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.