Two Sequels

There are two books I’ve been waiting for a long time. No, not The Winds of Winter or The Doors of Stone. I’m talking about two nonfiction sequels. As of today, one of them is in my hands. The other, I recently learned, is coming later this year.

Back in 1999, Edwin G. Burroughs and Mike Wallace published a massive history of New York City called Gotham. The book won the 1999 Pulitzer for history. I read the book in 2006 and I absolutely loved it. The 1,400 page book (the longest book I have read) covered the history of New York City from its founding until 1898. Somewhere, I learned that this was just the first of a series of books on the history of the city, and that a sequel was in the works. It took nearly 20 years, but I now hold that sequel in my hands.

Greater Gotham is not as long as its older sibling, coming in at a mere 1,200 pages. Yet, while Gotham covered centuries, Greater Gotham‘s 1,200 pages covers just two decades, 1899 – 1919. The book is just as beautifully done as the first, and I can’t wait to read it, although I fear it will be a while before I get to it. That’s okay. I’ve waiting 12 years. I can wait a little longer.

Back in 2005, I devoured Gary Giddins’s Bing Crosby: A Pocketful of Dreams, covering Bing’s life from his birth to just before the Second World War. That was another book for which a sequel was promised. I waited and waited. Now and then I searched message boards for hints of when the book might come out. There were always rumors. It was on; it was off; it was written, but there was no publisher, etc., etc. Then, after learning of Greater Gotham, I thought I’d search for “Gary Giddins” and see what came up.

What came up was Bing Crosby: Swinging on a Star: The War Years, 1940-1946. The book comes out in November, just in time for me to read on my winter vacation.

I’ve been looking forward to both these books for a long time. Now I have one, and before the end of the year, I’ll have the other. And I have a feeling that both will be worth the wait.

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