When I was in third or fourth grade, I checked a book out of my school’s library. The story was about a monkey and a bookstore. That’s all I remember about the story except that I loved it so much, and when I returned it to the library, I asked the librarian if the author had written another book I might read.
Alas, no, she said with a sigh.
I sighed, too.
Some authors have only one good book in them, and that’s fine. But nothing is quite as satisfying as reading a book and discovering other books by the same author. The prospect of more reading pleasure is palatable.
Some subsequent books, of course, don’t match an author’s first effort. When I finished reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, I checked out her second book, Maggie-Now. But it was disappointing. I loved Mrs. Perigrine’s Home for Peculiar Children for it’s sheer inventiveness, but the subsequent books felt forced and rushed.
For some authors, though, a second or third or fourth book promises excellence. Laura Hillenbrand, Erik Larson and David McCullough come to mind.
And so I go on. With one book finished and tucked away, another is percolating. Will it measure up?