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:
Archives For Reading
Are you looking for your next great read? This infographic/flow chart from USC Rossier might be able to help. It covers some of the best fiction, non-fiction and children’s titles released so far this century and was put together using bestseller lists from Amazon and Goodreads.
The graphic’s origins have perhaps resulted in some biases (we would have loved to see more Australian titles included for example). What books do you think are missing? Share some of your favourites from the past fourteen years using the comments field below.
“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years, the period during which I wrote The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, Hearts in Atlantis, On Writing, and the as-yet-unpublished From a Buick Eight.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.
I’d like a girl who reads
Who needs the written word
& who uses the added vocabulary
She gleans from novels and poetry
To hold lively conversation
In a range of social situations
I want a girl who reads
― 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: