Constant Readers,

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In 2003 the stuffy faction of the literary community (blerg) were outraged to learn that immensely popular author Stephen King would receive a National Book Award lifetime achievement award. Well known curmudgeon and literary critic Harold Bloom huffed "[King] shares nothing with Edgar Allan Poe. What he is is an immensely inadequate writer on a sentence-by-sentence, paragraph-by-paragraph, book-by-book basis." Millions of fans, critics, and peers disagreed, clutching well worn copies of It, The Stand, Carrie, and Salem's Lot to their chests, promising themselves that after they have slogged their way through the latest New Yorker darling they would return their attention to the Dark Tower series and all it's mystical mystery.

Look, I have nothing against so-called Literary Fiction, some of my favorite authors write literary fiction, honest! But, once you get over genre snobbery, you'd be hard pressed to find a better or more prolific storyteller than Stephen King. Born September 21, 1947, King is the author of an astonishing fifty novels and hundreds of short stories. Classics like The Shining, The Green Mile and Four Seasons are the types of books that stay with you long after they are put away on the bookshelf because King knows how to get at the reality of our fears and darkness in even his most fantastical books. Carrie White's rage feels real to anyone who has felt the anger of being duped or the intense emotions of adolescence, Jack Torrance's madness simmers under the surface and boils over with an eery, creeping, slowness, and  Pennywise the Clown (AHHHHHH) personifies the feeling of your past fears and anxieties catching up with you.

And if you must read something critically acclaimed,  try one of his collections of short stories, like Everything's Eventual. This one was even published in the New Yorker, so there! Also, his book On Writing is widely considered to be on of the best writing manuals on the market.

Get in to the holiday spirit with a Stephen King book! It's sure to be a page turner!

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