Autumn is a special season. The leaves are changing, the cold is coming, and nothing sounds better than curling up near the fire with a mug of hot cider and a good book. If you have any birthdays, anniversaries, or other special occasions coming up this fall season, here are a few rare finds that make great gifts for book lovers:
1. Peanuts by Charles Schulz
The first edition of the very first Peanuts book is sure to bring pure joy to any adult or child whose life it touches. Fall is the perfect time to revisit the classics, and we can’t think of a better one than the heartwarming comic strips of Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang. Universally credited as a “lovable loser,” Charlie Brown has brought love and laughter to generations of readers through of comic strips, cartoons, and film productions. Signed by the author with a small doodle of Snoopy on the inside cover, this first edition of Peanuts is exceedingly rare and a fantastic gift for any lover of books, comics, or humor.
2. Falling Man by Don DeLillo
A unique and bone-chilling tribute, Falling Man concerns a survivor of the World Trade Center on 9/11 and the events in his life that follow that terrible day. His interactions with his family, neighbors, and a new love interest and fellow survivor do a lot to explain the trauma and grief that follow real life survivors of the 9/11 plane crashes. As September is sure to bring up a lot of feelings for Americans still, this first edition novel is a great gift for anyone looking to delve deeper into the psyche of those who witnessed and survived the tragic events that day.
3. David Gentleman’s: London
Who doesn’t love dreaming of far away places while cozied up by the fire? This first edition David Gentleman’s: London is an exciting classic in an irresistible series. The book reveals a portrait of two Londons, including the capitol and the inner city and also covering the outer city. The book offers a tour of popular London sights alongside less well-known areas, juxtaposing the city’s traditional buildings with the unchecked development of a new London that continues today.The watercolor illustrations within the book are comparable to museum artwork and make for a lovely escape on chilly fall day.
4. Stone Soup by Marcia Brown
A first edition of an old folklore sounds just right for the holiday season. A fun story that continues to endure generations of readers, Stone Soup is about a group of travelers that come to a town with nothing but a pot. When the villagers who live there are unwilling to share their food, the travelers fill the pot with a stone and water and put it over a fire, stirring all the while. One by one villagers ask what the travelers are doing, and the travelers respond that they are making delicious stone soup but still need some garnish. Each person who asks contributes a little to the soup, from vegetables to spices, and in the end the soup is enjoyed by the whole town. A great lesson in cooperation and compassion just in time for Thanksgiving.
5. What Bird Is That? by Frank Chapman
What Bird Is That? is an extensive list for bird and book lovers brought to you by the ornithologist who came up with the original idea for the Audobon Christmas Bird Count. A beautiful rare book for the bird watcher in your life, What Bird Is That? has 301 detailed colored illustrations of birds from all over the country by Edmund J. Sawyer. An awesome collectible for bird and book lovers alike!
6. A Narrative of the Life, Adventures, Travels, and Sufferings of Henry Tufts
A thrilling and honest account of Henry Tufts, one of the most notorious thieves of the 18th century. His thieving habits began at age 14 in New England with petty thefts of “apples, pears, cucumbers, and other fruits of the earth.” He then went on to steal horses which he would then disguise by coloring their coats. He made many jail escapes, and describes himself as the undeserving victim in his accounts of being incarcerated. One story involves him and a fellow prisoner stripping off all their clothes, turning them inside out, and flinging them out of the jail through a small hole Tufts had made before they escaped. A truly priceless story of Tufts life told in his words, and this first edition copy is very rare as the family had burnt most original copies.
7. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
As Thanksgiving approaches, what could be a better gift to a fellow book lover than an exceedingly scarce and very rare first edition of The Very Hungry Caterpillar with a doodle of a caterpillar drawn by the author? Exciting to kids and adults, The Very Hungry Caterpillar illustrates a fun story of a hungry caterpillar who eats his way into becoming a beautiful butterfly. This children’s classic is said to have sold the equivalent of one copy per minute since its publication, making the first edition of it a very special treat!
8. American Prospects by Joel Sternfeld
American Prospects is a stunning book of photography that highlights the uncanny disquiet of a semi-rural life in America. The photos perfectly juxtapose vivid images with still scenery, such as the cover photo with the bright orange fire of a burning building blazing behind a field sprinkled with pumpkins. Each photo draws the eyes across every detail as it highlights familiar images of America that one might otherwise not see as remarkable. A delightful book to look through while the leaves are falling all around!
9. Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
Fall is the perfect time to revisit the classics. The first edition of Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a rare find of a New York period piece that you’ll come back to again and again. Featuring one of Capote’s greatest characters of all time, Holly Golightly, the story follows the lovable charm of a young woman doing whatever she can to get by in the Big Apple. Loved by so many for it’s movie rendition with Audrey Hepburn, the first edition is a wonderful way to celebrate the fellow book lover in your life this season.
10. The Way to Cook by Julia Child
Fall is all about bringing people together around the dinner table, and we can’t think of a better celebration of that than the first edition of Julia Child’s second magnum opus, The Way to Cook. With over 800 recipes and Julia Child’s signature on the half-title page, this book is sure to be both a treasured possession and an excellent resource for readers and chefs.
Fall is the best season for friends, family, food, and of course books! Enjoy your pumpkin recipes and fireside chats with a rare book that fits your style.