Many famous authors will meet their fans this fall, courtesy of Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville.
While publishers look forward to the holiday season, fall is the biggest time of year for author visits, and Anderson’s Bookshops has a robust schedule for booklovers of all ages to meet their favorite authors, get their books signed, and even snap a photo or two.
“This year looks like a special year,” said Ginny Wehrli-Hemmeter, events and marketing manager for Anderson’s Bookshop. Events will be held in Naperville and Downers Grove.
On Sept. 15, fans can meet Tony Award-winning actress Idina Menzel, who voices Elsa in Disney’s animated film “Frozen,” and hear her and sister Cara Mentzel talk about their new children’s book, “Proud Mouse.”
On Sept. 28, cooks and “Saved by the Bell” fans can visit actress and author Tiffani Thiessen, who will be promoting her book “Here We Go Again: Recipes and Inspiration to Level Up Your Leftovers.”
Writer, singer and songwriter Geri Halliwell-Horner, a member of the 1990s girl group Spice Girls, will give a presentation on Oct. 5 and sign copies of her latest book, “Rosie Frost and the Falcon Queen.”
Naperville native and Emmy-winning comedian/actor Bob Odenkirk, who is also a best-selling author, will return home Oct. 13 to celebrate the release of his new book, “Zealot and Other Notable Nursery Rhymes.” He will be accompanied by his daughter Erin, who illustrated the book.
Actor Henry Winkler, known as the Fonz on “Happy Days,” will give a presentation at North Central College on Nov. 3 and sign copies of his book, “Being Henry: The Fonz… and Beyond.”
Some lucky fans managed to get tickets for the two September events, which were already sold out.
There will be a book signing and photo shoot with “Stranger Things” star Millie Bobby Brown on Sept. 17, and Peloton star, fitness instructor and TV’s “Dancing with the Stars” runner-up Cody Rigsby will also make an appearance. 21 September.
Tickets for those two author visits sold out within a few hours, and the November presentation with Winkler was nearly sold out, Wehrli-Hemmeter said.
To ensure tickets are available and learn about newly planned visits, Wehrli-Hemmeter recommends following Anderson’s social media pages or signing up for his email lists.
“We have writers here because we believe in their books,” he said. “They are nationally beloved authors who appeal to all ages, all interests and all subjects. People come from all over and it’s a lot of fun.”
Anderson’s Bookshop has worked with its publishing partners for decades to become a destination for authors to promote new books, Wehrli-Hemmeter said.
The history of the family business dates back to 1875, when Naperville was a small farming town and they began selling books, gifts and toys at the W. W. Wickel Pharmacy. The first official bookstore opened in 1964, and the Downers Grove location opened in 1980. Six generations have worked at Anderson’s Bookshop.
Wehrli-Hemmeter said the store is fortunate to have the support of the public.
“We are grateful for the community around us,” he said. “The support of the community is vital to our success. Their presence is very important. “Whether it’s coming in to buy a gift or a gift card, all purchases allow us to do these events.”
“It’s always fun to see book lovers interact with their favorite authors, whether it’s a celebrity who’s made a name for himself in another line of work or an author who allows readers to escape to another world,” he said.
“It’s heart-warming to watch,” he said.
To book events and purchase tickets for a complete calendar, go to: www.andersonsbookshop.com.
Details of the planned “celebrity” events are as follows:
- Idina Menzel and Cara Mentzel, authors of “Proud Mouse,” will answer audience questions and perform a brief performance at 7 p.m. Sept. 15 at the Tivoli Theater, 5021 Highland Ave., Downers Grove.
- Millie Bobby Brown will sign copies of her book “The Nineteen Steps” and take photos with fans at noon Sept. 17 at Anderson’s Bookshop, 123 W. Jefferson Ave., Naperville. Tickets for the event are sold out and no more tickets will be added.
- Cody Rigsby will be photographing with fans to celebrate the release of “XOXO, Cody: A Thoughtful Gay’s Guide to Self-Love, Relationships, and Delicate Childhood” at 7pm on September 21 at Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville. The event is sold out.
- Tiffani Thiessen will sign copies of her book, “Here We Go Again: Recipes and Inspiration to Level Up Your Leftovers,” on Sept. 28 at 7 p.m., at Anderson’s Bookshop, 5112 Main St., Downers Grove.
- Geri Halliwell-Horner will sign copies of her book “Rosie Frost and the Falcon Queen” and a memorabilia and pose for photos with fans at the Tivoli Theater in Downers Grove on Oct. 5 at 7 p.m.
- Bob Odenkirk, his daughter Erin Odenkirk and bestselling author Jon Scieszka will talk about the book “Zealot and Other Notable Nursery Rhymes,” answer questions and sign copies of the book at 7 p.m. Oct. 13 at Community Christian Church, 1635 Emerson Lane, Naperville.
- Henry Winkler will sign copies of his book, “Being Henry: The Fonz… and Beyond,” at 7 p.m., Nov. 3, in Pfeiffer Hall, North Central College, 310 E. Benton Ave., Naperville.
Michelle Mullins is a freelance reporter for the Naperville Sun.