Ali Baba's Books: Stone Reader Recommends

Ali Baba's Books: "Stone Reader" Recommends
Books and authors recommended by/in Mark Moscowitz' "Stone Reader: The Search for Dal Mossman and The Stones of Summer

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First of all, of course, Stones of Summer, by Dal Mossman, the impetus for the film. For that book, due to be released in September, please go to Mark Moscowitz' site for the film, and click on "store."

The film in its search for Dal Mossman, from the University of Iowa, in the Writer's Workshop, crosses the paths of other authors from the Iowa Writer's Workshop, advisors or facilitators of the workshop, librarians and libraries, and critics. A common theme that emerges is that of the Remarkable One Book Authors and Remarkable First Books

Science Fiction:
Thomas Pynchon, V.
Dan Simmons, Hyperion tetraology
R.A. Lafferty, Fourth Mansions

Kurt Vonnegut,
Cat's Cradle
Mother Night (book Moscowitz read on his trip to Iowa in search of Dal Mossman) -- war memory
Palm Sunday, autobiographical
Norman Mailer, The Naked and the Dead
James Jones, The Thin Red Line
Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night
Joseph Heller, Catch-22
Frank Conroy, Iowa Writer's Workshop
Body and Soul
Midair, Short stories
Alfred Kazin, On Native Grounds
Leslie Fiedler, critic
Love and Death in the American Novel
The Stranger in Shakespeare
Waiting for the End
Vladimir Nabokov, Invitation to a Beheading
John Barth, The Floating Opera (Leslie Fiedler's favorite modern American First Novel)
William Kotzwinkle, The Fan Man
Ben Hogan's Power Golf
Claire Bee's Chip Hilton series (children's?)
Ross Lockridge, Raintree County
Thomas Hegan, Mr. Roberts
Colin Wilson
Siri Hustvedt, The Blindfold (1st novel MM likes a lot)
Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind (another one-book author)
Kay Redfield Jamison, Touched by Fire (nonfiction book on artistic temperament)
William Cotter Murray, Michael Joe , the wonderful giggling Irishman Greyhound racing fan who was Dal Cotter's advisor at the University of Iowa
Caveat: there is a book out there attributed to him, "Make Today Count," which is a self-help book of dubious connection to him -- I bought one not knowing that it was credited to him and still haven't figured out why it was.
John Legget, Ross and Tom
Tony Tanner, City of Words
Saul Bellow, The Adventures of Augie March
Wright Morris, The Territory Ahead (best bit of literary criticism I read since Love and Death…)
Mario Puzo
William Gaddis, The Recognitions
Joseph McElroy, Ancient Paraphrase (another great, forgotten work)
Marcus Goodrich, Delilah
F.O. Mathiessen, American Renaissance
John Seelye
The True Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,
The Kid
also many critical works
James Jones, The Thin Red Line, The Merry Month of May
Joseph Heller
Something Happened
Good as Gold

Chaim Potok, The Chosen
Robert C.S. Downs, The Fifth Season
Bruce Dobler
Gail Godwin
John Irving

John Casey, The Half-Life of Happiness
Tom McHale, Farragan's Retreat
John Marquand, Point of No Return (great lost book of the 40s)
Hamilton Basso, The View from Pompey's Head (DM's great lost book of the 50s)
Bernard Malamud, Dubin's Lives

Books I've read because of the film:

Henry Roth's Call It Sleep, referred to several times throughout the film as a notable one-book author book; he wrote the urban immigrant experience through a child's eyes novel and then went off to raise ducks.

Frederick Exeley's A Fan's Notes, again referred to fondly several times throughout the film. One of my favorite quotes about teaching and the "getoutstayalive" that washes over one when the reality of the situation hits home comes from this book:

"Classics" (good books written before the twentieth century, before 1950, before 1968...)
Mark Twain
Puddinhead Wilson
Huckleberry Finn
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Autobiography ("ch.14 is the greatest run on memory I ever read" DM)
Ernest Hemingway, Old Man and the Sea
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Tender Is the Night
The Great Gatsby
Lord Byron's Complete Works
Herman Melville, Moby Dick
Edgar Allen Poe
Emily Bronte
William Faulkner,
Soldier's Pay
Sartoris (a book Mark Moscowitz read because of Dow, and loved)
Malcolm Lowry, Under the Volcano
Casanova's Memoirs ("the most important thing I read since Iowa City"—DM)
The Bible
Arthur Conan Doyle, The Complete Adventures of Sherlock Holmes ("you can't replace that experience as long as you live" DM)
Shakespeare, Measure for Measure
Gibbon, Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire
Geoffrey Chaucer
Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie
Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer
Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Devils ("'my pick for greatest novel ever written' --Dal Mossman. If you read it—I have, thanks to Dow—don't blame me, Mark Moscowitz—I prefer Tolstoy")
Ernest Hemingway
The Sun Also Rises
A Farewell to Arms
Islands in the Stream (Moscowitz' favorite EH)
Thomas Wolfe
Coming of age stories (if that's your cup of tea)
Howard Mosher, Northern Borders (coming of age story set in Vermont)
James T. Farrell, Studs Lonigan
Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
J.D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar (personally I would not recommend anything by Sylvia Plath and don't know why anyone would. Wallowing in adolescent misery is not how I wish to spend my time -- even as an adolescent, wallowing in someone else's adolescent misery was laughable. As a result, I avoid books by suicides, preferring to read books that will help me to gain more from life, not avoid it. IM-not-so-HO, Sylvia Plath is the most overrated author of the 20th century, ranking somewhere beneath Edgar Guest on my list of "literary figures:" ghastly). It has, perhaps unfairly, made me avoid reading
John Kennedy Toole's, A Confederacy of Dunces, which is a humorous book, not an angst-ridden pity wallow. I believe I saw on the bookshelf also Giants in the EarthSig? Haarsveld. Sig Haansen?and know I saw the whole range of Raymond Chandler -- a writer to whom I return again and again, never tiring of the dialogue and description of the Los Angeles I love.
Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe mysteries -- not mentioned but well-represented on the bookshelves in the film:
Farewell, My Lovely
The Big Sleep
The Long Goodbye
The High Window
The Lady in the Lake
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles
Chester Himes Mysteries
The Big Gold Dream
Children and teens (but certainly not limited to):
Crocket Johnson, Harold and the Purple Crayon
Madeline L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time
Franklin W. Dixon's Hardy Boys books
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter (all); hardcover editions:
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Original British title, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, for those fundamentalist muggles out there who judge books by their covers and not their content)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix released 21 June 2003
and in Spanish (paperbacks) (note original title survives intact):
Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal transl. Alicia Dellepiane
Harry Potter y la camara secreta by J. K. Rowling, et al (Paperback), transl. Adolfo Munoz Garcia y Nieves Martin Azofra
Harry Potter y El Prisionero de Azkaban by J. K. Rowling (Paperback)
Harry Potter y el cáliz de fuego transl.Adolfo Munoz Garcia y Nieves Martin Azofra
Harry Potter y el orden del fénix tampoco no tiempo dado por publicarlo.

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Last updated 27 July 2003