If You Give a Blogger a Book Deal
Whether it’s a writer of a food blog or the star of a YouTube Channel, books by Internet celebrities are here to stay. The wave of bloggers and YouTube celebrities turned writers has been going strong since the medium gained popularity in the early 2000’s. In many cases, these writers have challenged the odds to cultivate loyal, if sometimes niche, fan bases. In the end, the book still reigns supreme as these online personalities have gone on to write humor, how-to-guides, cookbooks, and even incredibly personal memoirs. No matter the topic, these folks have something for everyone.
The Tao of Martha: My Year of LIVING; Or, Why I'm Never Getting All That Glitter Off of the Dog by Jen Lancaster
Jen Lancaster has definitely become the queen of humorous memoirs and oversharing. It is easy to forget that she started out with a personal blog called Jennsylvania simply as a way to complain about her life as an unemployed, former vice president at a technology company. Lancaster has written a dozen books but The Tao of Martha is one of her most relatable (and of course hilarious) books to date. In her attempt to live a year in Martha Stewart’s shoes, Lancaster writes about getting older and feeling more comfortable as a “real adult” who finally moved to the suburbs. Her goals include keeping New Year’s resolutions, an all ages Halloween party, and finally organizing her kitchen. While trying to live up to an impossible standard, the author also acknowledges that the Martha “lifestyle” is not always the answer to a balanced life and marriage. Laced with practical advice, this heartwarming and definitely poignant memoir will leave you saying, “If Jen can throw an impromptu, Martha-style July Fourth party, so can I!”
Bon Appètempt : A Coming-of-Age Story (With Recipes!) by Amelia Morris
Amelia Morris’s blog, (also named Bon Appètempt) is filled with mostly light-hearted tales of kitchen triumphs and mishaps with the occasional heartwarming personal essay. But when the food-blogger wrote a “memoir with recipes” named after her popular and award-winning blog, she switched gears and gave us a very personal memoir. The book reads as a series of personal essays which weaves an often tender but sometimes heart breaking life story. From the struggles of getting over her parents’ divorce, to moving cross-country to LA, Morris’s stories (and recipes) are compelling and satisfying. Don't miss her husband's recipe for lemon pasta.
Young House Love: 243 Ways to Paint, Craft, Update & Show Your Home Some Love by Sherry & John Petersik
Move over food blogs! Lifestyle blogging is still going steady. Sherry and John Petersik are the couple behind the very popular Young House Love blog. The couple focuses on each room of the house and provides DIY ideas for everything from organizing to decorating. This book is worth a look just for the gorgeous photography that makes those projects look easy. If that isn't enough fabulous home ideas for you, the Petersiks have done it again with their latest book called Lovable Livable Home: How to Add Beauty, Get Organized, and Make Your House Work for You. If you like watching HGTV on a weekday—you’ll love flipping through Young House Love on a Saturday morning before your next trip to the hardware or craft store.
Youtubers Rule the World
Make Up: Your Life Guide to Beauty, Style, and Success--Online and Off By Michelle Phan
To say that Makeup Guru, Michelle Phan has “made it” would be an understatement. Her YouTube channel has over 8 million subscribers and over one billion views. She has launched a popular makeup subscription service and has become a lifestyle celebrity. Her book is half how-to guide for make-up and fashion, half life guide for the internet generation. The latter makes this book particularly relevant today for an ever increasing media obsessed world. While digital responsibility and etiquette are discussed, Phan openly addresses that there are more important things than social media and often suggests putting the cell phone down when with friends and family, taking a “digital detox”, and never texting and driving. This one is worth the read whether you’re a millennial or just want some make-up tips.
The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae
Good things happen to those YouTubers who work hard and Issa Rae (Jo-Issa Diop) is no exception. After writing, directing, producing, and acting in several YouTube series about herself and others, Issa Rae finally found mainstream success IRL. The first season of her HBO series "Insecure" was met with wide critical acclaim both for her writing and performance in the starring role. Her book: The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl tells the story of growing up in and out of Maryland, California, and Senegal as well as the beginning of her successful career on YouTube - where her book leaves off. Incredibly funny and witty, Issa Rae tells the story of growing up as an awkward black girl with a large extended Senegalese family in addition to her many romantic and social failures. While it takes awhile to address in the book, Issa Rae does acknowledge that through hard work and many struggles, she has finally "made it" in the arts. Whether you want to laugh or cry, Issa Rae's memoir is for you.
My Drunk Kitchen: A Guide to Eating, Drinking, & Going with Your Gut by Hannah Hart
Have you ever needed a recipe for "sweet dip" or saltine nachos? What about “Sad Thai,” which consists of ordering Thai takeout then crying your eyes out after a break-up while eating Thai food? Then this is the parody cookbook for you! Host of the very popular YouTube series My Drunk Kitchen, Hart parodies both the cooking show and cookbook formats respectively…while acting drunk. Despite the comical nature, Hart is actually a very strong writer and recently debuted her memoir Buffering about struggling with growing up and coming out. She also starred in the independent film "Camp Takota" (as the camp cook, who drinks on the job of course,) with fellow YouTube stars/authors Mamrie Hart and Grace Helbig. Whether you check out the My Drunk Kitchen or Buffering, Hart is a writer and star to watch out for.
The Amazing Book is Not on Fire: The World of Dan and Phil by Dan Howell and Phil Lester
The authors, Dan Howell and Phil Lester, have become quite the celebrities in the YouTube Universe with their own channels Dan is Not on Fire and Amazing Phil, respectively. Though the pair can definitely be controversial for the sake of laughs, their humor is more of the good-intentioned British variety. The book reads more like “zine” (a self-made fan magazine) rather than a classic memoir. The duo use photos, old journal entries, instant message conversations, and old webpage/YouTube stills to tell the stories of both authors and their lives on the internet. As best friends and creative partners, their combined star power has already translated into a couple YouTube sponsored movies and a sequel to this book - Dan and Phil Go Outside, chronicling the book tour for The Amazing Book is Not on Fire. After finding success of YouTube, they even co-hosted two popular BBC radio shows in their native England. Now with two books, radio programming and even a couple Disney movie parts, Dan and Phil have firmly cemented mainstream success that surpasses their YouTube beginnings.