Say Goodbye to Email Pain With My New Inbox Friend

Whoever said nothing good in life is free has obviously never tried InboxVudu.

Because honestly, who hasn’t suffered from inbox pains at one point or another? Like that one time you saw an urgent email from your boss and thought, “I’ll get back to that in a second,” (and a second became straight up never), or when you forgot to respond to your colleague’s potluck inquiry and ended up suffering from a horrific nut allergy (true story).

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So for this email tool to actually be free blows my mind because not only will it save you from endless Tylenol and a potential severe allergic reaction, but it’ll also save you a ton of time.

I came across InboxVudu by sheer luck – one of my Twitter friends happened to retweet something for early access, and my curiosity was piqued.


InboxVudu does a few things:

  • Spots messages you need to reply to and follow-up on
  • Reminds you of these each day in a life-saving email
  • Summarises the messages and even highlights the key information so you can work through it at the speed of light!

InboxVudu is basically a free Intelligent Assistant that reminds you of your most important meetings and events via email – minus the paychecks and forced interactions.


Do you know what was one of the biggest selling points of InboxVudu for me?


That’s right! There could be a hefty instruction manual, but all you have to do is:

1.) Sign up:

Screen shot 2015-03-18 at 3.15.00 PMYou’ll need to authorise your account so their software can work but it’s extremely secure and easy to do (it took me one click!). There’s no need to download anything or change your mail client.

2.) Open the Daily Digest when it comes around each day to see which messages you need to reply to or follow up on.

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(Love how the requests and important bits are highlighted—makes it a lot easier to skim, and I’m one click away from responding).

If I want to see all my messages I can click through to a web page that has all that info in one place. It also lets me remove the messages I have dealt with already so I can use it as my ultimate To Do list.

3.) The Follow-ups section is especially useful:

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(My favorite feature – I almost never remember what I email people, so to be reminded of my unanswered requests is extremely useful).

4.) Repeat each day and watch your life change for the better!

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As I said up front, I can’t believe it’s free and as it’s so easy to start using, you’d be a fool not to try it out!

Go and connect your email now – you can thank me later!

This is Oakland: A Meeting and an Adventure

This past Thursday, our correspondents at BookVibe were lucky enough to catch an event at Book Passage—a charming book shop in the San Francisco Ferry Building—featuring Melissa Davis and Kristen Loken, the masterminds behind This is Oakland: A Guide to the City’s Most Interesting Places.

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This photo-driven travel guide and book delves into the city’s most fascinating places to visit—ranging from boutiques and markets to cafes and restaurants—dispelling the myth that Oakland is crime-riddled and not worth visiting.

As we sat waiting for the authors to arrive, thumbing excitedly through our copy of This is Oakland (which, on top of being an excellent source of great fun, makes for a beautiful coffee table book), we were informed that the “reading” would be more of an intimate chat with the authors without the usual rigid seating and lengthy reading followed by Q&A – a decision we applauded heartily!

Both ladies turned out to be extremely lovely. Davis, a former editor at Harper’s Bazaar and Mademoiselle magazines and owner of a PR firm and Loken, a renowned photographer, were charismatic and open to any and all questions.

You could tell that they are passionate about the city by the way they talked, their words loaded with enthusiasm, eyes sparkling and hands gesticulating like fireworks. And that’s what’s so great about them—their passion and commitment to get the word out that Oakland is one of the most unique places in the world (Oakland, CA ranked #5 on The New York Times “The 45 Places to Go in 2012,” beating out New York City and Los Angeles), despite their busy schedules.

In fact, to get a full idea of just how much these ladies juggled, the process of creating This is Oakland took precisely a year—loaded with excursions to 90+ businesses, scheduled interviews and photo shoots, etc.—and was self-published to boot.

If that’s not love, then we don’t know what is. And It is precisely this love that inspired us to go on a little adventure.

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The next day, with the book firmly tucked under our arms, we set off to one of Oakland’s hottest destinations, Temescal. Although the book features different sections of Oakland including Downtown and Jack London Square, we were curious to explore Temescal Alley, where a row of the city’s most innovative and talked-about shops took the place of former horse stables.

Our first stop? Doughnut Dolly, because hello—doughnuts! A delightful little shop decked out with striped walls and strung up lights, Doughnut Dolly offers hand rolled doughnuts with a choice of the day’s four fillings (Naughty Cream, Strawberry Jam, Peanut Butter Cream, and Dark Chocolate).

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We chose to try the Naughty Cream (because let’s face it, it’s the most interesting-sounding one) and our taste buds floated up to heaven. The crème-fraiche vanilla bean pastry cream made the entire trip worth it—and we had only just started!

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Next, we traveled a few steps to Esqueleto, a dreamy, rustic space that features large assortments of one-of-a-kind jewelry and local art.

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Of course, we had to visit Book / Shop, where literary rarities ranging from $10 – $500 were on sale.

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As we rounded the corner, the full row comes into view, and it’s small and incredibly charming—we could picture the municipal stables that used to make up the alleyway, loaded with horses that pulled the streetcars down Telegraph Avenue.

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At Crimson Horticultural Rarities, we had a ball selecting the most beautiful pieces of floral and garden décor.

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Temescal Alley Barbershop, where we’d get our beards trimmed—if we had them.

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At Walrus, where ridiculously nifty home décor items are sold—including this awesome, confidence-inducing print.

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And last but not least—Homeroom. What can we possibly say about Homeroom? Their deliciously cheesy, impossibly creamy and perfectly cooked mac n cheese dishes are simply a must-try.

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We ordered the Garlic Gilroy mac n cheese. Best decision ever.

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We had so much fun throughout our outing and would have never discovered Temescal if it weren’t for This is Oakland. On a parting note, we’re very much looking forward to discovering the rest of what Oakland has to offer!

Top Baby Books on Twitter

Attention expecting and new moms!

 If you’ve been thinking about how to raise a smarter child, then now is the best time to gear up with the necessary tools.

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We’ve partnered up with Smart Coos—a web-based language learning community for babies and children, from ages 0 to 8 and their parents—to bring you the most mentioned parenting books from the Twitterverse. Don’t simply aim for brilliance—shoot for the whole package: intelligent, well-rounded, and happy children.


How Children Succeed by Paul Tough 

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The title says it all. Tough based his New York Times bestseller on the work of Nobel laureate James Heckman, expanding on the philosophy that psychological traits among children— such as resilience, curiosity, and confidence— play a monumental part in their happiness and success.

Grades and exams aside, see why these qualities possess the ability to unlock your child’s true potential.

Teach Your Children Well: Parenting for Authentic Success by Madeline, PhD Levine

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While in the process of growing up, the high-stakes and competitive culture that is exposed to children can be taxing. The pressure to achieve the top grades and shiniest trophies is high—which is why psychologist Madeline Levine, armed with thirty years of clinical experience, has provided parents with a toolbox to help clarify a definition of success that caters to their values as well as their children’s interests and abilities.

Complete with coping exercises and a trove of relevant research, Teach Your Children Well is an essential read for parents who are looking to better their kids and nudge (not push or shove) them on the pathway to success.

The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way by Amanda Ripley

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Look ahead and out of the box as Time magazine journalist Amanda Ripley takes you through the lives of three American students, each studying abroad for a year.

Ripley claims that although “wealth had made rigor optional” in the American education system, kids these days need to be “driven” and “know how to adapt.” Discover the passionate students of Finland, the “rigor on steroids” attitude in South Korea (students would wear small pillows over their wrists, should they fall asleep on their desks), and Poland, a country that is known for their international test-score rankings.

Speaking of innovative learning techniques, don’t forget to check out Smart Coos– from baby sign language, to an interactive language program and live tutoring sessions with a French, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, or English native speaker, they’ve got your kids covered.

If any of these books interest you, don’t miss our full list of parenting books!

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Top 8 Books To Help You Get a Tech Job in 2015

It would be nice to get book recs on how to break into the tech industry from Silicon Valley experts— but there are so many books out there, where should you start? At BookVibe we recorded the votes of the 80 million Twitter users who tweeted about a book last year to figure it out.

  1. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
  2. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss
  3. App Empire: Make Money, Have a Life, and Let Technology Work for You by Chad Mureta
  4. The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson
  5. Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All by Tom Kelley
  6. The Leader Who Had No Title: A Modern Fable on Real Success in Business and in Life by Robin Sharma
  7. The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau
  8. Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal by Nick Bilton

We’ve created this definitive list using our unique technology that reads tweets and identifies when books are discussed. Its impressive accuracy, even when dealing with books with common titles, ensures that the list reflects public opinion closely. Recently, for instance, we’ve noticed a surge in discussions about start-up and career improvement books—a sure sign that 2015 is the year to get involved with a cool new company.

This year’s list features new books from people at the cutting edge of their field, as well as books that have stood the test of time—an eclectic collection with one theme in common – they can all help you to land and keep the job of your dreams.

But which one should you read first?

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The Leader Who Had No Title: A Modern Fable on Real Success in Business and in Life by Robin Sharma—one of the most sought-after leadership advisers in the world—capitalizes on the importance of influence and how to exercise it like a superstar.

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Brothers David and Tom Kelley, founder and partner of IDEO, wrote Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All to dissect the principles and strategies of innovation, while entrepreneur Chris Guillebeau gives a crash course on investment in The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future.

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This list isn’t restricted to contemporary works —Walter Isaacson’s The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution throws it back to legendary greats ranging from Ada Lovelace and Vannevar Bush, to John von Neumann and Alan Turing. Isaacson hones in on the timeless skills that made them successful—in particular their ability to collaborate with others—while Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich (released during the Great Depression and famously credited for Ken Norton’s boxing upset of Muhammad Ali in 1973) continues to stun with its ageless methods that help people achieve success in all lines of work.

Winners of the Costa Book Awards

Since the winners of the Costa Book Awards—a set of annual literary awards recognizing books by writers based in Britain and Ireland—were announced, there has been a lot of excited hullabaloo on Twitter.

The Costa Book Awards are split into five categories: Novel, First novel, Children’s book, Poetry, and Biography. One of the winning books will then go on to be named Costa Book of the Year, the ultimate prize.

So what have Tweeters been saying about these books? We scanned thousands of tweets that picked out to bring you some highlights!

Costa Biography Award Winner

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H is for HawkHelen Macdonald

Heartbreaking and hilarious, H is for Hawk is an account of Macdonald’s time raising Mable, a fierce and deadly hawk. After the death of her father, Macdonald finds that she can relate to the vicious goshawk’s anger and attempts to project herself “in the hawk’s wild mind to tame her.”

Costa First Novel Award Winner

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Elizabeth is MissingEmma Healey

A stunning debut, Elizabeth is Missing chronicles the story of Maud, who doesn’t remember most things. From drinking her tea, to recalling her daughter’s name, Maud forgets almost everything except the note in her pocket that says her friend Elizabeth is missing.

No matter how many times Maud’s family and friends ask her to drop the subject, she refuses and is absolutely determined to get to the bottom of a seventy-year-old mystery.

Costa Novel Award Winner

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How to be bothAli Smith

Like a brilliantly colorful painting, How to be both features two interconnected stories that almost read like poetry. The lives of a girl named George and another named Francesco, along with their struggles with sexuality are mapped and plotted out in an unconventional fictional form.

Costa Poetry Award Winner

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My Family and Other Superheroes Jonathan Edwards

Delve into Edward’s crazy world and fall madly in love with his quirky family. This impossibly charming collection hops back and forth between Evel Knievel, Sophia Loren, hippos, and more.

Costa Children’s Book Award

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Five Children on the Western FrontKate Saunders

A heart-wrenching follow-up to E. Nesbit’s Five Children and It stories, the elusive Sand Fairy has suddenly returned after a decade. The now grown children—Robert, Anthea, Cyril, Jane and Lamb—are happy to have something to take their minds off the war, but this time the Psammead is here for a more serious purpose.

Have you read any of these books? Do agree with the judges of the Costa Awards? Drop us a comment and let us know!

“A Year of Books”: Mark Zuckerberg’s Next Pick

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg possesses a healthy love for many things, including but not limited to: studying Mandarin, fried chicken pizza, and New Year’s resolutions.

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In fact, he takes his New Year’s resolutions so seriously that he asked members of the Facebook community to contribute suggestions for his personal goals this year. Over 50,000 users answered, and the overwhelming consensus is that Zuckerberg should “read a new book every other week—with an emphasis on learning about different cultures, beliefs, histories, and technologies.”

And that is how the Mark Zuckerberg book club was born, aka “A Year of Books,” a group page on Facebook.

Zuckerberg’s first book selection—The End of Power by Moises Naim— caused sales to skyrocket.

So what will his next picks be? Since Zuckerberg took Facebook users’ suggestions seriously, it’d only make sense that he’d do the same with their book recommendations—which is why we’ve scoured Facebook’s Twitter network to see which books Facebookers are raving about.

We decided to highlight the selections of current and former Facebook employees:

LexiconMax Barry  

Recommended by Nicholas Felton, formerly one of Facebook’s Lead Designers

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What if words can be used as weapons? At an exclusive school in Virginia, students aren’t taught history or math—they’re taught to persuade. The very top of the class consists of master wordsmiths, known as “poets,” who are part of a nameless organization of unknown purpose.

When gifted Emily Ruff is recruited and drawn to their strange world, she learns that nobody is safe: every person can be classified by personality type, his mind unlocked by the skillful application of words.

A brilliant thriller, Lexicon explores the themes of identity and the power of language and coercion.

The Skies Belong to UsBrendan I. Koerner

Recommended by Adam Conner, former Public Policy Manager of Facebook

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American history takes an exciting turn during the end of the 60’s, the “golden age” airplane hijackings. These incidents—most times involving guns, bombs, and jars of acid—would occur sometimes as much as once a week, the disillusioned desperate to escape (mostly to Cuba).

The book examines the causes of the epidemic and follows the more famous cases (about 160 in total), including the story of the longest-distance skyjacking in U.S. history involving a young couple that took control of Western Airlines Flight 701 in 1972.

Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities and SoftwareSteven Johnson 

Recommended by Tom Watson, former Product Designer at Facebook

The belief that “the whole is sometimes smarter than the sum of its part,” is media theorist Steven Johnson’s basis for Emergence. He asks questions such as, “Why do people cluster together in neighborhoods?” “How do internet communities spring up from nowhere?” “What causes a media frenzy?”

The answer to these questions is emergence: change that occurs from the bottom up. When enough individual elements interact, the result is collective intelligence, even though no one is in charge. Change the way you see the world with this phenomenon that exists at every level of experience.

Paul Rand: Conversations with StudentsMichael Kroeger

Recommended by Simon Cross, Product Developer at Facebook

Dive into the world of Paul Rand, one of the most influential graphic designers of the twentieth century. From his iconic logo designs for IBM, UPS, and the ABC television network, to his prolific poster and magazine work, Rand is not only revered as an educator, but also for his insight and humor.

This book chronicles Rand’s last interview one year before his death, a tour de force that touches on varied topics ranging from design philosophy to design education.

What books do you think Mark Zuckerberg should add onto his list of must-reads? Drop us a comment and let us know!

2014 In Review: Part II

…and we’re back!

This time with the Top Trending books from July through December. From war heroes and tween megastars, to popular bloggers and gut-busting comedians, the past six months have brought together an eclectic mix of books that bring the term “variety” to a whole new level.

Our year’s end review was garnered through careful analysis of millions of tweets, with the trending books serving as a reflection of the current events at the time.


Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption was on everybody’s lips during the month of July.

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Although the biography on World War II hero and former Olympic track star Louis Zamperini is critically acclaimed for its message of perseverance and survival, it was Zamperini’s death on July 2nd at the age of 97 that set Twitter book discussions on fire.

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J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye was also a hot topic of discussion, as the beloved novel celebrated its 60th anniversary on July 16th.


August was all about books of the YA variety.

Even though both Disney starlet Bella Thorne and YouTube darling Alfie Deyes had books that were yet to be released, the Twittersphere was already alight with excited buzz.

Autumn Falls Bella Thorne

The Pointless BookAlfie Deyes

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With the Man Booker Prize and National Book Awards looming ahead, tweeters were in a tizzy of anticipation over which novels might win, expressing their praise, disappointment, and hopes.

Wolf in White VanJosh Darnielle

The Lives of Others – Neel Mukherjee

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The film adaptation of James Dashner’s novel, The Maze Runnerwas released on September 19th. Both the book and its sequel, The Scorch Trials, were Top Trending fixtures across several months.

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The month of October was taken over by Richard Flanagan, who was announced as the victor of the Man Booker Prize on October 14th for The Narrow Road to the Deep North.

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And to take a break from Flanagan’s heart wrenching novel, tweeters looked for laughs from established comedians.

Yes Please Amy Poehler

RevolutionRussell Brand

Food: A Love StoryJim Gaffigan

Not That Kind of GirlLena Dunham

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Famous YouTuber Zoella broke the record for highest first week sales for a debut author since records began with her book, GirlOnline. The subsequent backlash for her use of a ghostwriter only fueled more discussions on Twitter.


The last month of the year came with many film adaptations that were released just in time for the holidays (and awards season, with all three movies vying for Oscar voters’ attention).

Inherent ViceThomas Pynchon

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest TrailCheryl Strayed

American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military HistoryChris Kyle

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And that’s a wrap! We hope you enjoyed the list we put together—we (literally) couldn’t have done it without you. Have you read any of these novels? Which were your favorites of the year? Drop a comment and let us know!

2014 In Review : Part 1

With the year coming to a close, we’re getting a tad nostalgic. It’s been a great 12 months for our Top Trending (most tweeted about) books, with wonderful surprises and a flurry of different genres and adventures that have made 2014 anything but boring.

Fancy going back in time for a bit? Strap yourself in for a ride through the first six months in review:


Seems like tweeters were feeling a bit reminiscent at the beginning of the year, bringing #tbt to a whole new level with many mentions of Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms (1929).

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Simultaneously, users were casting their eyes ahead with a pop culture explosion that manifested itself in the form of books written by Hollywood starlets.

Find it in EverythingDrew Barrymore

The Body Book Cameron Diaz

Brunette AmbitionLea Michele

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You would think that the month of Valentine’s Day would yield tons of mentions of sappy love stories, written by the likes of Nicholas Sparks or Nora Roberts—but tweeters surprised us with their cravings for dark and twisted paranormal romances, ranging from historical horror love stories to sexy demons.

Donners of the DeadKarina Halle

IcedKaren Marie Moning

White Hot KissJennifer L. Armentrout

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March could have been nicknamed “March Movie Madness.” Users were blowing up the Twittersphere with mentions of Veronica Roth’s Divergent and Solomon Northup’s narrative memoir Twelve Years a Slave.

Of course, that wasn’t surprising— the film adaptation of Divergent was released in March, while the movie version of Twelve Years a Slave had just won a whopping three Academy Awards.

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Success was on everyone’s mind in April, with the Top Trending lists dominated by career oriented and self-help books.

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True InspirationEd Catmull

Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and WonderArianna Huffington

The Sermon on the Mount: The Key to Success in LifeEmmet Fox

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Magical May mostly consisted of novels that touched on the otherworldly. Perhaps the resurrection of J.R.R. Tolkien in the form of a new book had something to do with it.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find ThemJ.K. Rowling

The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus)Rick Riordan

Beowulf: A Translation and CommentaryJ.R.R. Tolkien

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The sunny month of June was all doom and gloom, with a fixation on horror and mystery novels. All three featured books were released during this month, which propelled readers to seek out similar books.

Mr. MercedesStephen King

The SilkwormRobert Galbraith

The Murder Complex Lindsay Cummings

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Have you read any of these novels? If so, what did you think? Drop us a comment to let us know and check in on Wednesday for July through December.

Top Trending: December 19 – 24

It’s nearing the end of December and we’re super excited to see which books the top trending right before Christmas. If you’re wondering which books will make great gifts for loved ones, then fret no more—the following list will hopefully help you make a decision or two.

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Seems like tweeters are throwing it way back with John Steinbeck’s East of Eden—and who can blame them? This epic, sprawling tale documents the intertwining fates between two families, the Trasks and Hamiltons, as they reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the rivalry between Cain and Abel. Encounter mesmerizing characters and explore themes ranging from the inexplicability of love to the struggle for identity.

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Steinbeck isn’t the only influential author on the list—Thomas Pynchon has also made it with Inherent Vice, a psychedelic powerhouse with an exciting plot that will toss you back to the marijuana haze-filled sixties. When Doc Sportello—an out of sorts private eye with a penchant for trouble—receives a visit from his ex-girlfriend with a story about a plot to kidnap a billionaire land developer who she’s in love with, things get complicated—and very groovy.

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Speaking of the sixties, Daring: My Passages chronicles the life of Gail Sheehy when she was an innovative “girl” journalist in New York City. The author of the classic New York Times bestseller Passages writes a candid memoir that hones in on the obstacles and opportunities encountered when she dared to blaze a trail in a “man’s world,” and details many of her more controversial assignments: From walking the streets with hookers and pimps to expose prostitution, to seeking out Egypt’s president Anwar Sadat when he was targeted for death, Sheehy will have you perpetually on the edge of your seat.

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Serious books aside, light up the holidays with Austin Mahone’s Just How It Happened: My Official Story. See how Mahone went from being a small town kid having fun on YouTube to now headlining shows around the world. For the diehard fan, get lost in exclusive photos and stories from his childhood.

Check out the rest of this week’s Top Trending list here. And before you sign off, drop us a comment to let us know which books you’re hoping to get for the holidays!

The Trendy Trending Fashion + Beauty Books

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Nicky Hilton may be relatively unknown when it comes to gossip sites and the tabloids (unlike her younger sister), but she is no stranger in the fashion world, where she has earned her reputation as a style icon. In 365 Style, Nicky not only talks about her red carpet and runway experiences, but also shares her formula for creating your own signature style. Her best-kept style secrets—everything from your five must-have wardrobe items, to the $30 wardrobe item you can’t live without—will help you look like a million bucks (without dropping six figures).

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It’s almost impossible to walk around the streets without seeing at least one person toting a bag or wearing flats from designer Tory Burch. So just who is this amazing fashionista who’s listed as the 79th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes (with a net worth of approximately a billion dollars)? Simply flip through Burch’s book, In Color, and obtain an in-depth look at the people, places, and ideas that inspire her. Catch rare glimpses of Burch’s personal life, pore over her favorite artistic works, and take away some valuable business advice.

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Is your makeup routine getting a little boring? Is your hairstyle bringing to mind “flat,” instead of “fabulous”? Well have no fear—because rock n’ roll hair stylist and makeup artist Louise Teasdale is here! If you’ve heard of mega-popular boy band One Direction, you’ll know that she’s responsible for their slick coifs. Let her work her glittery magic on you with The Craft: DIY Hair and Beauty. With twenty-five fashionable projects for you to do at home, The Craft features everything from tutorials on how to achieve the perfect liquid eyeliner flick, to guides on choosing the proper moisturizers.

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You know how they say shoes can make or break an outfit? Well, it’s true. And nobody knows that better than shoe designer extraordinaire Christian Louboutin. His exquisite self-titled monograph highlights the range of his couture and includes a five-piece foldout binding and a pop-up. With six chapters to fawn over, learn about Louboutin’s early life, the inspiration behind his exotic designs, and get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at his studios and workshops.

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Do you have a favorite Fashion / Beauty book you’d like to recommend? Drop a comment and let us know! Check out the full list of stylish books here.