Hey guys, I recently celebrated my tiny human body living through yet another rotation of the earth around the sun. In other words, I turned twenty-three this week, and for my birthday I definitely got plenty of books, more than my already stuffed full bookshelves are telling me I should be getting, but birthday books must be welcomed onto the shelf. It’s a pretty strict clause in my book collection bylaws. I have a lot of strict bylaws that require I always allow myself to buy more books, even when I have too many already, now that I think about it.
If I’m a bit of a book glutton, it’s only because I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am today without books. They’ve been comforts, opportunities for growth, windows into worlds I’d never seen before. As such, I’d like to use this time to give something of an award acceptance speech, a chance to thank all the books that brought me here today. I could mention humans too I suppose, but mostly I’d just be thanking them for giving me books, so let’s just cut out the middle man here.
Hello everyone, I’m just so honored to win the award of somehow being allowed to continue my life for another year, despite many instances of gross incompetence on my part. I couldn’t have made it through my 22nd year without so many books, and I’ll try to thanks them all before the band starts playing me off. I’d like to thank:
- Mary Oliver’s Upstream, for introducing me to some of the best essays I’ve ever read, written by the best poet I’ve ever read.
- Thanks to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy for giving me the answer to life, the universe and everything.
- Thank you Saga, a beautifully written and illustrated sci-fi graphic novel series for showing me more alien genitalia than I ever really thought I’d need to see. Lot’s of variety there.
- Thanks to the Game of Thrones series, for jump starting the trend of killing off characters with abandon. Truly, none of my favorite protagonists are safe anymore, thanks to you. (This may be a partially sarcastic thank you.)
- Thank you Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instrument series, for addressing the serious dearth of quality gay warlock characters in my life and the genre at large, and surviving far too many attempts to be made into a a film, TV series, etc. Stay strong.
- Thank you to Lumberjanes for creating touching, realistic friendships in an outlandish setting that almost made me wish my parents had sent me to summer camp.
- Thanks The Rosie Project for being one of the funniest books I read in a while and having a character on the autism spectrum depicted tenderly and without gimmicks.
- Thank you Pretty Deadly, for proving that Fantasy and Western are indeed compatible genres and making something truly strange and beautiful.
- Thank you R.H. Sin’s Whiskey, Words and a Shovel I-III for proving the best strategy is to find the perfect title and stick with it.
- Thank you to that one battered copy of Paul Coelho’s The Alchemist for finally making it into my hands during a Christmas Party White Elephant gift exchange this year, so I could at last read this classic.
- Thank you Hamilton: The Revolution, for allowing me to be an even more insufferable Hamilton snob than ever before.
- Thanks, A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab, for concluding a series I love without breaking my heart, except for that special way that any a writer with power over characters you truly love can, which is mostly good in a strange way.
- Thank you a Study in Charlotte, for coming at the “Sherlock Holmes revamped” concept in a fresh way that didn’t have me breaking my eye-rolling muscle, like I did when someone tried to make me watch Elementary.
- Thank you Jen Wilde’s Queens of Geek for your fun and nerdy premise. It was the perfect excuse to cuddle in bed and keep reading during that streak of terrible weather.
- Thank you Ross Gay’s Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, for finding a way to make over a poem which includes an in depth description of a tree’s biological anatomy.
- Thank you original Harry Potter series, for remaining a solid rock in my book life, for staying solid and true, even with each subsequent amusement park and frivolous movie adaptation trying exploit
- Thanks, Dragons Love Tacos, for restoring my faith in the future of children’s picture books and fine literature with that title alone.
- Thank you Wonder by Emma Donoghue, for proving that a book about a quaint Irish farm village can be the farthest thing from a cozy Celtic romance or mystery, if the woman who wrote Room also writes it.
- Thank you Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey for tricking the general public into caring about poetry by getting on the New York Times Bestseller list.
- Thanks books about Pokemon for existing, so I had something for the large number of younger male cousins with birthday parties I don’t remember getting invited to. Thanks, also, for letting me peek inside you to see what a Litten is so I could kind of understand what they kept going on about.
- John Lewis’s March, for inspiring me to travel to the Women’s March on Washington and take part in history.
- Thanks so much The Wicked + The Divine for being yet another reason I need to get the Image Comics logo tattooed on my forehead.
- Finally, thank you that one “cozy mystery” book Above the Paw. I still have not read you, nor do I plan to, but every time I see that cover of a dog in a police uniform, looking ready to deal out some justice, along with that title, still sitting there on that shelf at my local bookstore, my day always gets a little bit better.
I’ve had a lot of books make my year better in a lot of different ways. Truly, I can feel so many of the books I read impacting me, changing the person I’m every day, usually for the better. Thanks to each and every one, and here’s to even more books make this coming year better too.