As one of the best-selling and most prolific writers of our time, Dean Koontz has published over 100 novels and sold more than 450 million copies of his work worldwide. Growing up poor with an abusive, alcoholic father, reading gave Koontz some much-needed hope for his future:

“Books were both an escape and a lesson that other lives were different. They showed me the level of success the world offered. And that was plenty of motivation to change my destiny. I realized that you can make what you want of life, and I don’t think I’ve ever stopped feeling that way. I’ve never stopped being excited about books and the potential of them.”

Sharing a list of his five favorite reads with The Week, Koontz included darkly fantastic tales that center on the transformative power of love. Find his picks below, and complement with the reading lists of Stephen King, Neil Gaiman and R.L Stine.

In Sunlight and in Shadow by Mark Helprin

“Mark Helprin’s Winter’s Tale weaves historical realities of New York City with the fantastic to profound effect, but this 1940s love story also enchants. The magic here is the intensity of Harry’s love for Catherine, the purity of his code of honor. The title is from Poe’s poem “Eldorado,” about a gallant knight. Helprin convinces that honor in the service of love triumphs even when it appears to fail by mortal standards.” -DK

The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman

“This tale of early-20th-century New York City is rich with engaging detail. Raised by a sinister father who owns a freak show, Coralie falls for Eddie, who is from an Orthodox Jewish family. The polished, luminous prose serves well a wonder-filled story that goes over the top with the kind of authority Ray Bradbury would have adored.” -DK

Hide Me Among the Graves by Tim Powers

“This genre-defying historical novel–thriller-fantasy is set in 1962 London. Poet Christina Rossetti, her beloved brother, and others must thwart the malevolent spirit of John Polidori, former doctor to the poet Lord Byron. Exhilarating, imaginative, dark, lunatic, the story is ultimately about love that surpasses all understanding.” -DK

The Color of Light by William Goldman

“Chub Fuller is an acclaimed writer by the time he leaves college for New York City. He takes too seriously the advice to write what he knows. In his headlong pursuit of love, he fashions for himself material darkly comic and tragic. This exploration of a writer’s mind, heart, and ambition has an ending as stunning as it is right.” -DK

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (also rec’d by Amy PoehlerChristopher Hitchens, George R.R. Martin & Maya Angelou)

“Both cities in this classic are portrayed with Dickens’s talent for detail. His Paris in revolution is chilling. Madame Defarge is one of the great monsters of literature. The last scene and final sentence are deeply moving, as is the author’s insistence that totalitarian politics doesn’t have the power to eradicate love from the world.” -DK

(via The Week)

Categories: Writers


Dean Koontz's 5 Best-Loved Books

  1. This website will go a long way in broadening my horizon as long as reading books is concern. I’ll enlist my family and friends to come and join. I’m indeed most fortunate.

  2. Dean Koontz has given me so much to think about since I started reading his works. I love that most of his novels leave the reader with hope at the end. I also appreciate the humor he injects into so many of his stories. He has a quick wit. I wish I could write like him. What a life he has along with his wife Gerda and his precious pooches. I want to thank him for sharing his gift of storytelling.

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