Favorites from My Author-Signed Books Collection

23 Apr

For my last post I wrote about my magazine collection. Today I’m writing about my collection of author-signed books. In some cases I met the authors that signed the books at events, or received them as gifts. These books (not signed editions, though) are all available to borrow at the Hoboken Public Library or through interlibrary loan. Some are even available as eBooks or audiobooks through eLibraryNJ, eBCCLS, and the 3M Cloud Library–see the links below the book’s cover image.

Sex and the City, by Candace Bushnell.


Sex and the City was the first author-signed book I received (a gift from a former boss) that established my collection. The book consists of the articles Candace Bushnell wrote for the New York Observer that inspired the hit show, but that is where the similarities end. Bushnell’s tone differs. Like many women, I spent Sunday nights watching Sex and the City on HBO. Most of all I loved the incredible outfits the actresses wore. I remember preferring the show over the book, but plan to reread it as my feelings for the show have changed over the years. (I still love the fashion, though.)

My Year in Meals, by Rachael Ray.


I received this book for free at a taping of The Rachael Ray Show. This four color cookbook is beautifully designed. The layout is like a journal, where Ray documented a full year of recipes. Throughout are assorted cooking notes and personal photos from Ray. Flip the book over for a section on cocktail recipes by John Cusimano, Ray’s husband. I haven’t tried any of the recipes yet, so I cannot comment on those. I can say that if you attend a taping of The Rachael Ray Show, wear a sweater. The studio temperature was like that of this past winter’s polar vortexes (vortices?). Brrr.

Sula, by Toni Morrison.


(link to eBook)

During my senior year of college, some friends and I trekked to (pre-Girls) Brooklyn to attend a reading of Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison. If I recall correctly, the reading was in a church and the book signing was at the nearby Community Bookstore. I chose to have Morrison sign Sula instead of her new work because I had recently read Sula for a literature course and enjoyed it most of all her books I had read. The publicists at the signing forbade us from speaking to Morrison to keep the line moving, but I still thanked her for signing by book because, manners.

Red Velvet Cupcake Murder, by Joanne Fluke.


(link to eBook)

This title is part of the “Murder She Baked” mystery series that follows Hannah Swenson, owner of bakery in a sleepy small Minnesota town with a rather alarming murder rate, as she solves crimes that usually involve baked goods. I’ve read all the books in the series, and while I feel that the love triangle between Hannah and her two suitors is tired I still enjoy the recipes included in the books. I made the Hot Stuff Brownie Cookies with chopped green chilies featured in this book, which several family members that taste-tested the cookies found too experimental, or “weird” to use their words.

The Tao of Martha, by Jen Lancaster.


(link to audiobook)

This one is my favorite because there is a good story attached to it. As Lancaster signed my copy of her hilarious and touching memoir about her efforts to live, garden, and keep house following Martha Stewart’s magazines and books, I asked Lancaster for restaurant recommendations in Chicago (she is based in the Chicagoland area) as I was going there for a conference. She was awesome enough to suggest three and wrote them down on a post-it note. I didn’t get to any of the restaurants on that trip (sorry!), but plan to try at least one when I go back to Chicago next year–I still have that post-it note.


We Are in a Book!, by Mo Willems.


This book is my favorite signed children’s book. The publicists at the signing (probably not the same ones from the Toni Morrison event) were moving everyone along, so when it was my turn I quickly told Willems how much I love reading his books aloud. I have read this book to my nieces and we giggled the whole time. (We also like There Is a Bird on Your Head!) This book, much like the other Elephant & Piggie books, is so silly and you can’t help but have fun reading them. The Elephant & Piggie books make great gifts for the children in your life–bonus if they’re signed by Mo Willems.

Do you have any signed copies of your favorite books?

-Written by Kerry Weinstein, Reference Librarian

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