Literary Things that Grind My Gears

It’s no shock that hating on something gets more attention than loving it. Between the hipster sentiment of enjoying something ironically to the concept of the ‘anti-fan,’ we’ve created an entire culture based on opposing the things around us. Heck, I’ve even benefitted from it, given that my rant on why I hate Nicholas Sparks continues to gain the most amount of traffic on Book Club Babe.

So why fight it when you can join it? A little complaining can be therapeutic after all, so here are two things in the literary world going on this month that are grinding my gears!

Amen, Meme Generator!

The plight of the white male writer. There’s nothing quite as obnoxious as a white man who does not recognize his privilege in society. Many blogs are criticizing Kevin Morris, an entertainment attorney, for lamenting that before he got published, he was rejected many times and had to self-publish his book on Amazon. His book White Man’s Problems (ugh) discusses how hard it is for white men to get the credit they deserve now that women and people of color are dominating the cultural narrative. Hang on a second while I play the world’s smallest violin.

Oh, woe is the white man!

Not to worry, though, because Morris was fortunate enough to have a co-creator of “South Park” as a client who was able to hook him up with a publisher. Thank goodness there were other white men to help a white man out!

So let’s just completely ignore the fact that women often use gender-ambiguous pen names to increase readership, lest they get unceremoniously shoved into the infantilizing “women’s fiction” genre full of pink, fluffy covers. And let’s just bypass that in 2012, there were only three out of 124 authors on the NYT bestsellers list that were people of color, none of which were African-American. No, what the literary world needs more of is white men, of course!

Book vlog trolling. Anyone who has read YouTube comments knows that that’s where common decency goes to die. One poor girl named Katie who posted videos of book reviews was harassed so badly by mouth-breathers from 4chan forums that she decided to take down her entire channel. They mocked her personality, appearance, and sexuality so incessantly that she felt “disgusted” and “violated.”

As someone who has recently posted my own book vlogs on YouTube, I sympathize with Katie completely. My channel may not have enough of a spotlight on it to attract these gnats, but trolling book vloggers has to be a new low. If your hobby involves verbally assaulting people on the Internet–especially innocent, introverted bookworms–then you have a sad, pitiful life, and I hope you spend the rest of it stepping on Legos.

And this might be my new favorite gif!

So what’s grinding your gears right now? Feel free to let loose, because as Taylor Swift said, us haters are gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate today!

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!