For The Love Of Stephen King, Read 'The Stand'

For The Love Of Stephen King, Read 'The Stand'

Come on, I'm begging you.
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My favorite Stephen King books are, unfortunately, some of the longest Stephen King books in existence. I have been trying without success for literal years to talk my friends and family into reading them, it has not worked.

No matter how much I’ve talked up the benefits of being literate in some of the greatest horror, sci-fi, and fantasy novels of our (and potentially all) time, I’ve had exactly two takers, one of whom read a short book and the other of whom borrowed my copy of "IT" and is still in the process of reading it. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m being too broad with my suggestions. I need to narrow it down from a handful of enormous books to one and in my effort to convince you all to read Stephen King,

I’ve chosen the big daddy of Stephen King novels: "The Stand."

The unabridged version, because we aren’t quitters. Right?

"The Stand" clocks in around a thousand pages. Since Stephen King books are often in trade-paperback form, that works out to create a book that’s roughly the size and shape of a brick. I could kill someone with my copy of "The Stand." There’s a benefit right there, for those of you on the fence about it: In a pinch, your copy of the book can be used for self-defense. If that’s not enough to sell you on it, you can, with some work, create a fake cover for your book and go read it out in public to convince strangers that you’re a literary, erudite individual.

Still not convinced? I can tell you that "The Stand" revamped and redefined the apocalypse genre, to the point where almost any disease apocalypse movie after 1990 can find its roots in the book's voluminous pages. Fans of the apocalypse genre, fans of "I Am Legend," and anybody who knows just a little too much about Ebola will find something to like.

It’s also worth pointing out that "The Stand" was so popular in its original, abridged version that Stephen King eventually released the unabridged version which is, as you might imagine, even longer than the original. That means that thousands, dare I say millions, of people, made it through this intimidatingly large book and wanted more. If they can do it, so can you!

There is something in this book for everyone. Religious allegory? Check. Apocalypse? Check. Romance, both supernatural and otherwise? Check. Dueling utopian and dystopian societies? Check.

It’s ridiculously long, but in my opinion, it’s worth every page. To my friends and family: you all should listen to me at long last and read it so I can finally talk with you about it instead of glaring balefully at you when you don’t get my references.

Everybody else: read it and enjoy it so we can finally get that movie they’ve been talking about forever.

After all, what do you have to lose? Even if you don’t enjoy the book, you can still get bragging rights for having finished it.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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Remember To Be Kind To Theme Park Cast Members This Holiday Season

They make the magic for you.
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For those of you who have traveled to a theme park during the holidays, you know what you are in for.

The weeks right before and after Christmas are some of the busiest times of the year to visit, making the parks extremely crowded and wait times higher than usual. Yet, this time is so popular since it is fun to experience the magic of the season with your family during the special Christmastime celebrations at the parks that bring something extra to your holidays.

One of the most important things to remember during this time of year is to be nice to the cast members!

Families that come to the parks during this time have so much to remember and so much to do; unfortunately, something that is often forgotten during a vacation is to be thankful for those who have to work during this time of year.

The cast members and team members who work during the holidays are doing so at the expense of spending time with their own families. They are sacrificing their Christmas celebrations at home to be at work making your vacation magical.

Some of these workers are hundreds if not thousands of miles away from their families and may not have seen them for weeks or even months. Yet, they are here in Orlando working in a job that they are passionate about because they love making happiness for their guests

Making magic and spreading happiness is something that is important to us and why we love what we do. However, it is still really hard to be away from our families at Christmas.

Think it is hard to be a guest when the parks are crowded?

It's even more difficult for the cast members who are working as hard as they can, for 8-15 hour shifts, when things happen that are out of our control. We too dislike long waits, telling your child that he is too short to ride or the fact that a ride is temporarily closed. These things make our jobs difficult too, just as they may be a huge setback in your vacation plans.

So focus on the positive things and appreciate the time you can spend with your families and friends rather than dwelling on the things that may be small setbacks during an overall wonderful holiday vacation. Please be patient this holiday season. Give the cast members a smile and a pleasant "thank you" or "Merry Christmas". We are here for you and we want you to have a wonderful vacation, but it still makes an incredible difference to know that our work is appreciated.

At this time of year, it is important to spread Christmas cheer and we are excited to celebrate with you and your families!

Cover Image Credit: Park Troopers

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12 Classics That All College Students Should Read

Reading is important — yet many people forget about books.

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These are the classics that I think all college students should read.

1. "Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger

This classic by J.D. Salinger is a staple for many high school kids. Yet, I believe college students should revisit this novel, as it's a great portrayal of adolescence.

2. "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald 

Love him or hate him, Jay Gatsby is one of literature's most recognizable characters. "The Great Gatsby" is a tragic story of a man stuck in the past, and a grim warning of the empty happiness money buys.

3. "The Time Machine" by H.G. Wells

H.G. Wells was far beyond his time. His novel, "The Time Machine," explores what would happen if time-travelling could happen. It's both an evocative and frightening tale, full of important philosophical questions.

4. "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde 

This novel is about the degradation of Dorian Gray, and his descent into depravity. It showcases one of the greatest character declines in literature. By the end, Dorian Gray finds his life to be empty, his hedonistic lifestyle pointless.

5. "Norwegian Wood" by Haruki Murakami 

Haruki Murakami is famous for his surreal novels. "Norwegian Wood" follows a college student in Japan, as he navigates life after a tragedy. It's both beautiful yet melancholy. If nothing else, it'll get you listening to the Beatles' Norwegian Wood.

6. "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte 

I consider "Jane Eyre" to be one of the first feminist novels. It's a fantastic Gothic novel about an independent and strong woman — Jane Eyre — who meets the mysterious Mr. Rochester. It's more than a romance — it's a commentary on Victorian societal expectations of women, with Jane representing objection to it.

7. "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak

This novel is a beautiful story about a girl in Nazi Germany. Liesel Meminger knows the importance of books, and uses her knowledge and kindness to save a Jewish refugee. It's a poignant novel that expresses the importance of literature and books.

8. Any Sherlock Holmes mystery by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

If you've watched the Sherlock series with Benedict Cumberbatch, then you should definitely give the novels a go. The mysteries are exciting and intriguing, despite their old age.

9. "Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens

This is one of my absolute favorites novels. It follows a young boy named Pip, who befriends a beggar, meets the depraved Miss Havisham, and falls in love with unattainable Estella. This novel is at once a bildungsroman and a tragedy.

10.  "Lolita" by Vladimir Nabokov 

This controversial novel by Vladimir Nobokov follows the perspective of Humbert Humbert, a depraved man who falls in love with 12-year-old Lolita. Nobokov showcases his mastery of the English language, while writing a depraved and tragic story following two terrible people.

11.  "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen

Perhaps one of the most famous novels of all time, "Pride and Prejudice" stands the test of time by showing how two outwardly opposite and contrary people can come together and form an amazing love. It's about accepting one's flaws and getting to know people beyond surface level.

12.  "All Quiet on the Western Front" by Erich Maria Remarque

This is a fantastic novel that depicts the absolute horrors of war, particularly World War I. If this doesn't enlighten you about the realities and horrors of war, then no book will.

Reading is important as it broadens one's horizon. Literature is one of the greatest inventions of mankind.

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