a new window: “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, opens a new window, eBook, opens a new window and audiobook CD, opens a new window.

30. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

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

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

31. Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman

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

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

32. The Nix by Nathan Hill

What King Said, opens a new window: “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, opens a new window, eBook, opens a new window and downloadable audiobook, opens a new window.

33. Promise Falls Triology by Linwood Barclay

What King (Also) Said, opens a new window: “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, opens a new window, eBook, opens a new window and large print edition, opens a new window. The second book, Far From True, is available as a book, opens a new window, eBook, opens a new window and large print edition, opens a new window. And finally, the third book, The Twenty-Three is available as a book, opens a new window and eBook, opens a new window.

34. Final Girls by Riley Sager

What King Said, opens a new window: “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, opens a new window, eBook, opens a new window and downloadable audiobook, opens a new window.

35. You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott

What King Said, opens a new window: “What an excellent novel. Gave me the creeps in the best possible way.”

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

36. Darktown by Thomas Mullen

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

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

37. Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

What King Said, opens a new window: “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, opens a new window, eBook, opens a new window, audiobook CD, opens a new window and downloadable audiobook, opens a new window.

38. The Force by Don Winslow

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

(More of) What King Said, opens a new window: “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, opens a new window, eBook, opens a new window, audiobook CD, opens a new window, downloadable audiobook, opens a new window and large print edition, opens a new window.

39. Fever by Deon Meyer

What King Said, opens a new window: “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, opens a new window and streaming audiobook, opens a new window.

40. Golden Prey by John Sanford

What King Said, opens a new window: “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, opens a new window, eBook, opens a new window, audiobook CD, opens a new window, downloadable audiobook, opens a new window and large print edition, opens a new window.

41. Natchez Burning Trilogy by Greg Iles

What King Said, opens a new window: “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, opens a new window, eBook, opens a new window, audiobook CD, opens a new window, downloadable audiobook, opens a new window and streaming audiobook, opens a new window.

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

42. Killers by Howie Carr

What King Said, opens a new window: “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, opens a new window, audiobook, opens a new window and DAISY accessible audiobook, opens a new window.

43. My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent

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

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

44. Strange Weather by Joe Hill

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

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

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

What King Said, opens a new window: “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, opens a new window and eBook, opens a new window.

46. Into the Black Nowhere by Meg Gardiner

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

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

47. The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor

What King Said, opens a new window: “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, opens a new window, eBook, opens a new window, audiobook CD, opens a new window, downloadable audiobook, opens a new window and large print edition, opens a new window

48. Sunburn by Laura Lippman

What King Said: , opens a new window"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."

Sunburn is available as a book, opens a new window, audiobook CD, opens a new window, downloadable audiobook, opens a new window and large print edition, opens a new window.

49. The Hunger by Alma Katsu

What King Said:, opens a new window "Deeply, deeply disturbing, hard to put down, not recommended reading after dark."

The Hunger is available as a book, opens a new window and eBook, opens a new window.

50. The Darkest Secret by Alex Marwood

What King Said:, opens a new window "If there has been a better mystery-suspense story written in this decade, I can't think of it."

The Darkest Secret is available as a book, opens a new window, eBook, opens a new window and streaming audiobook, opens a new window.

51. I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara

What King Said: , opens a new window"It appears police have caught the Golden State Killer. Go get Michelle McNamara's excellent book about the case."

I'll Be Gone in the Dark is available as a book, opens a new window, eBook, opens a new window, audiobook CD, opens a new window and downloadable audiobook, opens a new window.

52. Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

What King Said: , opens a new window"...a great whodunnit. It's as good as an Agatha Christie. Better, in some ways. Cleverer."

Magpie Murders is available as a book, opens a new window, eBook, opens a new window, audiobook CD, opens a new window and downloadable audiobook, opens a new window.

53. Paul Simon: The Life by Robert Hilburn

What King Said: , opens a new window"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."

Paul Simon: The Life is available as a book, opens a new window and eBook, opens a new window.

54. The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner

What King Said:, opens a new window "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."

The Mars Room is available as a book, opens a new window, eBook, opens a new window and downloadable audiobook, opens a new window.

55. How It Happened by Michael Koryta

What King Said, opens a new window: "Excellent mystery-suspense novel. Page turner. Perfect summer reading."

How It Happened is available as a book, opens a new window, eBook, opens a new window and large print edition, opens a new window.

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."

Those Girls is available as a book, opens a new window, eBook, opens a new window, audiobook CD, opens a new window, downloadable audiobook, opens a new window, streaming audiobook, opens a new window, large print edition, opens a new window and DAISY accessible audiobook, opens a new window.

If you're looking for something to fit the "a book recommended to you" theme of the 2018 EPL Reading Challenge, opens a new window, 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.

Read Stephen King, opens a new window

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