If I had to name my top 10 favorite writers, Stephen King would be in the top 5. I started reading him in the 4th grade, when a friend let me borrow a stack of his books that belonged to her mom. After Judy Blume, Stephen King was the first writer that made me think that writing was the only thing I ever wanted to do with my life.
I continued to read Stephen King throughout my adolescence. I read his novels and short stories and his book on writing and the stuff he wrote under a different name. My absolute favorite Stephen King work is It. I have been a Stephen King fan girl for a long time.
But until last month, I hadn't revisited Mr. King in years and years. Back in 2005 I lost days upon days doing nothing but eating, sleeping, and reading The Stand. But that's been almost ten years ago. After 11/22/63 came out, I heard a lot of good buzz about it. But the length intimidated me. I have so many things on my To Read list, when I see something that's going to take me awhile, I put it off. I wish I hadn't. I finally downloaded 11/22/63 onto my kindle paperwhite and took it with me to Colorado.
Surrounded by a ton of family and the beautiful mountains, I didn't want to do anything except read 11/22/63. It's not at all scary, if that's something about Stephen King's stories that turn you off. It's about time travel and relationships and it's not at all horrific. Suspenseful, yes. Tense at times. But so interwoven and so fun to read. Even though it's a few years old, I predict it will be one of the best things I read this year.
I bought Doctor Sleep because someone picked it for book club. Which isn't to say that I wouldn't have read this sequel to The Shining anyway, but book club hastened my schedule. Doctor Sleep is a return to horror, little Danny Torrance all grown up after the tragedies at The Overlook.
During the day and into the evenings that I devoured Doctor Sleep, I didn't think it was that scary. A really interesting plot, but it wasn't making me jump at weird sounds. Until I started dreaming about it. I finished it late at night, and woke a few hours later convinced someone was in the house. I was so freaked out by my dreams that I couldn't sleep at all. I haven't dreamed about a book since The Passage (which reminded me of The Stand, actually, in it's scope and slightly in plot).
I'm not as down with scary books as I used to be. Maybe that's because I have kids now or maybe because I live in a 90-year-old house that makes plenty of weird noises. Still, Doctor Sleep was a great book. Entertaining and original.
Interesting fact: King's afterword in Doctor Sleep made it more than clear that this was sequel to the novel The Shining, not to be confused with the Stanley Kubrick movie starring Jack Nicholson based upon that novel. His wording made me want to go back and read that book again.
But 11/22/63, it's for anybody. Characters you love, a time line you can't stop thinking about. I even learned a little history. It's the book I'm raving over to people the most right now.
What are you reading?