In my first This Is Dedicated To post, I shared dedications to our favorite people: ourselves. Jokes aside this time, I’m sharing some true-love notes to authors’ real favorites. Valentine’s Day can be a frustrating holiday for reasons I don’t need to list, but let’s keep it all in perspective: before you get too bent out of shape over The-Day-That-Is-Supposed-To-Mean-So-Much-And-Is-Also-Saturday-In-Case-You-Forgot, take a look at these words spun by people who not only wrote entire books, but dedicated them to loved ones in beautiful ways. Now, I bet you miss how much less frustrated you were before you thought about this. That’s perspective.
Try making your dedicatee—and readers—swoon.
I’ve had this group of dedications sitting on my desktop for too long, because, quite frankly, I think it’s hard to write about love and be sincere or original, or even just without making people want to throw up. Finally, wearing my heart-shaped glasses this week, I found the inspiration I needed to cross all the t’s and make little hearts over the i’s in this post in order to share it with you. Here’s what I learned about dedicating your written work to a loved one from today’s featured dedications: Just say it simply! Or if not simply, say it cleverly. Neither route inspires? Try making your dedicatee—and readers—swoon. While we’re here, though, why not shoot the moon and try all three. (Looking at you, Michael Chabon.) So without further ado, I’ll let those who dedicated it loving-est speak for themselves.
As The Shirelles doo-wopped:
This is dedicated to the one I love,
For containing the title to this blog post in his dedication, Mr. Laufer gets to go first.
World in the Balance: The Historic Quest for a Universal System of Measurement, by Robert P. Crease
Spencer Tracy, by James Curtis
This one is for Kim.
On the level.
To Laura, whose birth was undeniably the happiest event of 1960
Girl Hunter: Revolutionizing the Way We Eat, One Hunt at a Time, by Georgia Pellegrini
For T. Kristian Russell
Without you, there would be none of this
I’ve seen several variations on the “without whom not” dedication, though I think this one’s particularly nice.
The One: The Life and Music of James Brown, by RJ Smith
‘It takes two to make it outta sight.’
Telegraph Avenue, by Michael Chabon
To Ayelet, from the drop of the needle to the innermost groove
Of all the things I have found out over the years,
the one thing I learned that matters most is how lucky a guy I am.
Before Galileo: The Birth of Modern Science in Medieval Europe, by John Freely
For my beloved Toots
Galileo, Science, Medieval Europe and Toots: I like how they all go together.