Friday, January 31, 2014

Sneezing with Steinbeck

One of the items on this year's Reading Bingo Challenge is to "Read the first book by a favorite author."  The problem here was finding one I hadn't already read.

When I really like an author I tend to go searching for everything he/she has ever written. So every time I think of a "favorite" author it seems I've already read the first novel they published.

So I decided to try John Steinbeck who is an "almost" favorite.  I was thinking I probably had already read his first and if I hadn't, I would probably have a difficult time finding a copy here in Connecticut.  Sure, Yale probably has it, but I don't have access there.*

I found out that Steinbeck's first novel was  Cup of Gold (1929).  I hadn't read it!  I did a local search.  Wow, it was in the stacks of the local community college library, a place I visit weekly.  I'm reading it and it's not bad.  Not great, good? well...Steinbeck got a lot better.

The copy I borrowed is not a first edition, this edition was published in 1936 after he'd had some success with Tortilla Flat--a much better book than Cup of Gold.  Most of Steinbeck is better than Cup of Gold.

And it's making me sneeze!  This is problem I had when I was working in libraries.  I have a mild allergy to old books. 

*pause for a big sigh as I recall a few years back, when my daughter was doing grad work there, and I had some access to Yale's collections.

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