Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Stephen King's Favorite Book: Available for Reading

I have been posting lists of mystery author's favorite books. Stephen King, famous for his horror and fantasy writing, won 2015's Edgar for best mystery novel for his work, Mr. Mercedes.

When asked about his favorite books, the first on King's list was a collection of short stories he came across when he was young: The Golden Argosy by Van H. Cartmell & Charles Grayson, editors. (1955, Dial Press, NY)

I have run down the Table of Contents from worldcat and from there searched for copyright information. The great majority of the stories are public domain. Among the remaining, several are provided for free online by their publishers, e.g., The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and Back for Christmas by The New Yorker. Only one of the forty stories could not be found available from a legitimate source online (interestingly, the final one in the collection).

The Table of Contents is presented below along with links to the individual stories. So, read up, get inspired and write books that will thrill a generation.

The Golden Argosy (1955), Table of Contents.

    I'm a Fool by Sherwood Anderson (1922)
    The Happy Hypocrite by Max Beerbohm (1897)
    The Devil and Daniel Webster by Stephen Vincent Benét (1937)
    The Damned Thing by Ambrose Bierce (1893)
    The Chink and the Child by Thomas Burke (1917)
    Paul's Case by Willa Cather (1905)
    Back for Christmas by John Collier (1939)
    Youth by Joseph Conrad (1898)
    The Bar Sinister by Richard Harding Davis (1903)
    The Red-Headed League by A. Conan Doyle (1891)
    A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner (1930)
    Old Man Minick by Edna Ferber (1922)
    The Rich Boy by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1926)
    The Celestial Omnibus by E.M. Forster (1911)
    The Three Strangers by Thomas Hardy (1883)
    The Outcasts of Poker Flat by Bret Harte (1892)
    The Killers by Ernest Hemingway (1927)
    The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry (1904)

    The Gioconda Smile by Aldous Huxley (1921)
    The Monkey's Paw by W.W. Jacobs (1902)
    The Man Who Would Be King by Rudyard Kipling (1888)
    The Incarnation of Krishna Mulvaney by Rudyard Kipling (1899)
    Champion by Ring Lardner (1916)

    To Build a Fire by Jack London (1902, 1908)
    The Fly by Katherine Mansfield (1922)
    Rain by W. Somerset Maugham (1921)
    Big Blonde by Dorothy Parker (1929)
    The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe (1841)
    The Gold-Bug by Edgar Allan Poe (1843)
    Flowering Judas by Katherine Anne Porter (1930)
    Tobermory by Saki (1911)
    The Leader of the People by John Steinbeck (1937)
    Markheim by Robert L. Stevenson (1885)
    A Lodging for the Night by Robert L. Stevenson (1887)
    The Lady or the Tiger? by Frank R. Stockton (1882)
    Monsieur Beaucaire by Booth Tarkington (1900)
    The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by James Thurber (1939)
    The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County by Mark Twain (1867)
    The Other Wise Man by Henry Van Dyke. (1895)
    Chickamauga by Thomas Wolfe. (1937)
Not available due to copyright. Extended excerpts can be found through Google Books.

The remaining books on Stephen King's top ten list.

2. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (1884).
3. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie (1988).
4. McTeague by Frank Norris (1899).
5. Lord of the Flies by William Golding (1955).
6. Bleak House by Charles Dickens (1853).
7. 1984 by George Orwell (1948). 

8. The Raj Quartet  by Paul Scott (1966–75).
9. Light in August by William Faulkner (1932).
10. Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West by Cormac McCarthy (1985).

Previous posts of mystery writers choosing their favorite mysteries.

  The first post: P.D. James, Andrew Klavan, Thomas H. Cook, John Dickson Carr and Arthur Conan Doyle.
  The second post: Isaac Asimov, Robert Barnard, George Baxt, James Ellroy, Michael Gilbert, Sue Grafton, Reginald Hill, Tony Hillerman, HRF Keating, Peter Lovesey, Charlotte MacLeod, Sara Paretsky, Julian Symons, and Martin Hill Ortiz.
  The third post: Robert B. Parker, Elizabeth Peters, Peter Straub, Donald E. Westlake, and Phyllis A. Whitney.
  The fourth post: Aaron Elkins, John Gardner,  Michael Malone and Marcia Muller
  The fifth post: Robert Barnard (best recent), Jacques Barzun, Rex Stout and Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine 1950.

 The sixth post: Jeannette de Beauvoir, Mary Reed, and John Dufresne.
 The seventh post:  Angela Zeman, Carolyn Wheat, Ann Rule, John Lutz, Dick Lochte, Laurie R. King, Tony Hillerman, Jeremiah Healy, Linda Fairstein and Jan Burke.
 The eighth post: Agatha Christie (favorites among her own works), Julia Buckley, and 38 renowned authors choose their favorite forgotten books, including John Le Carré and Elmore Leonard.
 The ninth post: Dennis Lehane, Michael Connelly, Don Winslow, Polly Whitney and E.E. Kennedy.
 The tenth post: George Pelecanos, Mary Higgins Clark and Charlaine Harris.

A Predator's Game is available in soft-cover and ebook editions 

through Amazon and other online retailers.

Nikola Tesla, Arthur Conan Doyle and Dr. Henry H. Holmes are characters in my  thriller, A Predator's Game, Rook's Page Publishing.

Back page blurb.

Manhattan, 1896.

When the author Arthur Conan Doyle meets Nikola Tesla he finds a tall, thin genius with a photographic memory and a keen eye, and recognizes in the eccentric inventor the embodiment of his creation, Sherlock. Together, they team up to take on an "evil Holmes." Multi-murderer Dr. Henry H. Holmes has escaped execution and is unleashing a reign of terror upon the metropolis. Set in the late nineteenth century in a world of modern marvels, danger and invention, Conan Doyle and Tesla engage the madman in a deadly game of wits.

Martin Hill Ortiz, also writing under the name, Martin Hill, is the author of A Predatory Mind. Its sequel, set in 1890s Manhattan and titled A Predator's Game,  features Nikola Tesla as detective.

His recent mystery, Never Kill A Friend, is available from Ransom Note Press. His epic poem, Two Mistakes, recently won second place in the Margaret Reid/Tom Howard Poetry Competition. He can be contacted at mdhillortiz@gmail.com.


Post a Comment