Best Books of 2016

Best Books of 2016

(That I read)

I've read a quite a few books in 2016 and I feel that it is appropriate to do a top 5 list of 2016 like I've done in past years. These books are obviously just the top five books that I read this year. I'm sure there are a lot of fantastic books out there that I have yet to read.

#5: THE BAZAAR OF BAD DREAMS by Stephen King (Scribner, 2015)

Published in November of 2015, I read Stephen King's latest collection of short stories. I've always been a sucker for his short stories and this is a fine example of King's ability in that medium. There is an underlying theme of death and the afterlife in these stories and a clear arch. The highlight stories are: "Mile 81", "The Dune", "The Little Green God of Agony", and "Obits".

#4: A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE BOOK 3: A STORM OF SWORDS by George R. R. Martin (Bantam, 2000)

In 2016 I decided to tackle George R. R. Martin's extremely popular series A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE. While I've really only made it through book 3 so far, the series is fantastic. A STORM OF SWORDS I feel is the greatest one that I've read in the series, possibly because I finally got a payoff that I've been waiting for since King Robert died (if you've read the book or even seen the TV series, you know what I'm talking about). The series brilliantly brings fantasy to the adult table that hasn't really been done before. It is a must read and it is completely understandable why it is being compared to THE LORD OF THE RINGS.

#3: DEAD RINGERS by Christopher Golden (St. Martins Press, 2015)

DEAD RINGERS was one of the first books I read in 2016 and it is a novel that I think went under the radar for most fans of horror. Christopher Golden writes in a way that is extremely reminiscent of early King, Koontz, and Straub. It is horror with heart. This novel is a combination of the modern ghost/haunted house story as well as the demonic possession tale. The story can be described essentially in one word: doppelgangers.

#2: NOS4A2 by Joe Hill (William Morrow, 2013)

I read this book for Christmas this year and I loved it. It is a love letter to the horror genre and to author's father Stephen King. It is clear that Hill has inherited his fathers gift for telling a story motivated by suspense and horror but filled with heart. The title NOS4A2 (a play of the German word for vampire) is the license plate for the main antagonist, a type of vampire who is linked to a 1938 Wraith that runs on human souls rather than gasoline. The novel is like a combination of his father's IT and CHRISTINE and is one hell of a scary Christmas tale (sort of).

#1: INTENSITY by Dean Koontz (Knopf, 1996)

INTENSITY is bay far the best book I've read by Dean Koontz so far and is easily the best book I read all year. The story tells the tale of Chyna, a young woman who witnesses the murder of her best friend and her family and then follows their killer, Victor Vess, on a quest for revenge and retribution. The book is pretty straight forward and is a damn near perfect thriller. The only thing that didn't quite work for me is the strange supernatural element that Koontz shoehorned in there just for the sake of it. But the story isn't at all hindered by this element (in fact, it seems pretty irrelevant in terms of the story) and it is a fantastic book and considered a favorite among many of Koontz fans.

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An Open Letter To Every Girl With A Big Heart, Except When It Comes To Herself

Because it's so much easier to love everyone around you before yourself.

They say the key is that you have to "love yourself before you can love anyone else," or before "anyone can love you."

For those who deal with mass amounts of anxiety, or have many insecurities, that can be an extremely hard task. It seems much easier to tell your friend who is doubting herself that she looks great in that top than to look in the mirror and feel the same about yourself. It is much easier to tell your significant other that everything is going to be OK than to believe it will be when something goes wrong in your life. It becomes easier to create excuses for the ones around you than for yourself, and this is because you have such a big heart. You want those that you love to be happy and worry-free, yet you spend nights thinking about everything you have on your plate, about what you did wrong that day, fearing if someone in your life is mad at you, believing that you will never be good enough yet convincing everyone else that they are.

You are the girl with the biggest heart, yet you can't love yourself the way you care for everyone else in your life. There are many reasons that you should love yourself, though, and that's something that everyone around you is willing to tell you.

You're thoughtful.

Before doing anything, you always consider how it is going to affect those around you. You don't want to do anything that could hurt someone, or something that could make someone mad at you. It does not take much to make you happy, just seeing others happy does the job, and it is that simple. Because of this, you remember the little things. Meaningful dates, small details, and asking someone how their day was is important to you, and it makes those around you feel important too. You simply just want the people that you care about to be happy, and that is an amazing trait.

You're appreciative.

You don't need a big, fancy, and expensive date night to make you happy. Whether it's a picnic on the beach or a night in watching a movie, you're happy to just be with the person that you love. You appreciate every "good morning" text, and it truly does mean something when someone asks how you are. You tend to appreciate the person that you're with more than the things that they provide and for that, your sincerity will never go unnoticed.

You have a lot of love in your heart.

Every "I love you" has meant something, just as you remember the smallest moments that have meant the most to you. You remember the look in your significant other's eyes when they told you that for the first time. You remember the smile on your best friend's face when you told them that everything was going to be OK and that you would always be there. You remember the swell of happiness your parents felt when you decided to surprise them with a trip home one day, and you thrive off of all of that love.

You don't give up on the people you love, even if they have given you a reason to.

It is a foreign idea to just drop someone from your life, even if they betrayed you. You try to look at their mistake from every stance, not wanting to provide an excuse for them, but to give them another chance. Not everyone deserves it, and that is something that you learn along the way, but you feel good in the sense that you gave them a chance even if no one else would.

It's OK to not love yourself all the time. It's normal, and natural to stand in the mirror and think about everything wrong. And it's OK to love other people, even when you can't feel the same about yourself. But your big heart is why you should love yourself. There are so many reasons that you are a beautiful person, and the people that you spend all your time caring about feel that you have so much more to offer the world, and yourself.

So, next time you think about what you don't like about yourself, remember what makes you special –– the size of your heart and all of the love in it, and then share that love with yourself.

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My Best Friends' Dog Is Obsessed With Watching The Bachelor

She's team Cassie all the way


One of my best friends, Gabby, has a dog that watches The Bachelor. I'm not kidding you, this dog (her name is Xenon) is team Cassie all the way! Every time Cassie is on the TV she's in deep focus. I thought it was hilarious so I wanted to share some videos and pictures of it. Make this dog bachelor nation famous!

Gabby Gay

Gabby Gay

Cute huh?? Yeah I thought so too.

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