Continuing from yesterday’s post, here are numbers one through five of my favorite Stephen King books, in reverse order.

5. Wolves of the Calla: Dark Tower 5 (2003) – I’m not as big a fan of the Dark Tower series as some readers, but this was my favorite of all of them so I’m using it here to represent the entire series. There are several reasons that make this my favorite of the series. I love the concept of Black 13, a bowling ball-like receptacle of evil that is introduced in this book, then hidden in a storage locker in the World Trade Center prior to 9/11 – I used to wonder if King intended post-9/11 Bush administration policies to be residual evil from Black 13. I also enjoyed seeing Father Callahan from Salem’s Lot again. Finally, I liked how King incorporated snitches, light sabers, and Dr. Doom-like robots into the story.

4. The Bill Hodges Trilogy (2014-2016)Mr. Mercedes, the first book, is my favorite of the three but the other two books in the trilogy, Finders Keepers and End of Watch, are so good that I couldn’t rightfully exclude them.

3. Night Shift (1978) – This collection of twenty short stories has spawned six motion pictures to date, including Children of the Corn, Maximum Overdrive (based on Trucks), Graveyard Shift, The Mangler, The Lawnmower Man, and Cat’s Eye which includes segments based on Quitters Inc. and The Ledge from this collection. King has issued other short story collections over the years, but I still feel this first one is the best of the lot.

2. The Stand (1978) – Even though it’s been nearly 40 years since I first read it, the scope of this book is so vast and the cast of characters so deep that it’s still at the top of my list. The most viewed post I’ve ever written is this comparison of The Stand with Joe Hill’s The Fireman.

1. It (1986) – Like The Stand, It has an epic plot and huge cast. I rated it #1 above The Stand for two reasons. First, it gives us stories about the characters both as children and as adults, basically two plots for the price of one. Also, there is a scene in this book that affected me emotionally like very few other scenes ever have. It is the scene where the evil teenagers chase Mike Hanlon into a rock quarry, and the rest of the Loser’s Club throws rocks at the evil older kids to protect him. The first time I read it, it gave me goosebumps and brought tears to my eyes like a scene in a movie set to a perfect musical score. The only other book scenes I can recall that ever made me feel that way were during the Battle of Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.


Feel free to comment below. Here is a link to Part 1 of the list. Here is a list to the Honorable Mention list.

photo credit: Tojosan Stephen King Book Collection – partial via photopin (license)