And Who is the Funniest of Them All?

October is supposed to be a frightening month, but so far this month’s new book releases are making it a whole lot funnier.

With major books from Jim Gaffigan, Grace Helbig, Russell Brand and Neil Patrick Harris, your funny bone is sure to be tickled—but which comedian is the biggest hit with their Twitter followers? Which funnyman emerges as the victor when it comes to successfully promoting their book?

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We took the most popular tweets from each author, and based our calculations on the number of retweets and favorites each one has.

So without further ado, here are the rankings:

4.) Jim Gaffigan’s Food: A Love Story

3.) Russell Brand’s Revoution

2.) Neil Patrick Harris’ Choose Your Own Autobiography

and drumroll please…

1.) Grace Helbig’s Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to Be a Grown-up

And the joke is on you because the funnyman is actually a funnywoman! This was a surprise win, but we shouldn’t be too shocked because her tweet is hilarious.

Are you planning on reading any of these books? If you have already, what did you think? Who do you think is the funniest out of the four?

Horror Books Around the World

We’ve recently made a list of “Horror Novels Through the Ages,” which was a real hoot—it’s always fun to read up on classical monsters such as vampires and Frankenstein—but today we have put together some foreign novels that we think fans of horror would particularly enjoy.

From lovelorn psychopaths, to haunted houses, and disappearing babies, if these books don’t raise the hairs on the back of your neck, then we don’t know what will.

Japan

Ring – Koji Suzuki

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If you’ve seen the American remake of this novel (The Ring), then you know that Japanese horror doesn’t mess around. After four teenagers mysteriously die simultaneously, a reporter sets out to discover how. In the process, he finds an unmarked videotape, where an injured man warns that the viewer has seven days to live. More horror, plot twists, and violence ensue.

Iceland

I Remember You – Yrsa Sigurdardottir

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Just to give you an idea of how terrifying this novel is, Icelandic fans of author Yrsa Sigurdardottir were reportedly so scared of just the cover of I Remember You, that it had to be changed for U.K. and American editions.
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An eerie ghost story about missing children, an isolated house and love, the story is told in two sections. The first features three young adults who buy an abandoned house in the hopes of renovating it, and the second on a psychologist who investigates a suicide of an elderly woman (who just happens to be obsessed with his missing son). I Remember You was the recipient of the Icelandic Crime Fiction Award.

England

The Collector – John Fowles

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The debut novel by English author John Fowles, The Collector is so creepy that various songs, television episodes, books, and films have been based off of the premise of the book.

The tale is about a lonely young man, Frederick Clegg, who collects petrified butterflies in his spare time (see, this is already terrifying). Clegg is hopelessly obsessed with Miranda Grey, a beautiful art student, but due to his lack of social skills, feels like he can’t approach her. So then logically (in Clegg’s psychotic mind), the only way to relieve his desperate longing is to “collect” her.

Sweden

Let the Right One InJohn Ajvide Lindqvist

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The story centers around a 12 year-old boy, Oskar—a lonely and tormented soul who collects newspaper clippings of murder—and how he meets Eli, his next door neighbor (who just happens to be a centuries-old vampire). The book casts a light on anxiety, bullying, pedophilia, murder, and alcoholism—all heavy subjects dealing with the darker side of humanity.

Made into a Swedish-language film as well as an English-language adaptation, the book remains one of Sweden’s bestsellers.

Germany

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer – Patrick Suskind

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Who knew that the ability to smell could be so terrifying? A story about a perfume apprentice in the 18th century, who was born with no body scent, he begins to stalk and murder virgins in order to find the “perfect scent.”

Belgium

Malpertuis – Jean Ray

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Malpertuis is about an ancient house where the gods of Olympus are trapped by a dying warlock. Aged and stuck inside the bodies of ordinary Flemish citizens, the novel is complex, bizarre, and one of the great novels of supernatural horror.

Mexico

The Strain – Guillermo del Toro

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Del Toro is no stranger to fairy tales and horror, so The Strain is nothing short of horrifically spine-tingling. When a massive vampiric virus infects the citizens of New York City, Dr. “Eph” Goodweather and a band of fighters must stop the contagion to save the city.

Have you read any of these scary books? If so, what did you think of them? As always, we are open to new reading suggestions, so if you have any recommendations for scary books, please leave a comment!

The Most Popular Genres for NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is almost here! For those of you who don’t know, on November 1, participants begin working toward writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.

This exercise builds discipline, determination, and enthusiasm—so what are you waiting for? We’ve gone through our past list of “Top Trending Books” to figure out which are the most popular genres to write about, to help you on your way to writing the next bestseller.

Young Adult – Paranormal

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Not that this is such a surprise, but with novels like Michelle Mead’s Silver Shadows from the Bloodlines Series—about vampires, alchemists, and all things magic—and Deborah Harkness’ The Book of Life from the All Souls Trilogy—also about vampires (and witches and scientists, too)—we’re thinking that the world is craving more blood paranormal fiction.

Thriller – Mystery

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Gillian Flynn’s novels, Gone Girl and Sharp Objects have been cropping up on our “top” lists, as well as Stieg Larsson’s books from the Millennium series, and it’s no mystery as to why (pun intended). Readers love a good novel with the ability to build unbearable suspense, and they adore it all the more when they are kept guessing until the end.

Romance – Erotica

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Everyone loves a guilty pleasure, and there’s nothing guiltier and more pleasurable than an erotica novel (ahem…50 Shades of Grey). People may not admit it, but the lonely, passionate, and straight up curious are secretly hankering for these steamy reads—hence why books like Pepper Winters’ Twisted Together (about an angsty alpha male and badass heroine who fall in love), and Laura Kaye’s East of Ecstasy (much of the same plot as the former) are consistently on our lists.

Young Adult – Romance

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Perhaps it’s the rush of first love and the thrill of being young again, because novels such as John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska—contemporary young adult romances—are insanely popular and constant chart toppers. Other similar books, like Adi Alsaid’s Let’s Get Lost—a tale about five teens on an epic road adventure—and Rachel Harris’ The Fine Art of Pretendinga story of a girl who’s out to get the perfect homecoming date—also generate a lot of buzz.

Are you going to participate in NaNoWriMo? If so, what genre have you chosen to write about, and why?

West African Literature

Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia may be splashed all over the news as of late due to the current outbreak of Ebola (the worst since 1976)—but let’s, for a moment, take a different focus on these countries.

Boasting rich literary traditions, with numerous authors contributing to various genres throughout the years, you will discover that the themes of culture, tradition, identity and society all play an important part in the works of these West African writers.

Below are a few notable authors and their works:

Liberia

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Edward Wilmot Blyden was the most renowned Liberian author in the 19th century. An educator, diplomat and writer, Blyden was considered to be one of the early fathers of Pan Africanism (an ideology and movement that encourages the solidarity of Africans worldwide) along with W.E.B. Du Bois and Marcus Garvy.

Christianity, Island and the Negro Race (1887), revolves around the idea that practicing Islam is more fulfilling for Africans than Christianity.

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Bai T. Moore was a poet, novelist, essayist and folklorist. He is best known for his novel, Murder in the Cassava Patch (1968). Based on a true story—about the relationship between Gortokai, a young Liberian man, and Tene, the girl he hopes to marry—this novel is regarded as Liberia’s best-known novel and is required reading for every Liberian high school student.

Sierra Leone

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Karamoh Kabba is an author, writer, novelist and journalist. Many of his works were based on Sierra Leone civil war, including A Mother’s Saga: An Account of the Rebel War in Sierra Leone (2002). Follow the story of a single mother who braves bloody diamond fields and machete-swinging rebels in order to protect her family.

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Eustace Palmer is an author and literary critic. Winner of the African Literature Association’s Distinguished Member award, Palmer has many published books including A Hanging is Announced, Canfira’s Travels, and A Tale of Three Women.

Guinea

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Thierno Saïdou Diallo is a novelist and iochemist. He has written eight books and was awarded the 2008 prix Renaudot—a French literary prize that is awarded to an outstanding original novel—for The King of Kahel (2008). Loosely based on the life of Olivier de Sanderval, a man who journeyed to Guinea to build an empire by conquering the region Fouta Djallon.

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Camara Laye is best known for his novel, The African Child (1954). One of the earliest major works in Francophone African literature, breeze through a beautiful account of Laye’s boyhood experiences and learn about the customs and formalities of an African tribe.

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We hope you enjoyed our list! Have you read any of these novels, and if so, what did you think?

From Blogs to Books

You may have heard of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, which starts November 1st), but what and when is NaBloPoMo?

Well, National Blog Posting Month is like NaNoWriMo in that it emphasizes discipline. Participants must post on their blog every day for a full month, with no word count requirements or restrictions—the objective is to get into regular writing with a clear end goal in mind.

Every month features a new NaBloPoMo challenge, with different themes. Since November is the most celebrated month for writing, there are prizes and promotions in store if you sign up.

So what are you waiting for? Start clacking on that keyboard and take a ton of pictures, because there is an audience out there just waiting to see what you’ll blog about. If you need motivation, here are a few blogs that hit it big and made the leap to become published books:

Jessica Amason’s This Is Why You’re Fat: Where Dreams Become Heart Attacks

“Nasty foods” are disgustingly delicious, and an absolute guilty pleasure to look at and read about. With everything ranging from two pieces of fried chicken sandwiching a bacon cheeseburger, and yellow buttermilk cake topped with maple syrup butter cream frosting, to several pizzas stacked into a cake, what started as a popular picture blog evolved into a book featuring the world’s most over-the-top-food.

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Claire Belton’s I Am Pusheen the Cat

Move over, Hello Kitty, because Pusheen—the chubby, tubby tabby cat—is in the house. What began as adorable comic strips on Tumblr has now expanded into not only a book, but also tons of merchandise including t-shirts and stuffed animals. Follow Pusheen on her adventures and spoil your eyes with the artist’s beautiful artwork (because let’s face it, nothing beats cute drawings of cats and food).

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Julie Powell’s Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen

Julie/Julia Project was a blog that chronicled Julie Powell’s attempts at cooking all of the recipes in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Within a short amount of time, the blog quickly gained a huge following, a book deal, and then ultimately a movie adaptation, starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. Talk about every blogger’s dream!

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Visit here for our full list of blogs to books! Let us know what some of your favorite blogs are, or link us to your page—we are always on the lookout for new reading material!

Trending Books: October 23 – 29

We know our last post of “Horror Novels Through The Ages” was a little intense, but that’s why we’re back with this week’s list of top trending books!

There are no scary clowns, haunted houses, or demonized children, but there are laughs, romance, and best of all—food!

First on the list is Grace Helbig’s Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to Be a Grown-up. Being an adult isn’t easy—so let this charming comedian guide you through everything from surviving a breakup to curing a hangover. Hilarious and heartwarming, discover Helbig’s past adventures and the lessons contained in them.

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In Food: A Love Story, stand-up comedian and author Jim Gaffigan will let you know exactly what he thinks on all things culinary(ish), such as why he thinks coconut water was invented to get people to stop drinking coconut water, and “choking on bacon is like getting murdered by your lover.” Flip through pages of McDonalds, Cinnabon, and Hot Pockets in this hilarious ode to all things tasty.

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Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle is a satirical commentary on modern man and his madness. First published in 1963, it explores issues of technology, science, and religion while satirizing the arms race. Get lost in one of Vonnegut’s best works—an apocalyptic tale of this planet’s fate.

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Have you read any of these books? If so, what did you think? Visit here for the full list of top trending books!

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Horror Novels Throughout The Ages

Halloween is fast approaching, and what better way to celebrate the year’s spookiest holiday than reading some of the greatest horror novels of all time?

Sit back, relax (or not), and let us take you on a journey throughout the ages to reacquaint you with the scariest novels from the last few decades.

1800’s

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818)

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One of the most powerful novels of the Gothic period, Frankenstein explores scientific exploration and religion. You’ll be awed by Victor Frankenstein and his abandonment of morality and social convention as he creates a living monstrosity from old body parts. Murder and guilt play a huge part in this tale of a man trying to play God, making this an exciting read no matter what time period you’re in.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897)

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Considered THE vampire novel of all time, it follows the character of the vampire Count Dracula and his attempt to move from Transylvania to England to find new blood and spread the undead curse. Join Professor Abraham Van Helsing and his group of helpers as they attempt to bring down the bloodsucking mythical being.

Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw (1898)

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Combine psychological horror, ghosts, and madness in this “perfect” ghost story novella. Follow a young governess as she cares for a man’s nephew and niece after the death of their parents, and try to unravel the dark secret of the country house, Bly.

1900’s

Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House (1959)

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A finalist for the National Book Award and regarded as one of the best literary ghost stories published during the twentieth century, the novel is about Hill House, an eighty-year-old mansion, and four main characters who have experienced paranormal events in the past. After renting the house for the summer, the four experience unseen spirits and terrifying sounds that they are either real—or the product of their imaginations.

William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist (1971)

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Inspired by a 1949 case of demonic possession and exorcism, The Exorcist centers around the possession of twelve-year-old Regan MacNeil, the daughter of a famous actress. Look out for poltergeist-like disturbances, violence, and diabolical personalities. If you’ve watched the movie (who can forget the terrifying head twist?), you should be warned: The book is much scarier.

Stephen King’s It (1986)

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Remember that horrifying clown that is the stuff of life ruining nightmares? Yes, well—he’s from Stephen King’s novel, It. You’d have to have nerves and sweat ducts of steel to withstand the story of seven children as they are terrorized by a creature that takes the form of the fears and phobias of its victims. “It” usually appears in the form of a clown in order to attack its prey of choice—young children—and is truly one of literature’s most terrifying monsters.

2000’s

Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves (2000)

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The format and structure of this novel may be unconventional, comprised mostly of footnotes and articles, but that is what adds horror to the story. Picture a normal family of four, coming back from a trip to realize a change in their home. Doors begin to inexplicably sprout where blank walls used to be, and long hallways to nowhere are continually formed on the daily. After some research, it is discovered that the internal measurements of the house are somehow larger than the external measurements—creepy, right? Don’t miss out on this tale of psychological horror, madness, and utter claustrophobia.

Brian Keene’s The Rising

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Winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel in 2003, The Rising is the first book in a series of zombie-themed horror novels that starts off in the aftermath of a particle accelerator experiment. Keep in mind that these aren’t your average zombies, though—animals and even insects are infected by the plague.

Joe Hill’s The Heart-Shaped Box (2007)

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It’s not surprising that Joe Hill, the son of horror master Stephen King, would churn out a terrifying bestseller and critically acclaimed horror novel. This creepy tale—about a musician who buys a dead man’s suit and is subsequently possessed and haunted—is the perfect contemporary horror novel for fans of spine-tingling thrills and chills.

We hope you enjoyed the list we put together! If you’ve read any of them, let us know what you think, and as always, we’re happy to hear recommendations from our readers.

Tweets About Nicholas Sparks’ “The Best Of Me”

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We hope you have that box of tissues ready, because based on the Tweets we found regarding Nicholas Sparks’ novel and recently turned movie, The Best of Me, you’re going to seriously need it.

The Best of Me carries all of the hallmarks of Nicholas Sparks’ (usually predictable) plots: lower class guy, upper class girl, love blossoms, and obstacles ensue—the whole shebang—but there is no denying that the tale of Dawson Cole and Amanda Collier is irresistibly charming.

After meeting and falling in love during their teens, Dawson and Amanda are separated and reunited two decades later, only to find that perhaps their love has never faded, despite the different directions their lives have pushed them in.

So it’s no huge surprise that the word, “cry,” cropped up the most by far. Warning: If you don’t want to be seen weeping in the middle of class, a date, the train station, or whatever—tread lightly.

Amazing,” also came up a ridiculous amount of times:

And let’s not forget the all important heart ( <3) emoticon:

As you can see, sometimes all three (“cry,” “amazing,” AND “ <3”) intersect!

So although we thought the novel and film to be a little cheesy, others seem to disagree.

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Have you read the book or seen the movie? Let us know if you agree or disagree with the majority of Tweeters!

Senator John McCain’s Book Recommendations

John McCain may be the senior United States Senator and a former presidential nominee in the 2008 United States presidential election, but did you know that he has fantastic taste in books as well?

Last week we mentioned how McCain was one of the most influential recommenders via Twitter when it came to Richard Flanagan’s Booker prize-winning novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North. Followed by almost 2 million people, McCain’s tweet (below) was read by many and contributed significantly to the novel’s twittersphere buzz.

With this in mind, we decided to extract other book recommendations that McCain has tweeted about:

First is Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken, a true story revolving around a WWII flier named Louis Zamperini, whose US bomber crashes into the Pacific Ocean during one fateful May afternoon in 1943. On a decrepit raft, and facing a journey through the endless ocean, starvation, sharks, and the enemy, Zamperini’s fate rests on whether he can pull through with his strength of will.

Next on McCain’s list is Robert K. Massie’s Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman, a masterpiece of narrative biography relaying the extraordinary story of a young German princess who ultimately becomes one of history’s most captivating and powerful women. Flit through the pages, in between the words, and let the vividness of the details engulf you—from her correspondences with Frederick the Great and Marie Antoinette, to stories about Catherine’s family, friends, generals, lovers and enemies.

Continue to travel back in time with One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson, and relive the glorious season when signature events of the twentieth century happened, including when Charles Lindbergh became the first man to continuously cross the Atlantic by plane nonstop. Meanwhile, Babe Ruth was cementing his status as a baseball giant with a home run record, and the first true “talking picture,” by Al Jolson— The Jazz Singer—was filmed and forever changed the motion picture industry.

From political books to suspense novels, you are in for a treat with John McCain’s recommendations—Click here for BookVibe’s full list of his favorites!

Are Movies Boosting Book Reads, Or the Other Way Around?

The news that Gone Girl is once again at the top of the box office is a surprise to absolutely no one. The tale of the missing wife has even stumped out Dracula himself, as well as a creepy, murderous doll by the name of Annabelle (and it’s Halloween month, people!). This made us wonder whether audiences read Gone Girl and then saw the movie, or if the film boosted book reads.

Putting our detective glasses on, we decided to do a little analyzing and pulled out some data from Twitter.

We sampled 8600 Twitter users who have tweeted about both the Gone Girl movie and book. Of those folks, we found that over 60% (around 6000 people) tweeted about the book first while the remaining 2600 mentioned the movie first.

And for each of those audiences we were able to identify how fans then tweeted about the other medium. For example, over 1000 book-first users then tweeted about wanting to watch the movie, showing “Intent to Watch,” and over 200 movie-first users then tweeted that they “Recommend” the book-version. You can view the breakdown of tweets in the graph below:

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So although the book-first group is currently larger, it will eventually become eclipsed by mentions from moviegoers who have seen the film first— driving us to the conclusion that film adaptations of books have the ability to influence people to read!

Visit here if you’ve yet to read Gillian Flynn’s bestseller on media, marriage, and dishonesty.

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