Like most readers, when I find a really good author I tend to immediately go out and read their next book. And their next…and their next…you get the point. Usually I’m either very glad or very sorry I did that. So here is my ranking of authors and their books. One caveat: I am only including books that I have actually read; I admit there may be other books by these authors that aren’t included in my list simply because I haven’t read them (yet).
All rankings start with the best (#1) and continue to get worse as the list goes on….
- The Five People You Meet in Heaven
- The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto
- Tuesdays with Morrie
- The Time Keeper
- The Stranger in the Lifeboat
- The First Phone Call from Heaven
- A Man Called Ove
- My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry
- Anxious People
All three were great books! And yes, I have several other of his on my to-read list.
Clark, Mary Higgins
I’d just like to say that MHC continues to be one of my favorite authors, even though she has slipped over the years. My biggest complaint: some of her books are just soooo slow, some get very predictable, and some characters are one-dimensional/stereotypical. Still, as you can see, I continue to read her, but now I do so as a mental break between heavier books. Like other authors on this list (King and Grisham), I tend to recommend her earlier works over anything published more recently.
- Where Are the Children?
- A Cry In the Night
- Loves Music, Loves to Dance
- Weep No More, My Lady
- Let Me Call You Sweetheart
- While My Pretty One Sleeps
- Two Little Girls in Blue
- You Belong to Me
- I’ll Be Seeing You – To me, this is where her books start to get slow. Still good, but slow
- The Cradle Will Fall
- Moonlight Becomes You
- Remember Me
- Pretend You Don’t See Her
- All Around the Town
- A Stranger is Watching
- Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – seriously one of my all-time fav books
- Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
- Unholy Night
- The Last American Vampire
Unfortunately, this author seemed to peak after his first book. I don’t know if I’d recommend #2, #3, or #4 unless you really like the genre.
Like Stephen King and Mary Higgins Clark, I’ve found I like his earlier works much better, so have stopped reading anything Grisham has published recently. Maybe I’ll come back to him someday…
- The Firm
- A Time to Kill
- The Pelican Brief
- The Client
- The Runaway Jury
- The Partner
- The Chamber
- The Rainmaker
- The Street Lawyer
After reading most of King’s books (at least the early ones), I now have some strong beliefs on how to read his books. First: the older the books are, the better they are. Second: the best way to read his books is to really read the beginning, skim through the middle where he gets wordy to fill his page quota, then really read the ending. Third: since alot of his books are pretty long and involved, I want to know they’ll be worth my time, so before starting one of his new books, I wait I hear good things about it from someone I know and trust (which is a bad habit, but it saved me from The Dark Tower series, so I’m okay with that).
So without further ado, here are my rankings of his novels, from best to worst:
- The Shining (1977) is BY FAR my favorite. I’m such a sucker for haunted house stories and this one is tied with the best (which is Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, in case you were wondering)
- Needful Things (1991) – spooky yet with a good message
- The Stand (1978) – probably one of the longest books I’ve ever read, yet still worth it. The TV mini-series isn’t bad either
- It (1986)
- Carrie (1974)
- The Eyes of the Dragon (1987)
- Pet Semetary (1983)
- ‘Salem’s Lot (1975)
- The Green Mile (1996)
- Misery (1987)
- The Dead Zone (1979)
- Christine (1983)
- The Dark Half (1989) – this is where he starts to slip
- Doctor Sleep (2014) – the newest book on my list, I was really worried he’d ruin The Shining’s Danny for me, but he didn’t.
- Gerald’s Game (1992)
- From a Buick 8 (2002) – otherwise known as “Christine: Rewritten”
- The Gunslinger/The Dark Tower Series (1982) – I don’t like Roland. He’s boring. I didn’t manage to make it through the first book, then I found out there’s a whole series devoted to him?! No thank you! Even Idris Elba couldn’t convince me to continue with this series.
For the record, I am extremely leary about reading any of his books published after 1996 (see my first rule above). Also, I have been putting off reading Cujo for years (long story) and I know I’m also missing early books like The Tommyknockers and Firestarter. I will add them in when I finish the books eventually, but I’m on a King-hiatus right now.
King, Stephen: Mini-Series Scripts
I have to admit, I love King’s mini-series! He wrote the scripts only, so technically not novels and it was hard not to include these in the list above. For example, I would actually put Rose Red at #2 above Needful Things (again, I’m a sucker for haunted house stories). And I would list Storm of the Century as #6. They’re both really good!
King, Stephen: Short Stories
I also like his short stories (in no particular order): Children of the Corn, Sometimes They Come Back, The Body, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, Dolan’s Cadillacb and The Langoliers. Other good short stories published under his pseudonym Richard Bachman: The Long Walk, Thinner, and The Running Man.
- Twenties Girl
- Remember Me?
- The Undomestic Goddess
- My Not So Perfect Life
- Finding Audrey
- Can You Keep a Secret?
- Surprise Me
- I’ve Got Your Number – this is where she starts to slip
- Wedding Night
- I Owe You One – sadly, very predictable
- Anything in the Shopoholic Series – seriously, each one is a “no” from me but I understand why others like it
The Blossom Street series is one of my favorites! They’re very easy to read, good beach books. However, I’m ranking them out-of-order because I liked some latter books better than the ones that came before. Still, anything in this series is great, regardless of which order you read them.
- The Shop on Blossom Street (Blossom Street #1)
- A Good Yarn (Blossom Street #2)
- Twenty Wishes (Blossom Street #5) – this is where I really enjoyed this particular book moreso than some of the earlier Blossom Street books
- Last One Home (New Beginnings #1)
- A Turn in the Road (Blossom Street #8)
- A Girls Guide to Moving On (New Beginnings #2)
- Summer on Blossom Street (Blossom Street #6)
- Hannah’s List (Blossom Street #7)
- Starting Now (Blossom Street #9)
- Back on Blossom Street (Blossom Street #4)
- Susannah’s Garden (Blossom Street #3)
- Dashing Through the Snow
After writing this, I realized I have missed reading the latest Blossom Street! Don’t worry, I have immediately requested it from the library and will be adding it soon.
- Big Little Lies
- What Alice Forgot
- The Husband’s Secret
- Nine Perfect Strangers – the top three are some of my favorite books; the rest of these were okay but not as good.
- Apples Never Fall
- Truly Madly Guilty
- Three Wishes
- The Last Anniversary
- The Hypnotist’s Love Story – I cannot even begin to tell you how much I felt let down by this book and by Moriarty as its author
- The Lying Game
- The Woman in Cabin 10
- In a Dark, Dark Wood
- The Death of Mrs. Westaway – this is where she starts to slip
- The Turn of the Key – disappointed with the plot and characters in this book
- The Six Wives of Henry VIII – non-fiction
- The Children of Henry VIII – non-fiction
- Innocent Traitor – fiction
- The Life of Elizabeth I – fiction. I didn’t like this one as well so took a break from Weir’s fiction
- War of the Roses – non-fiction