Forget what you think you know about Stephen King. I bet you've looked at his picture, his brooding, peculiar expression, and thought, "So this is what a disturbed man looks like. How does he come up with such twisted, horrifying plotlines?" Perhaps I'm just speaking for myself here, but he does not look like a personable dude. So you can imagine my surprise when his memoir on the writing vocation turned out to be friendly, funny, and (dare I say it?) fresh. Although his intended audience is aspiring writers, King writes a book that will appeal to his fans and anyone curious about that very question, "Where do these stories come from?!"
What King asserts is that it's not where the stories come from; it's where the writer comes from-his or her personhood. So although he talks about the nitty-gritty "author stuff" (where in the house he writes and for how long, what reference sources he cannot live without, and the importance of weeding out needless adverbs), King describes his childhood, college career, battle with alcoholism and drug abuse, and his marriage. I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to write - professionally or privately - and needs a confidence boost, or anyone looking for a good memoir to pass the time.
Recommended by Leah Youse