Favorite Songs of 2016

Better late than never: Here’s a list of my top songs for this year, in an order that might be surprisingly mixable. These are not necessarily from 2016; I just happened to have heard them in the last twelve months.

Fronteras, by Gaby Moreno on Ilusion
Million Reasons, by Lady Gaga on Joanne
Lady Wood, by Tove Lo on Lady Wood
Move Your Body, by Sia on This Is Acting
Hold My Hand, by Jess Glynne on I Cry When I Laugh
Until the Day Dims (Heavy Hands Remix), by The Woodlands on Heavy Hands Remix
Gimmie Love, by Carly Rae Jepsen on Emotion
A Happy Place, by Katie Melua on The House
Fight Song, by Rachel Platten on Wildfire
School Friends, by Now, Now on Threads
James, by Maggie Rogers on Blood Ballet
We’ve Only Just Begun, by the Carpenters on The Essential Collection
Open, by Rhye on Woman
Hold You Tonight, by The Woodlands on Gems and Bones
Hollywood, by Grouplove on Big Mess
Almost Makes Me Wish for Rain, by Lucius on Good Grief
Still Falling for You, by Ellie Goulding on Bridget Jones’s Baby Soundtrack
Used to Love You, by Gwen Stefani on This Is What the Truth Feels Like
Mayhem, by Imelda May on Mayhem
Lone Ranger, by Rachel Platten on Wildfire
Maybe This Christmas, by Tracey Thorn on Tinsel and Lights
She’s Got You, by Rhiannon Giddens on Tomorrow Is My Turn

The highlight this year is Tove Lo’s “Lady Wood,” which has some serious sonic landscapes.  Tove Lo also wrote another song here, the Ellie-Goulding-helmed “Still Falling for You.”  Ms. Lo is at the top of her game.

Kelly Crigger’s The Comfort Station

I got an early look at Kelly Crigger‘s latest book, The Comfort Station, and I was not the only one who found an engaging, well-crafted novel:

The Japanese enslavement of Korean women during the occupation is seen through the keen eyes of Ki-Hwa Kim, our heroine who learns the true meaning of courage and perseverance. Packed with memorable descriptions and enticing characters, Kelly Crigger’s The Comfort Station is the kind of historical fiction that teaches as well as entertains.
-Sung J. Woo, author of Everything Asian

Good historical fiction doesn’t just bring us to another time and place to make us consider the lives and journey of the past – it brings us into the past and immerses us in those lives and journeys. Kelly Crigger’s The Comfort Station is such a book. Crigger writes with passion for, and knowledge of, World War II and Pacific bastion of Rabaul. More importantly though, he writes the characters that make up The Comfort Station with fullness and dimensionality. Not to be missed.
-Matt Gallagher, award winning author of Youngblood

A lyrical novel about a young girl taken captive and forced to serve as a comfort woman. The plot is fast paced and intriguing, but still takes the time to explore the people and places in a beautiful, poetic manner. It’s hard to know if I appreciated the quality of the prose or the excitement of the story more.
-Alana Terry, author of The Beloved Daughter

Now here’s a photo of my cat Mac with the book, since we all know how much the internet loves cats.  Looks like he’s already halfway into the book…

Haiku: Rectify, Season 4, Episode 8 – “All I’m Sayin'”

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He eBayed Furbys
and went camping by himself.
Jared, organize!

*

Mr. Stern, hero
gets Daniel a second chance.
Tax lawyer? Oh please.

*

Janet watches Ted
as he turns the key to close
and open their lives.

*

The ceramic man,
Teddy offers, in good faith.
Tawney’s next in line.

*

Say the word, Danny,
and Amantha will appear.
Even on a bike.

*

Daniel, daydreaming
Chloe and baby, waiting.
Hope is the future.