life turns on a dime—a readalong of 11/22/63 by stephen king

Inspired by Natalie at Coffee and a Book Chick‘s summer 2013 readalong of Stephen King’s Under the Dome, the DomeAlong, Sarah at Word Hits and I decided to take on King’s 11/22/63 this fall! Special thanks go to Natalie at Coffee and a Book Chick for the inspiration and Sarah for getting things started on the back end for this readalong.


Almost everyone in the discussions during/after the DomeAlong agreed that 11/22/63 was one they either loved or wanted to read eventually. Sarah and I were thinking what better time then this fall, in honor of the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, on which the book is based. Here’s the synopsis from Goodreads:

If you had the chance to change the course of history, would you? Would the consequences be what you hoped?

Jake Epping, 35, teaches high-school English in Lisbon Falls, Maine, and cries reading the brain-damaged janitor’s story of childhood Halloween massacre by their drunken father. On his deathbed, pal Al divulges a secret portal to 1958 in his diner back pantry, and enlists Jake to prevent the 11/22/1963 Dallas assassination of American President John F. Kennedy. Under the alias George Amberson, our hero joins the cigarette-hazed full-flavored world of Elvis rock’n’roll, Negro discrimination, and freeway gas-guzzlers without seat belts. Will Jake lurk in impoverished immigrant slums beside troubled loner Lee Harvey Oswald, or share small-town friendliness with beautiful high school librarian Sadie Dunhill, the love of his life?

I already read the first 50 pages and can barely put it down. Here are some other fun facts about the book:

  • Published: November 2011
  • Pages: 849
  • Genre: historical fiction, science fiction, thriller
  • Winner: Goodreads Choice Award for Best Science Fiction (2011)
  • Nominee: World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award (2012)
  • The New York Times chose 11/22/63 as one of its 5 best fiction books of 2011
  • JJ Abrams (Lost, Fringe) is optioning 11/22/63 for a mini-series (as of April 2013)

We’re going to structure this similarly to the DomeAlong—fairly loose and at-your-own-pace:

  • Timeline: October 22–December 22 (Nov. 22, JFK’s assassination anniversary, is the halfway point)
  • Participation: Your blog, Goodreads, or Twitter. If you don’t have accounts with GRs or Twitter or have a blog that’s okay—join us by leaving comments on participants’ blog posts!
  • Twitter: We will use #112263Along
  • Posts: As many or as few as you want! If you feel like it, a starting post, halfway point (either when you’re halfway done or for wherever you’re at on Nov. 22), and final post on Dec. 22 would be great. On your blog posts on the book, you can add the tag 112263Along.
  • Other stuff? Anything you’d like. Once you have a copy of the book you’ll see at the back there are a bunch of 1950s things, like a music playlist from Stephen King, 50s recipes, and more. Have a sock hop and have the playlist on in the background! Cook up a 50s-inspired meal! I might watch the Oliver Stone movie JFK or a documentary at some point during the 112263Along.

Are you going to do a starting post? Let us know!

  • Hardcover, paperback, or audio?
  • Is this your first Stephen King book?
  • What are your expectations for the book and/or the readalong?
  • Or anything you want to say about joining up and tackling this chunkster!

I think that’s it! At the top of this post and below here are some button options for your blog, and a link list is below for signing up. I know it’s not King’s signature horror for Halloween, but I’m looking forward to another fun readalong this fall! And of course, if you’ve already read 11/22/63 please join us during the final discussions 🙂#112263Along #112263Along

30 thoughts on “life turns on a dime—a readalong of 11/22/63 by stephen king

  1. I’m in! I just ordered it from the library and should have it by the end of the week. I haven’t read any King since I was a teenager, but this one intrigued me. Let’s get started!

  2. I’ve been reading Under the Dome for months – it’s huge! I feel like having the motivation of a group of people reading along will get me through this one – and it’s been on my list for awhile! Great idea!

    • Agreed! I don’t know that I would have picked up Under the Dome if it weren’t for Coffee and a Book Chick’s DomeAlong this summer. Even though they’re chunksters, luckily King’s writing isn’t too dense and clips along pretty well 🙂 Glad you’re aboard!

      • Yeah, he weaves such a good yarn that even though the length seems daunting, it often isn’t an issue once you get started. I had a lot of trouble with [SPOILER] the part where the dog gets shot by the horrible “cops” in Under the Dome. That’s where I stopped reading and have had trouble going back to it – I’m fine with violence to people, but if an animal gets hurt I’m done. [END SPOILER] I keep meaning to go back and give it another try, but I think I might just leave it and read this one instead! Thanks – looking forward to it!

    • We’d love for you to join us! It’s actually a much faster read than I expected—and I’m definitely one of those people intimidated by chunksters. We only started 2 weeks ago, anyway! I hope you do hop on board 🙂

    • Of course! Glad you’re with us! I am having a minor panic that it’s already December 8 and I’m still around halfway through… busy time of year, I guess. I have confidence I’ll get through it in time, though, and so will you! 🙂

  3. Pingback: 11/22/63 Readalong | The Five-Eyed Bookworm

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