You may skip over them or you may read them diligently, but author dedications are one of my favorite parts of reading a book! Some of them are sweet, other are heart-breaking, but sometimes you stumble upon that one dedication in a book that just makes you laugh so hard your stomach hurts.
Dedicating your new book to a family member is very common amongst authors. Every once in a while, one is so sweet and funny that many take notice.
That was the case with Ben Philippe, a young author who just released his debut young-adult novel The Field Guide To The North American Teenager last week. Philippe dedicated the book to his mother, Belzie. But it’s what Philippe wrote next that got people’s attention.
Image Via Forbes
In an interview with Forbes, Philippe said that the humorous message was a nod to how many parents like to prioritize financial security amongst their kids and how a career in the arts doesn’t make them feel better.
“I think some parents see the arts as a state of permanent unrest for their kids. Financial safety doesn’t look like multiple part-time jobs, ‘gigs,’ or chugging coffee working on a manuscript at 2 a.m.”
Nevertheless, Philippe said that his mother liked the dedication.
And so did many others. Once the book was talked about on a podcast from BookRiot, several people on Twitter began sharing photos of the dedication on Twitter, with thousands of likes following each post. Here are two of them:
New favorite book dedication. pic.twitter.com/QGDF1ZaF2o
— kelly jensen ?? (@veronikellymars) November 23, 2018
I’ve seen a few folks post about this, but now that I have a copy, it’s my turn.
And this is the funniest dedication I’ve ever seen. pic.twitter.com/w8wkZNIDNt
— Eric Smith (@ericsmithrocks) January 12, 2019
I guess that’s one way to get the word out about your new book.
Featured Image Via Forbes
The dedication portion of a book is on of the most oft skipped over, for understandable reasons. After all, what do any of us care about the personal affections of an author we’ve never met? But for this reason, the dedication page is an opportunity for authors to slip in little jokes like small treasures uncovered only by that completionist breed of readers who must read every single line of text in a volume, including the copyright.
Here is a healthy list of some of the most amusing book dedications that, if they don’t encourage you to read the books they accompany, should at least encourage you to pay more attention to book dedications in the future.
1. Psychos, by Babe Walker
Dedicated to the strongest person I know: me.
Image Via The Happi Empire
2. Franny and Zooey, by J.D. Salinger
As nearly as possible in the spirit of Matthew Salinger, age one, urging a luncheon companion to accept a cool lima bean, I urge my editor, mentor and (heaven help him) closest friend, William Shawn, genius domus of The New Yorker, lover of the long shot, protector of the unprolific, defender of the hopelessly flamboyant, most unreasonably modest of born great artist-editors to accept this pretty skimpy-looking book.
3. Austenland, by Shannon Hale
For Colin Firth
You’re a really great guy, but I’m married, so I think we should just be friends.
4. The End Games, by T. Michael Martin
Everything not saved will be lost.
—Nintendo “Quit Screen” message
5. Virgin, by Radhika Sanghani
To anyone who has ever gone through the pain of a Brazilian wax.
Image Via Giphy
6. The Pirates! series, by Gideon Defoe
To Sophie, who has a quarter of a million pounds.
To Sophie, who still has a quarter of a million pounds of which I have not seen a single penny, even though this is the second entire book that I have dedicated to her.
To Sophie, who, taking into account the effects of compound interest, must have even more than a quarter of a million pounds by now, so this is her absolute last chance to do right by me or else I’m dedicating Book Four to that billionaire Onassis girl, or maybe the really nice one out of Lost.
To Evangeline Lilly, Jennifer Garner, Julie Christie, Phoebe Cates, Wendy James out of Transvision Vamp, Alison Clarkson, Molly Ringwald, Beyoncé, Louise Lombard, Miss France 1998, and that elfin one from the first series of America’s Next Top Model.
Don’t start crying about it now, Sophie. I warned you this was on the cards.
To Peter Lord, who has his own film studio. You can’t compete with that, can you, Sophie?
7. Dumplin’, by Julie Murphy
For all the fat bottomed girls.
Image Via Tenor
8. The Wishing Spell, by Chris Colfer
To Grandma, for being my first editor and giving me the best writing advice I’ve ever received: “Christopher, I think you should wait until you’re done with elementary school before worrying about being a failed writer.”
9. No Way Back, by Matthew Klein
(Just skip over the sex scenes, please)
10. Diary of a Mad Diva, by Joan Rivers
This book be dedicated to Kanye West, because he’ll never fuckin’ read it.
Image Via Giphy
11. Graduate Texts In Mathematics – An Introduction To Algebraic Topology, by Joseph J. Rotman
To my wife Marganit
and my children Ella Rose and Daniel Adam
without whom this book would have been completed two years earlier.
12. Visions of Cody, by Jack Kerouac
Dedicated to America, whatever that is.
13. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, by Jenny Lawson
I want to thank everyone who helped me create this book, except for that guy who yelled at me in Kmart when I was eight because he thought I was being “too rowdy.”
You’re an asshole, sir.
Image Via Tenor
14. Snow Like Ashes, by Sara Raasch
To everyone who read the first (horrible) draft of this story and did not laugh when twelve-year-old me said, “Someday I’m going to get this published.”
15. Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman
You know how it is. You pick up a book, flip to the dedication, and find that, once again, the author has dedicated a book to someone else and not to you.
Not this time.
Because we haven’t yet met/have only a glancing acquaintance/are just crazy about each other/haven’t seen each other in much too long/are in some way related/will never meet, but will, I trust, despite that, always think fondly of each other!
This one’s for you.
With you know what, and you probably know why.
Featured Image Via Pinterest and mbtskoudsalg.com.