Nathan W. Pyle, “Strange Planet”
“To Taylor: You remove the air from my lungs.”
The dedication page in Pyle’s “Strange Planet” is blush pink. Below his sweet words to his wife, Taylor, there’s a pair of the cartoonist’s trademark blue extraterrestrials. “I drew a vital organ being wounded,” one alien says to the other, offering a drawing of a heart pierced by Cupid’s arrow.
Rainbow Rowell, “Attachments”
“For Kai, who’s better than fiction.”
Rowell, whose popular YA books include “Eleanor & Park” and “Fangirl,” sure knows how to deliver a compliment — in this case to her husband, Kai. Better than fiction? Coming from someone who makes a living out of it, that’s high praise indeed.
Karen Kingsbury, “Take Four”
“To Donald, my Prince Charming: …The ride is breathtakingly beautiful, my love. I pray it lasts into our twilight years. Until then, I’ll enjoy not always knowing where I end and you begin . . .”
The dedication in the fourth installment of Kingsbury’s “Above the Line” series is eight pages long. In addition to a letter to her husband, Donald, she includes notes to each of her six children, including Kelsey, her “precious daughter,” Tyler, her “beautiful song” and Josh, her “tenderhearted perfectionist.”
Maeve Binchy, “Nights of Rain and Stars”
“For dear good Gordon, who has been such a supportive and kind person that nobody would believe it if I were to write him into a book! Thank you with all of my heart.”
The late Irish writer and her husband, children’s books author Gordon Snell, were noted for dedicating all of their books to each other — which means many romantic examples exist. In “Heart and Soul,” for instance, Binchy wrote: “. . . And with great love and thanks to Gordon, who makes the bad times bearable and the good times magical.” After Binchy’s death in 2012, Snell said he would no longer dedicate his books to anyone, since his wife was irreplaceable.
Peter T. Leeson, “The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates”
“Ania, I love you; will you marry me?”
Talk about a happy ending: Leeson, an economist, surprised his now-wife, Ania, with a copy of “The Invisible Hook” bookmarked to the dedication page. In the preface, he further explained: “If I’ve succeeded in hiding my plans from her since writing this, she should be very surprised. I hope she says ‘yes.’ If she doesn’t, I might have to turn to sea banditry, which would be tough since I don’t know how to sail.”
Carl Sagan, “Cosmos”
“For Ann Druyan: In the vastness of space and the immensity of time, it is my joy to spend a planet and an epoch with Annie.”
The late astronomer and his wife — who met at a party at Nora Ephron’s home in the 1970s — collaborated on projects such as the 1980 PBS documentary series “Cosmos” (which complemented the book). In a 2003 interview with Skeptical Inquirer, Druyan pondered whether she and her husband would meet again in some other realm. “I don’t think I’ll ever see Carl again,” she said. “But I saw him. We saw each other. We found each other in the cosmos, and that was wonderful.”
Leif Enger, “Virgil Wander”
“Robin: Bird in the garden, tail of the kite, wind over water, laughter at night.”
In 2018, the Minnesotan author published his first novel in 10 years and waxed poetic to his wife, Robin. He’s said that, after spending five years on the first iteration of the book, which he ultimately discarded, his wife encouraged him: “Just set yourself free. Just be the kite.”
Gillian Flynn, “Dark Places”
“To my dashing husband, Brett Nolan.”
She had us at dashing. But in the thriller’s acknowledgments, Flynn’s tribute to her husband continues: “Finally, thanks to my brilliant, funny, giant-hearted, super-hot husband . . . What can I say about a man who knows how I think and still sleeps next to me with the lights off? To a man who asks me the questions that help me find my way? To a man who reads voraciously, makes a mean gumbo, looks smart in a tux, and whistles better than Bing?”
Colleen Hoover, “All Your Perfects”
“To Heath. I love you more today than any day that has come before it. Thank you for being legit.”
Hoover, the author of more than a dozen novels and novellas – including “It Ends With Us” and “Verity” – often shouts out her husband online. One of her favorite catchphrases is “Heath is legit!”
Fredrik Backman, “Beartown”
“. . . And for Neda Shafti-Backman, my funniest, smartest, most argumentative best friend, who picks me up when I need it, and keeps my feet on the ground when I deserve it.”
Backman, the Swedish author noted for an emotionally charged yet whimsical style, also dedicated “Us Against You,” the sequel to “Beartown,” to his wife: “For Neda. I’m still trying to impress you. Just so you know.”
David Wong, “This Book Is Full of Spiders”
“For Carley, who was a better person than I am even though she was a dog.”
Wong is the pseudonym of Jason Pargin, the executive editor of the comedy site Cracked.com. And although his book might have been “full of spiders,” his heart was apparently full with the love of a good dog.
And apparently, he’s well aware that the adage is true: Dogs are man’s true love.
Lang Leav, “The Universe of Us”
“For Michael, my universe.”
Novelist and poet Leav dedicated this celestial-themed collection to her partner and fellow author, Michael Faudet. In his new book, “Cult of Two,” he returned the gesture: “For Lang, In your eyes I see myself. I see the love we never thought was possible.”
Angela Haupt is a freelance writer and full-time health editor in the District.