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The 5 Best Stephen King Books to Read Right Now

This year (like the year before and the year before that) will be filled with Stephen King adaptations—from the unnerving It Chapter Two to a highly anticipated sequel to The Shining, Doctor Sleep. Undoubtedly, you’re catching up on the expansive King library—from his 1974 debut CARRIE to his forthcoming novel THE INSTITUTE. If that sounds like you, or if you want a refresher, Aimee and Hannah are here to recommend Stephen King books you should read right now in light of their recent and upcoming screen adaptations.


Lisey's Story
by Stephen King

There’s something truly heartbreaking about Stephen King’s depiction of the love between married couple Scott and Lisey, which gives LISEY’S STORY a whole additional layer of complexity. It’s not just about darkness within a person and the temptation that lies within a storyteller’s mind, but also about how powerful love is—in whatever form it takes. The forthcoming miniseries promises to deliver on all of the magical elements of the book, as Stephen King is writing the screenplay—and Julianne Moore will star as Lisey.

—Hannah

Read the full review of LISEY’S STORY.

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Lisey's Story
Stephen King

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The Outsider
by Stephen King

Some books take awhile before the story really starts to pick up. This book is not that book. It will grab you from the first page and probably have you reading through the night. Though you might have to leave the lights on for a night or two. This thriller is a great accessory for any beach bag. And it’s the perfect time to read it, because an HBO series starring Ben Mendelsohn is in the works.

—Aimee

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The Outsider
Stephen King

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It
by Stephen King

As someone who is usually not a fan of horror, I was surprised at how quickly I became excited by the It Chapter Two trailer. Adults fighting a creature that terrorized them as children is not just a recipe for jumping out of my seat in the theater but also for communicating character depth and adventure, which are two of my favorite things in novels. So before I sit in the dark watching the story come to life on-screen, you’ll find me diving headfirst into the book, in all its imaginative and truly chilling glory.  

—Hannah

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It
Stephen King

For fans of “Stranger Things”

Teeming with the best kind of ‘80s nostalgia, the perfect follow-up read to this summer’s Netflix hit “Stranger Things” is Stephen King’s classic thriller IT. Seven adults are forced to revisit the horrors they once experienced when they were teens, battling an evil creature that preyed on the city’s children. With the town’s terrible history repeating, they must once again face the evil monster.

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Sleeping Beauties
by Stephen King and Owen King

I drank a lot of coffee while reading SLEEPING BEAUTIES, as many of the women in the book also do in an attempt to escape the strange epidemic affecting women across the world. What would happen in a world without women? The father-son team of Stephen and Owen King explore that world in this supernatural thriller. You’ll be pleased to know this is going to be a new series on AMC, home of other amazing series you may remember, like The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad. I’m hoping one of my favorite characters from the book won’t suffer the same fate in the show.

—Aimee

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Sleeping Beauties
Stephen King and Owen King

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The Stand
by Stephen King

This King novel is terrifying in its own unique way: Biological warfare–strength influenza is released on the population and results in a near apocalypse. While it addresses the classic good vs. evil paradigm, it also provides an intensely deep look at what could happen to people and the world when we are left stranded after devastation caused by our own, too-human madness. Lucky for everyone, a new adaptation is expected soon.

—Hannah

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The Stand
Stephen King

An apocalyptic classic, Stephen King’s novel is a vision of a world ravaged by plague and caught in a bitter struggle between good and evil. When a patient escapes from a biological testing facility, carrying with him a strain of super-flu that destroys a majority of the population, two surviving leaders emerge. Whoever is chosen will lead—and change—humanity forever.

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