Archives For Books

Stephen King's Reading List

Last month we shared Stephen King’s Reading List for Writers, a collection of 96 books recommended by King in his acclaimed guide, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.

When a tenth anniversary edition of On Writing was published in 2010, King included a new reading list. It was published in the afterword with the following introductory note:

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“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools)
to write. Simple as that.”

― Stephen King

In the afterword to his acclaimed guide On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, Stephen King shares the following reading list of 96 books, covering a diverse range of fiction and non-fiction titles.

Accompanying the list is this explanation:

These are the best books I’ve read over the last three or four years, the period during which I wrote The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, Hearts in Atlantis, On Writing, and the as-yet-unpublished From a Buick Eight. In some way or other, I suspect each book in the list had an influence on the books I wrote.

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Books from a series, fiction for a youth audience and titles with religious themes were popular with readers in the United States last year. Here are the ten bestselling books in USA for 2013:

10. Happy, Happy, Happy by Phil Robertson

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Back in October we shared 1983′s 10 Bestselling Books. The article got a great response so we thought we’d take another look back in time, this time at the bestselling novels in the United States in 1973*.


10. The Honorary Consul by Graham Green

The Honorary Consul is said to have been one of Greene’s favourite books to write. A thriller, the story is set in an unnamed city in northern Argentina near the border with Paraguay. In 1983 a film adaptation was released starring Richard Gere and Michael Caine.

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“All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer.” 
― Ernest Hemingway

In 1934 aspiring writer and journalist Arnold Samuelson travelled over 2000 miles from Minnesota to Florida to meet Ernest Hemingway. He had read Hemingway’s ‘One Trip Across’, a short story published in Cosmopolitan that would later become the novel To Have and Have Not. Inspired, Samuelson wanted to meet the author in person and ask his advice on writing.

Initially Hemingway set him away telling him to come back the next day. When Samuelson returned he sat with Hemingway on his porch and discussed the short story as well as Samuelson’s struggles with writing fiction.

The two men went to Hemingway’s workshop where the author created the following reading list for Samuelson:

Ernest Hemingway Reading List for a Young Writer Continue Reading…

The 1980s are often referred to as the decade taste forgot. We started wondering whether this adage applied to our reading habits? Here are the ten bestselling books in the United States for the year 1983*. Some of the titles have definitely stood the test of time, while others are starting to show their age (and their shoulder pads). 10. The Lonesome Gods by Louis L’Amour

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The Slap by Christos TsiolkasIn the second half of 2012, Australian readers were invited to vote for their favourite books by local authors. The results were compiled by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s First Tuesday Bookclub and announced on a television special broadcast across the country on 4 December.

The most popular books, the ’10 Aussie Books to Read Before You Die’ span a broad range of genres, reflecting diversity and variety in contemporary Australian literature.

The Top 10 Aussie Books to Read Before You Die

10. Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay
First published in 1967, this drama and mystery novel is set in 1900 and centres on a group of students from a women’s college who disappear during a picnic at the site of a real life landmark rock formation, Hanging Rock. Lindsay’s novel was adapted into a feature film in 1975, directed by Peter Weir (Dead Poets Society, The Truman Show).

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