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The Project for Awesome!
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In which John Green announces huge matching donations for the 2016 Project for Awesome, the forthcoming launch of the indiegogo (which will include a perk of him reading a 15-page section of a Thing he is writing), and shares some of his favorite books from a lovely year of reading. Plus, you can learn the three parts of the sternum.

Books from my Holiday Book Gift Giving Guide!

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead: or

Moonglow by Michael Chabon: or

What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi: or

Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang: or

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor: or

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir: or

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater (The amazing last book, The Raven King, just came out: or

The Sun Is Also a Star: or

Buffering by Hannah Hart: or

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari: or

I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong: or

Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal: or

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Good morning, Hank, it's Tuesday. Today’s video is like the human sternum: It comes to you in three parts.

Part one: The Manubrium.

So, the Tenth Annual Project for Awesome (Nerdfighteria’s annual charity event) begins at noon Eastern Time on Friday. That’s when you should upload your Project for Awesome videos and submit them to, but the Indiegogo fundraiser will go live at midnight tonight, and you can get lots of great perks for donating, including a Project for Awesome tote bag, P4A socks, an exclusive episode of Dear Hank & John, and an audio recording of me reading about fifteen pages from a thing I’m working on.

Wait a thing? What thing? “Thing” isn’t a very descriptive noun!

Yeah, I know, it’s intentionally undescriptive. Moving on!

Part Two: The Body. The middle of the sternum is called the body? Anatomists are so bad at naming.

So during the first half of the Project for Awesome, all the money raised will be split between Save the Children and Partners in Health, two organizations doing amazing jobs of helping the most vulnerable children and families around the world. And thanks to matching donations, I am pleased to announce that during the first half of the P4A, your donations will be worth much more money. A group of nerdfighters has gotten together with Hank and me to offer $300,000 in matching donations, and generous donors from both Partners in Health and Save the Children will also match your donations, meaning that starting at midnight tonight, every dollar you donate to the Project for Awesome is worth four dollars. So thank you to all our matching donors.

Part Three: The Xiphoid Process, which would be a pretty good name for a band.

It’s time for my holiday book roundup. This year, I want to recommend twelve books that I think will make excellent holiday gifts. Let’s start with my three favorite grownup fiction books of the year.

First, Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, which just won the National Book Award. It is a haunting and brilliant novel about American slavery that imagines the underground railroad as an actual underground railroad.

Second, Moonglow by Michael Chabon (Chabon?). One of the problems with being a proper genius like Michael Chabon is that after you publish several nearly perfect novels, people start saying, “Oh yeah, it’s another nearly perfect novel; he’s written a bunch of those.” But no, this is an amazing book about war and memory and mental illness. I loved it.

And lastly, What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi, which is just a transfixing book of fairy tale-like short stories. I promise you have never read anything like it before.

For Sci-Fi fans, another story collection recommendation: Ted Chiang’s Stories of Your Life and Others. One of the stories in that book was the basis for the wonderful movie Arrival, but they’re all mind-blowingly good.

My other favorite Sci-Fi of the year was Nnedi Okorafor’s Binti, which is about a girl who has to travel across the galaxy to attend university. It’s page-turny and exciting, but ultimately really moving.

Young adult fiction! I liked a lot of young adult books this year, but I’m gonna limit myself to three recommendations. First, Ember in the Ashes, a thrilling and politically astute dystopian series. Then there’s The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater for fantasy fans. It’s just amazing. And if you’re looking for a good YA love story, I recommend The Sun Is Also a Star.

For fans of YouTubers, there are lots of great books out there by YouTubers, but I wanna highlight Hannah Hart’s Buffering because I think it’s a beautifully written and extraordinarily touching memoir.

Okay, nonfiction. Two stand out for me this year. First, I Contain Multitudes, a History of Microbes and Humanity’s Relationship With Them. That is a fascinating book, even if, like myself, you are not thrilled by the notion that half the cells inside of your body are not, strictly speaking, yours.

And secondly, Sapiens, a sweeping history of the last 250 thousand or so years that explores how humans became the dominant species on the planet, and also what our lives looked like back when we were, in the author’s phrase, “an animal of no significance.”

And lastly, you know how you have, or I hope you have, a quirky and delightful friend who is just the most fascinating person you know? I have the perfect gift book for that person. Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal, a wonderfully eccentric memoir that is enhanced by texting, really.

So Hank, those are twelve books I recommend this holiday season. You will see me on Friday for the Tenth Annual Project for Awesome!

Endscreen! Here’s a couple guides on how to make a good Project for Awesome Video, and a link to the Indiegogo will be here once it’s live. And of course Self-Care Bunny hope you’re being nice to yourself and eating your carrots, unless you’re allergic to carrots.