There is nothing better in the Land of Reading than a lovely book you can treasure, to re-read whenever the whim takes you, to dip in and out of. Nothing better. Oh, except, that is, for a book that has also been signed by the author.
These signed books can take a very special place on any bookshelf. Well, they do on mine. They'll be stroked and opened just to look at the author's scrawl and, if you're very lucky, the personal message they've written there. My very first signed book was Knock and Wait by Gwen Grant – a children's book about a girl who is sent away to an open-air hospital after being poorly. Gwen Grant visited our local library and it was amazing. I've never forgotten meeting my first real-life author.
I asked my Novelicious colleagues if they had a signed book they treasured. I have to say, I was very jealous of Susan's children who met Julia Donaldson and are now in possession of signed Gruffalo books.
1. One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern – Our newest Novelicious recruit, Emma, (hello Emma!) has a signed copy of this novel. Emma was lucky enough to meet Cecelia at an author Q&A event, where she found the author to be incredibly inspiring – not just with Emma's own writing – but with life in general. And because Emma was one of the first people to tweet Cecelia when she joined Twitter, Cecelia knew who Emma was – making the inscription in the book even more special. The novel is about Kitty. When her career implodes, she researches a list of one hundred names her late mentor and boss left her.
2. Breakfast at Darcy's by Ali McNamara – This is a really special book for Cressida. Not only did Ali sign it, but she also took the time to write encouraging words for Cressida about her own writing. I love it when established authors do this. In Breakfast at Darcy's, Darcy inherits a small island off the coast of Ireland, but must live there for twelve months in order to fully inherit.
3. A Cornish Affair by Liz Fenwick – Last year, I took my family for a holiday to Cornwall inspired by reading A Cornish Affair and The Cornish House. We then met Liz and had a coffee with her (I didn't just chance upon her, typing away in a cafe, that would have been bizarre – it was pre-arranged!). Standing with her, in the car park at Helford where her books were set, was a surreal and lovely experience. What she wrote in my book when she signed it was equally lovely and it now has pride of place on my Special Shelf. In A Cornish Affair, Jude runs away from her wedding and finds herself in Cornwall.
4. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt – This is Kerry's one and only signed novel, but it is definitely one she treasures. The book, about the eccentric side of Savannah, Georgia, started a massive obsession with the area for Kerry (and all things southern) and prompted her to visit many times.
5. Rose Petal Beach by Dorothy Koomson – Jennifer was sent a review copy of Rose Petal Beach, which tells the story of a woman who is devastated when her husband is accused of something terrible. When Jennifer opened the novel she found a handwritten note from Dorothy, which she loved and thought was a wonderful touch.
Do you have any treasured books that have been signed by the author?