Author Charles Bock recommends books by authors from Dr. Seuss to Robert Penn Warren.
Question: What are your favorite books? Charles Bock: Well, number one on what influenced my work is “The Ring of Brightest Angles Around Heaven.” That’s number one. Number two is a little novel called “The Stepford Wives”, by whoever wrote that. Dr. Seuss, “Cat in the Hat” is a great seminal piece of thinking and writing. I had a phase with Truman Capote, where I just loved his very early in my writing life or I was just in love with some of the beautiful paragraphs and sentences he wrote and I still think “In Cold Blood” is a great, great book. Fitzgerald and “I love Gatsby” and the longer one, the one that took him 10 years, “Tender Is the Night.” “Tender Is the Night” breaks my heart. It’s one of those book that I almost can’t pick up again, because I don’t want to put myself through how hard, how touching and heart breaking the ending of that it is. Robert Penn Warren’s, “All the King’s Men,” I just love that book so much and in fact, I ripped some of the lyrical nature of some of those paragraphs I gave to Ponyboy and instead of a guy -- instead of driving through Louisiana heat, I have Ponyboy riding his bike through the Las Vegas streets. And there are a couple of paragraphs in there that are direct, okay, writing God’s -- Robert Penn Warren wherever you are, this is my salute to you. Those, I think are some of the real, real landmarks and there is many, many more and I am sure for hours I will be replaying this question in my head. It’s a good one.