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Stephen King’s Summer Reading List vs. Mine

April 22, 2013
English: Ognjen Kecman, American male model

Stephen King, speaking about the effect of e-books on the publishing indust… Hey! That’s not Stephen King! C’mon, guys, that’s not funny. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Most of us book fanatics can come up with our own summer reading lists, but if you’re stumped with a bad case of reader’s block, then maybe Stephen King can help you out with his summer reading list.  Or (if you don’t like his choices) he might make your reader’s block even worse. 

Stephen King even wrote a schedule of when you should read each book on his list.  He has a June list, and a July list, followed by an August list.  I don’t know how serious he is about sticking to the schedule, though.  What are we supposed to do if we finish his June list early?  Can we start on his July list in June, or is that cheating? 

Seriously, how many people write out a summer schedule for reading books?  Maybe that’s the secret of Stephen King’s success, and I am a fool for mocking it.  

Here are a few of his recommendations that stood out to me: 

Buried Prey by John Sandford- I haven’t read Buried Prey, but I’ve read several of Sandford’s Prey books, but I’m not sure which ones because they were so similar (and it’s been about 15 years).  The one thing I remember is that all of his characters talk like tough guys, even the women.  That can be entertaining, but it can get old too. 

The Fifth Witness by Michael Connelly- It’s okay.  I don’t read a lot of legal thrillers, but I’d take this over a John Grisham book (except The Firm). 

Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson- Every once in a while, Stephen King whiffs with a book recommendation (like he did with The Passage by Justin Cronin a couple years ago), and this is one of them.  This book had an interesting concept but was kind of bland.  I really disagree with Stephen King on this one, not that he cares about my opinion. 

Stephen King at the Harvard Book Store.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s the real Stephen King!! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Case Histories by Kate Atkinson- It’s weird when a title of a novel sounds like the author’s name.  Kate Atkinson just published a novel called Life after Life, and I was going to publish a book of short stories called Life after Life where all the short stories were called “Life after Life,” but now I’m going to wait.  Since Life after Life might be too painful for me to read, I may try Case Histories instead. 


First I’ll check the books that are in the New Releases section of the library.   I’ll peruse the ones that have cool titles, interesting first pages, and good dialogue.  I’ll make sure the books don’t have any yellow/brownish stains or nose debris pebbles sticking to the pages yet.  I’ll check out a bunch of these new clean books.  I’ll finish a few of these books and stop reading most after about 10-15 pages. 

That’s how I’ll determine my summer reading list. 

I guess this is yet another way that I’m not like Stephen King.

  1. Oh, you’d love one of the books I have from the library right now. Someone used the title page to kill a spider and left the carcass in the book for me to find. I really don’t care for spiders. (Or that person.)

  2. I guess I’m no Stephen King (even though one of my best friends growing up was called Stephen King). I’ve never thought of making a specific list. I just finish one and look around for the next one. I always seem to have a stack waiting to be read anyway.

    • I’ve never made a book list either, not for me, and certainly not for other people. I hope none of the books in your reading stack have unsanitary surprises for you.

  3. I have a tendency to read the first third to half of a book before I give up. I figure, if it can’t hold my interest, it’s not worth it. Also, I’m a bit wary of anything called “Robopocalypse.”

    • Robopocalypse is a fairly easy read, but it’s really difficult (for me) to spell. You get much further into a book than I do before giving up, but since I check out a lot of the books I read, I don’t feel any committment.

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