While I’m the Lead Video Game Cataloger for Heritage Auctions, I’m also a big reader and a professional author. Thanks in part to my mom, who took me to used bookstores when I was a kid, I learned to love the written word at a young age. She also let me order three offerings from the Scholastic catalog each month, cementing my interest in reading and collecting books.
In our Nov. 29-30 Rare Books Signature Auction, we’re offering early editions of a number of my favorite novels of all time, including such classics as Carrie, Dracula, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Fahrenheit 451.
Browse All the Rare Books in the 2023 November 29 – 30 Rare Books Signature® Auction
Here are five more of my faves in this sale that I’ll be keeping an eye on, listed in alphabetical order:
The Bride of Frankenstein (Michael Egremont)
First up on my list is a book that I’ve never actually read or even held in my hands. Then how can it be one of my favorites, you are probably wondering? Because it stars my two favorite Universal Monsters, the Frankenstein monster and his Bride, portrayed memorably on the silver screen by Boris Karloff and Elsa Lanchester respectively. While I can’t vouch for the literary merits of this novel, I love the cool cover art, and it would absolutely command a center spot in my office book collection. And you bet your sweet dust jacket that I would read the book—very carefully, as it’s extremely rare and highly collectible.
Of Mice and Men (John Steinbeck)
When my wife and I go on long road trips, we find things to do in the car to keep us occupied, beyond typical stuff like the license plate game. We challenge each other to trivia and occasionally read to one another (yes, the passenger does all the reading—ha ha). For one particularly memorable trip, my bride read aloud Of Mice and Men, a heartbreaking tale of innocence, loss, friendship, fear, isolation, poverty, and more. As she read, tears streamed down her face, even though she had read it many times before (she was a high school English teacher for 30+ years). For such an easy-to-read story, Of Mice and Men is deep and leaves a lasting impression.
The Stand (Stephen King)
When I was a teenager and well into my 20s, any time anyone would ask me about my favorite author and my favorite book, the answer would be Stephen King and his magnum opus, The Stand. It’s an epic saga in which a deadly superflu—memorably called Captain Trips—drastically reduces the world’s population, culminating in an apocalyptic chess match (so to speak) between the survivors who personify the primal forces of good and evil. It’s a long book, but likable characters and settings and an intriguing storyline make the time and the pages fly as you go. I read the original a couple of times and then greedily devoured the expanded edition when it came out in 1991.
The Time Machine (H.G. Wells)
While Stephen King was my favorite author when I was younger, and while he’s still near the top, these days I prefer to double dip in the “Well,” as in George Orwell and H.G. Wells. Placing ahead of even the magnificent The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Time Machine takes the prize as my top novel by Wells and is one of my favorite books by any author. I’ve read it several times, and the ending still gives me chills as it’s much different and far bleaker than that of the 1960 feature film (which I also love). As a kid, I really liked The War of the Worlds, which I acquired through the Scholastic Book Club, but The Time Machine is more substantive and has a richer narrative.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (L. Frank Baum)
There are few rituals that are more rewarding than reading to a child. When my son Ryan was little, I read several novels to him, including Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Perhaps the most enjoyable was The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The book is magical and obviously spawned a movie that is equally wonderful (despite that missing word in the title). The edition we read together was illustrated beautifully by Greg Hildebrandt, the noted fantasy artist. The edition we’re offering is something altogether different. It’s a first edition illustrated by W.W. Denslow, a caricaturist, editorial cartoonist, and frequent Baum collaborator. I would love to get my hands on this rare release, but my son, who is now 27, would probably look at me funny if I offered to read it to him.
What are your favorite books in this sale? Let us know in the comments!
Browse All the Rare Books in the
November 29 – 30 Rare Books Signature® Auction