This week I decided to be a part of The Broke and the Bookish‘s Top Ten Tuesday weekly blog challenge, and the theme this week is “Ten Reasons I Love X.”
I’m choosing to do: Ten Reasons I Love Daniel Handler (a.k.a. Lemony Snicket).
Handler is one of my all-time favorite authors, and here are ten reasons why:
- A Series of Unfortunate Events
Handler/Snicket is not afraid of getting dark, broaching difficult topics, and generally challenging young readers, and nowhere is that more apparent than in his most well-known 13-book series. I loved the -*~aesthetic~*- of this series and the general trademark goofiness and multi-layered humor that is omnipresent throughout.
- His vocabulary
I learned and witnessed more complex words from the Series of Unfortunate Events than I have in probably any book or series since. What I liked best was that Snicket would use the word and then define it in a way that did not make you feel stupid for not knowing it (“a word which here means…”).
- His quotability
His quotes range from deeply insightful to quietly hilarious, often a combination of both. Some of my favorite Snicket quotes (most from his delightful book of wisdom titled Horseradish (Bitter Truths You Can’t Avoid).
“It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. We all know that our time in this world is limited, and that eventually all of us will end up underneath some sheet, never to wake up. And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know. It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought of things.”
“A good library will never be too neat, or too dusty, because somebody will always be in it, taking books off the shelves and staying up late reading them.”
- His subtle cultural references
One of my favorites:
“The verdict of the High Court was to take the expression literally,” said the manager. “So everyone except the judges must cover their eyes before the trial can begin.”
“Scalia,” Sunny said. She meant something like, “It doesn’t seem like the literal interpretation makes any sense,” but her siblings did not think it was wise to translate.
- The Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity
- This personal essay on the “Righteous Anger of Girls”
- That time when I met him at DCPL and “Lemony” ran out of the room screaming in the middle of his presentation and “Daniel” reappeared to sign books. And then he mocked me for writing notes on my hand and told me he wanted to introduce me to this fancy new invention called “paper,” which he said is like a collection of tree skin that you can write on.
- His tendency to darkness in general, in all of his novels from A Series of Unfortunate Events, to his picture books like The Dark, to his range of adult novels, including We Were Pirates.
- The Mystery of Beatrice
- His $1 million contribution to Planned Parenthood last year.
Handler is a very noble man indeed, and as a librarian and lover of literature, I can’t help but admire a hilarious, wise and clever author who has managed to have a significant impact on both my childhood and my nascent adulthood thus far. I am looking forward to seeing what else he comes out with!