The Inspector Montalbano books, by Italian author Andrea Camilleri, supply everything I need for the beach. The man has produced a ton of works that run the full gamut from really horrible (Dreamcatchers was positively Dean Koontz-ish) to quite good.
If you've never been exposed to Stephen King k it can be pretty daunting to decide which of his works to read first, and if you pick up one of his lesser books you can easily be turned off of King entirely.
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We've ranked his fifteen best books here (not including short story collections, although most are definitely worth checking out), and we feel pretty confident that an average reader could pick up any of these fifteen works and be entertained. All with the most charming fuss-bucket of a detective to come along since Hercule Poirot: Inspector Salvo Montalbano. We've tried to minimize spoilers as much as possible, but making this article completely spoiler free probably isn't possible, so tread lightly!15. CarrieYou know a book is a success when the story enters the collective consciousness, and Carrie certainly qualifies for that.
The book is now 36 years old, but the tale of an awkward high school girl who has telekinetic powers is still referenced frequently in pop culture. King wrote this book while living in a trailer but his life changed pretty quickly when he sold the paperback rights to Carrie for $400,000, an astronomical sum for the mid-70's and especially so for a first time novel. The deal paid off for New American Library; the paperback sold over 1 million copies in its first year of publication.
The amount of mass murderers that turn up in bookstores, I'm surprised there are any of us left to read about them. Needful ThingsOne thing that King has been quite good at in the past is managing large casts of characters, and this is very much on display in Needful Things. King often has used a fictional Maine town called Castle Rock in his works, and Needful Things, while ostensibly about a weird store opening in Castle Rock, is really about the town's inhabitants and their interactions with each other.
In a way it's about small towns in general, a topic on which King has an especially firm handle. One of his less annoying crutches concerns the professions of most of his lead characters, namely they are usually going to be writers.
The old saying goes "write what you know" and Stephen King obviously took that to heart.However, in Misery King actually has something to say about the process of being a writer, and a writer's relationship with their most ardent fans, made especially interesting by King's unusually massive fame for a writer.

He has a unique perspective on artistry and art's consumers that not many other writers share. Imagine someone with the brains of Philip Marlowe and the palate of Mario Batali and you get the general idea. Like many of King's best works, Misery could plausibly have actually taken place in the real world, there's no fantastical elements here and because of that I'd say Misery is arguably the King book that readers should pick up if they think of themselves as the sort of readers that would never read Stephen King. Bag of BonesQuite possibly the most literary of King's work, Bag of Bones is a classic ghost story that delves (once again) into the writing process and mourning the death of a spouse.
Unlike many King works Bag of Bones was critically acclaimed, winning the Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel in 1998 and the British Fantasy Award in 1999. Critics were especially kind to this book, and while I think critics have become kinder to King over the years, this probably wasn't true at the time Bag of Bones was published.Click here to read reviews of Stephen King's Bag of Bones11.
Their strategy is unique: breaking into people's vacation homes, only to snatch up keys for the owners' fancier houses back in town.
The Green MileOne interesting thing about King is that he's willing to use his position of power to do some interesting things when it comes to publishing. He released a novella called "The Plant" in ebook installments back in 2000, asking readers to pay what they felt it was worth for each installment. It might not seem revolutionary now, but ten years ago this was seen as a milestone event and was quite a bit ahead of it's time.That wasn't the first time King had experimented with serial fiction of course. The Green Mile was published in 1996 in six installments, all 92-96 pages in length, and cheaply priced.
While the book centers around a magical negro, one of King's biggest weaknesses, it manages to overcome its handicap. The Green Mile is possibly one of the better pieces of fiction concerning Death Row you'll ever read.
Usually, the novels are tightly plotted and tense, with an ominous atmosphere hanging over the island. The Running ManThere was a time when publishing houses apparently thought authors could only be successful releasing one book a year, forcing King to briefly publish some works under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. He was eventually found out, but some of the work he did as Bachman remains some of the best King has ever done, including this book, The Running Man. Still, Camilleri's trademark charm is well in place, especially his tendency toward wit over violence.

Forget about the unintentionally hilarious Arnold Schwarzenegger movie adaptation and go straight for the book. Published in 1982 the book is shockingly relevant today, as it foresaw all sorts of developments in modern life, including reality television.
I recently read this list of best dystopian books of all time and while The Running Man wasn't included it quite possibly should have been. One last note on The Running Man: King often suffers from weak endings, but that's definitely not a problem here. In the meantime, he'll keep updating the series until he's fed up with his main character, or unable to write. If you've got a week at the beach coming up, I recommend Angelica's Smile a€” and all of its predecessors. Pet SemataryI first read this book as a teenager, and I found it to be a pretty good read, but nothing particularly earth shattering. I read it again recently as an adult and found it to be one of the most horrific things I've ever read.
Horror usually involves the supernatural as it's usually understood, vampires, zombies, etc. The TalismanPerhaps this inclusion is cheating a little since it's a collaboration with Peter Straub, but I think not including The Talisman would be a shame. In The Talisman, much like he does with Carrie and other works, King does a great job imparting the feel of being an adolescent.
The book concerns a 12 year old boy named Jack Sawyer and his journey across the country, in our world, and in a twin world called the Territories.
The book in a way is a series of stories with Jack's trip as the setting, and while it lags a bit towards the end it's a compelling read overall, and one of King's most memorable books. In books like Twilight vampires are non-threatening creatures, playthings to attract teenage girls.These are not the vampires of 'Salem's Lot.

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