Top Ten Tuesday: My favorite websites that aren’t about books


Image via The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, takes a break from books to discuss our favorite websites that have nothing to do with literature. We all spend our lives online nowadays, so it was difficult for me to limit this list to only ten sites when there are so many great sources for education and entertainment.

Below are some of my favorite websites that I visit regularly, with a short blurb of what makes them so awesome!


1. Recipes: Pinterest

Ah, Pinterest. The go-to site for virtual hoarders everywhere. While I do have an account to publicize my blog, I primarily use it to store recipes that I’m interested in making. My Nom Noms board has a bunch of slow cooker ideas and my obsession with s’mores resulted in a separate board just for Desserts. As much as I love paper books, I don’t need them for cooking ever again!


2. Killing time: BuzzFeed’s YouTube channel

BuzzFeed has dominated the artform of the listicle, but it’s their video team that’s really rocking it online. Whether it’s learning about other cultures or just watching people squeal over cute animals, this channel starts the vast majority of my YouTube black hole trips. And let’s face it, it’s all Eugene’s fault!


3. Budgeting: You Need a Budget

On Black Friday of 2013, my life changed forever when I purchased You Need a Budget (YNAB). In less than three years since I began monitoring where all my money was going, I’ve managed to pay off all my student loans, buy and pay off my new Mazda3, save an emergency fund, and save for my two-week trip to Europe! YNAB has recently changed its business model to a subscription service, but I can’t think of a better way to spend $50 a year. I’m not paid by YNAB whatsoever, but I’m just so passionate about it, I recommend it constantly!


4. Money: Financial Samurai

After you’ve become a YNAB pro and learned the basics of personal finance, check out the Financial Samurai to take your money skills to the next level. Blogger Sam abandoned Wall St. to retire early and now makes his living teaching people about entrepreneurship and wealth management. He’s a San Francisco resident with tons of knowledge of the tech industry, so I also appreciate his insight about Bay Area real estate and startup investing.


5. Career: I Will Teach You to be Rich

Ramit Sethi, founder of I Will Teach You to be Rich, became famous in the personal finance industry for his book of the same name, which focused more on big money wins than cutting lattes. His “live rich” mantra has now expanded into an excellent platform for career advice, from job interviewing to building an online business. Much like Financial Samurai, Ramit has a no-BS, tough love personality that motivates his followers to reach their true potential.


6. Long Form: Wait But Why

In a world where bite-size news prevails, Wait But Why is a breath of fresh air. Blogger Tim Urban doesn’t keep a regular posting schedule, but it’s worth waiting weeks or even months, because he delivers amazing long form articles about artificial intelligence, social behavior, and more. His profile on Elon Musk and TED Talk on procrastination have catapulted him into blogging stardom, but it’s his stick-figure illustrations that make him memorable.


7. Entertainment: The Oatmeal

Matthew Inman is quite possibly the Internet’s coolest dude: his comics are crazy, colorful fun with a kickass sense of humor. He certainly isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, since he doesn’t shy away from speaking about sexism, religion, and why cats are better than babies. But he’s also a huge geek who uses his success to do amazing things, like fund a Nikola Tesla museum and protect indoor kitties that go missing. Like many fans, I discovered his work through his comics about grammar, so it also goes without saying that he’s saving the world, one semicolon at a time!


8. Women’s Rights: Jezebel

People who are close to me know that I’m a loud and proud feminist, so it’s no surprise that my favorite place to get my news is Jezebel. This Gawker Media online publication covers politics, celebrities, and culture with an unapologetic feminist POV, despite the trolling that spills over from the mouth-breaking MRAs (men’s rights activists) on other Gawker sites. And while Jezebel’s writers are talented, I come for the commenters. It’s like the Jezebel community has pulled together the wittiest women around the world, and I only wish we could all have a meetup in real life. Bay Area Jezzies, hit me up!


9. Relationships: Dr. Nerdlove

How do you save geeks from turning into mouth-breathing MRAs, the kind of parasites that infest sites like Reddit and 4chan? You educate them on how to navigate social situations in regards to friendship and dating. Harris O’Malley, aka Dr. Nerdlove, cross-posts his advice column to Kotaku, Gawker Media’s site for gaming and his target audience. Men who are sexually unsuccessful with women grow to hate them, so Dr. Nerdlove is serving feminists everywhere by fighting misogyny at its source.


10. Advice Column: Dear Coquette

I guess that you could say that I’m cheating with this category, since Dr. Nerdlove also has an advice column, but Dear Coquette’s entire claim to fame is answering the internet’s questions–with unparalleled bite. She tackles the tough stuff like suicide, drug use, and existential crises with empathy, but doesn’t coddle those with relationship or attitude problems. Browse through her best-of section and start worshipping this anonymous digital therapist.

Let me know if you love these websites as well, and feel free to give shout-outs to others that didn’t make my list!

Happy Friday! Here’s some bookshelf porn to celebrate!

I bet that title got you to pay attention!

Some people may find Pinterest a time-suck for only select demographics: women with ’90s nostalgia planning their mason-jar-obsessed barn wedding, fitness junkies with their “thinspiration” boards, or beauty fanatics pinning crazy nail art and ombre highlights.

Yes, we (almost 70% female) are on Pinterest looking at meals we’ll never make, places we’ll never go, and houses we’ll never afford. The social network is the ultimate 21st century dream board.

And although my job has shifted my priorities where they belong–more working and less pinning–I still love dropping by the site every now and then. I even recently converted my account from personal to professional, so please check out my Book Club Babe board!

Today, I’d like to share pictures from my favorite board, aptly named Bookshelf Porn. Every book lover fantasizes about their perfect library, with shelves packed from ceiling to floor. So without further ado, admire these wonders!

Library in the Loft

Spiral Staircase

Lines and Curves

Floating Shelves

And, of course, the secret bathroom so you never have to leave your library!

Please follow the links to the rest of the 50 pins on my Bookshelf Porn Pinterest board (don’t forget to repin if you’re a user too!), and post pics of your favorite libraries in the comments!

Have a great weekend everybody!

Welcome to the new Book Club Babe! (And why my brother is better than yours)

Book Club Babe is back and better than ever! Take a look around! I’ve got a new logo and look, as well as an official Terms & Conditions and an updated About Me page. I’ve also purchased the domain, so remember to add it to your bookmarks! A few tweaks are still in the works in regards to expanding on social media (like my new Facebook fan page!), but I was too excited to wait any longer!

Another way I’m working to effectively and cohesively professionalize my personal brand is to “come out” and reveal my identity. I’m obviously not off the grid or anything, so goodness knows I’m no secret agent, but I’ve never directly gone by my real name.

It’s Alyssa Jarrett, by the way, and it’s a pleasure to re-make your acquaintance! As someone just out of grad school and adjusting to the working world, I don’t have a huge online presence, but I encourage you to check out my About.Me website and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest.

I owe all these awesome blog changes to my only, and therefore, favorite sibling Nick Jarrett. Before I jump back into book blogging, I thought I would repay the favor by sharing just a few of the reasons why my brother is the best!

Looking like the pro he is!

Looking like the pro he is!

1. My brother is a kick-ass artist.

This one’s a given, considering the wonders he’s done for Book Club Babe. But just like I’ve always had literary inclinations, Nick’s been the artistic one in the family. He’s currently a graphic design student at Fresno State who does freelance work in his free time. With tattoos, gauges, and a morbid sense of humor, “creative” is a total understatement for this hardcore kid.

Nick with his friend Erik and girlfriend Bri.

Nick with his friend Erik and girlfriend Bri.

2. My brother created his own clothing company.

Over two years ago, Nick founded his clothing line I Scream Clothing, which specializes in colorful T-shirts for the hardcore scene. If you’re looking to wear fun, energetic, unique designs, look no further!

Nick in action!

Nick in action!

3. My brother is an awesome paintballer.

Nick’s also the captain of a paintball team called Genesis, which he formed in 2009 with his friends. He’s a snake player who’s helped Genesis win 1st place in their RPL division at Fresno in 2010 and at Oceanside in 2011. They’ve currently advanced to Division 3 in WCPPL. With my father as coach, paintball is a huge part of my family.

4. My brother will always be a geeky kid at heart.

Between his addiction to Pokemon and the latest tech gadgets, Nick’s a self-professed geek. His most recent hobby is live-streaming video games, so it’s only a matter of time before he’s a YouTube sensation! We’ve bonded over horror games like Slender and Amnesia, so check out us above, where he gives me a  Book Club Babe shout-out!

So that’s why my brother is better than yours! You can get a hold of him on his Facebook and Twitter, but please let him know what you think of the blog redesign in the comments! And even though you know my real name now, I’ll always be Book Club Babe!