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9 Uplifting Books by My Favorite YouTubers

by  | July 24
Sorted book on table

Up until 2018, I didn’t consider myself much of a fan of any YouTuber. Sure, I was aware of users nigahiga and Fred, as their videos were staples of early 2010s popular culture, but my early interactions with YouTube were few and far between, limited to the occasional binge of WatchMojo Top 10 videos.

My relationship with YouTube changed when I studied abroad in the fall of 2018. I bonded with my floormates over the expose The Mind of Jake Paul, which Shane Dawson had produced on Jake Paul and Team 10. As we all watched the videos, I found myself increasingly fascinated by YouTube culture and amazed by the power a YouTuber can have to bring people together. After the series ended, I began spending more time on YouTube, and soon started subscribing to YouTubers.

Much like my favorite YouTubers’s channels, their books—whether heartfelt memoirs or thought-provoking fiction—are sure to be uplifting and create a sense of community.

Sorted

Sorted

by Jackson Bird

Jackson Bird’s YouTube channel is geared toward LGBTQ+ nerds, in which he primarily produces videos on LGBTQ+ life, books, and waffles. In his videos, Jackson is candid about his experiences as a trans, bisexual man, discussing topics such as transition updates, how to change your name and gender markers on official documents, and trans male visibility in the media.

Jackson brings the same candid energy to Sorted, taking us through his life as he protests against wearing a dress to the Daddy-Daughter Dance in favor of a suit; attempts to figure out how to have a chest binder delivered to his NYU dorm room; and takes shots of testosterone and undergoes top surgery. Through the book, Bird takes the time to clearly explain trans terminology and facts concerning gender and sexuality.

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The Ideal Planner

The Ideal Planner

by Emma Chamberlain

Emma Chamberlain has taken YouTube by storm with her unique editing style and her candid videos covering topics such as mental health and her daily routine. Her ambition is also remarkable. She’s only 19 years old, yet she’s already created the podcast Stupid Genius and runs a coffee company when not producing videos.

If you find that you’re just as busy as Emma, then The Ideal Planner is, well, ideal for you! The planner is distinct in that there are no dates, so you can just fill it in whenever, in case you happen to skip days here and there. Additionally, The Ideal Planner contains journal pages, mood boards, and puzzles, serving as an all-in-one journal, scrapbook, and planner. It comes out on August 18 so mark your…planners…

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Axiom's End

Axiom's End

by Lindsay Ellis

Lindsay Ellis’s channel focuses on video essays on topics ranging from Disney movies to product placement, with her latest one covering the protest music of the Bush era. Also, her three-part docuseries The Hobbit Duology earned her a nomination in the 2019 Hugo Awards category of the Best Related Work.

Axiom’s End is not the traditional “YouTuber book,” as it is a science fiction novel Lindsay began working on ten years ago before she rose to YouTube stardom. In the fall of 2007, protagonist Cora Sabino is attempting to stay out of the spotlight her whistleblower father created after he revealed that the U.S. government had made contact with an extraterrestrial presence. As Cora further gathers information about this alien existence, she realizes that the best way to uncover the truth is to not act as a whistleblower herself, but as an intermediary between mankind and the extraterrestrial.

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A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor

A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor

by Hank Green

At this point, Hank Green and his brother, John, are practically YouTube royalty. The two catapulted to fame in YouTube’s early days with their Vlogbrothers channel, and have since co-founded VidCon, a conference featuring YouTube’s most popular creators, as well as Crash Course, the educational channel now ubiquitous in classrooms.

Until recently, John was the sole Green brother who wrote books, having penned YA classics such as The Fault in Our Stars. However, 2018 saw the release of Hank’s first book, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, a science fiction novel about a woman named April May who receives viral acclaim on social media after discovering an unknown alien robot presence. This year its highly anticipated sequel was published, out now! A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor sees friends Andy, Maya, and Miranda reeling from the disappearance of both the robots and April May, and expands upon its predecessor’s commentary of how we treat the unknown.

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Dandelion

Dandelion

by Gabbie Hanna

With over six million subscribers, Gabbie Hanna is one of the most popular comedians on YouTube, most noted for her storytime and DIY videos. She has recently begun developing her singing career too, releasing the Billboard-charting album 2WayMirror last year and Bad Karma this year.

Dandelion, named from a single released on Bad Karma, is Gabbie’s second illustrated poetry collection, coming out on October 13. Expanding upon themes written in her bestselling Adultolescence in 2017, Dandelion is a deeper look into Gabbie’s life. It contains personal essays and drawings that depict stories from her childhood, past relationships, mental health struggles, and ultimately her self-acceptance.

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The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl

The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl

by Issa Rae

Before Issa Rae produced and starred in the HBO hit series Insecure, she was the mastermind behind the viral YouTube comedy series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. The series served as the thematic origins for Insecure, showcasing the main character J’s struggles in everyday situations, from navigating the workplace to relationships.

Issa takes her signature refreshingly relatable brand of comedy to her bestselling book The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. Filled with even more of her awkward moments, from catfishing in the early days of the Internet to her thoughts on public displays of affection, each essay is sure to make you laugh.

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You're Not Special

You're Not Special

by Meghan Rienks

Meghan Rienks began her channel in 2010, promising her audience “weird and awkward” beauty tutorial videos. Today she is one of the most popular lifestyle YouTubers, discussing topics such as makeup, beauty, and mental health with her over two million subscribers. She also hosts a call-in advice podcast called Don’t Blame Me! and has starred in the movie The Honor List and the Hulu show Freakish.

Like Meghan’s YouTube channel, You’re Not Special is very approachable; she describes it as a self-help book from the perspective of a friend or an older sister you can trust. From her worst dates to her struggles with mental health, she is here to tell you that you may not be special in the problems you face, but you are also not alone.

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How to Be a Bawse

How to Be a Bawse

by Lilly Singh

Lilly Singh began her YouTube channel ||Superwoman|| in 2010, wanting to make entertaining videos as a means of combating her depression. Her skits depicting everyday scenarios skyrocketed her popularity; her most popular video, “Three Girls, One Elevator,” has garnered over 45 million views. She has also made history by becoming the first openly LGBTQ+ individual and first person of Indian descent to host a late-night talk show on a major American network.

How to Be a Bawse is Lilly’s guide to conquering life and loving yourself unapologetically. She discusses fifty lessons she’s learned to reach her goals, including scheduling time to be creative and surrounding herself with people who know more than she does. Lilly’s bold voice propels this self-help book, inspiring readers to do the hard work necessary to attain success.

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The Hidden Power of F*cking Up

The Hidden Power of F*cking Up

by The Try Guys

Ever since I watched “Keith Eats Everything at Olive Garden,” I have been hooked on the Try Guys. Whether they’re photoshopping one another in crazy scenarios, or attempting to replicate a celebrity’s makeup, their exuberance and positivity make the Try Guys my favorite YouTube channel.

What appeals to audiences about the Try Guys is their willingness to try anything; in fact, they are built on fearlessness, having left their jobs at BuzzFeed to start an independent company and channel. In The Hidden Power of F*cking Up, Keith, Ned, Zach, and Eugene talk about overcoming fears in their own lives and give practical advice to readers. From becoming (mostly) vegan to developing closer relationships with family, the Try Guys show that it is when we embrace embarrassment and overcome self-doubt that we gain the courage to try anything.

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Sharon Van Meter is a Marketing Assistant with Simon & Schuster, and enjoys reading historical nonfiction, "the classics," and dystopian science fiction. She is passionate about history, social justice, and stand-up comedy, and in her free time enjoys writing, baking, and cultivating her Pinterest boards. Sharon also has a large collection of novelty socks.