Remember Aretha Franklin with the Queen of Soul’s Top 10 Greatest Songs

Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, died Thursday at age 76 following years of ill health and a reported cancer battle.

A musical phenomenon who crossed musical, racial and gender barriers, Franklin began her vocal career as a teenager, singing gospel hymns in her father’s Detroit church. From these humble beginnings she scaled to the very heights of stardom, scoring her first national chart-topper in 1967 with a searing version of Otis Redding’s “Respect.”

Since then, the artist has notched 77 Hot 100 chart entries, and earned an astounding 18 Grammys out of 44 nominations. In 1987, two decades after her first No. 1, Franklin became the first woman to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and was later named the Greatest Singer of All Time by Rolling Stone.

RELATED: Aretha Franklin’s Death Is ‘Imminent’ as Source Confirms ‘She Has Been Ill for a Long Time’

In honor of her remarkable life and otherworldly talent, here are 10 of Franklin’s greatest songs.

1. “Respect” (1967)

Franklin’s signature song was written by soul great Otis Redding, who released his own version two years earlier on his 1965 album Otis Blue. Sung by Redding, the track reflected the stereotypical gender norms of the day: the man works hard for money, which his woman then spends. Sung by Franklin at her fiery best, the song was transformed into an anthem of empowerment for women. Recorded on Valentine’s Day 1967, it reached No. 1 that June. Her version was ultimately named one of the top five greatest songs of all time by Rolling Stone.

2. “Chain of Fools” (1968)

This hit off Franklin’s 1968 album Lady Soul was written by a very young Don Covay, who recorded a demo for Otis Redding. The early incarnation had a drastically different feel, recorded as “a straight blues song about field hands in the South,” according to Rolling Stone. However, after Franklin reworked the lyrics — and producer Jerry Wexler added an extra dose of stomp — the song took off, reaching No. 2 in January 1968.

3. “I Say Little Prayer” (1968)

Franklin took this Dionne Warwick hit — penned by the incomparable Burt Bacharach and Hal David — and made it a showstopper of her own. Ironically, she originally had no serious intention of recording it. Franklin and her backing group, the Sweet Inspirations, were singing the song as a warm-up in the studio one day when Jerry Wexler heard its potential. Franklin’s version, featuring Clayton Ivey’s hard-driving piano, was issued as the B-side to her single “The House That Jack Built,” and quickly began to receive airplay from radio DJs.

4. “To Be Young Gifted and Black” (1972)

Nina Simone wrote and recorded “To Be Young, Gifted and Black” in 1969 as a tribute to A Raisin in the Sun playwright Lorraine Hansberry, who died of pancreatic cancer four years earlier. An instant anthem for the civil rights movement, Franklin’s gospel rendition became the title track for her 1972 album — her 20th. As both a social comment and a vocal performance, the song ranks among her very best.

5. “Think” (1968)

Something of a sequel (or at least distant cousin) of “Respect,” Franklin wrote this feminist rallying cry with Teddy White, her husband and manager at the time. Originally recorded for Atlantic Records with her crack crew of Muscle Shoals session players — including Joe South and Spooner Oldham — the song also provided the soundtrack to Franklin’s standout cameo in the 1980 comedy, The Blues Brothers.

6. “How I Got Over” (1972)

Clara Ward composed this gospel hymn in 1951, drawing on her experiences traveling throughout segregated states in the American South. White men were outraged that Ward and her singing group were riding in style in a luxurious Cadillac, so they swarmed the car and hurled racial slurs. The entourage finally escaped when Ward’s mother feigned demonic possession and began screaming at the men in tongues.

Legendary gospel queen Mahalia Jackson earned a Grammy for her version of the song in 1961, and two years later sang it on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington alongside Dr. Martin Luther King. Franklin’s stunning rendition was featured on her 1972 live album, Amazing Grace.

7. “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” (1968)

Composed by the hit-making husband and wife songwriting duo Carole King and Gerry Goffin, the seeds of the song were sewn when Franklin’s producer Jerry Wexler happened to drive past the pair while they were out walking in New York City. Wexler had been mulling over a distinctive song title in his head, so he shouted at the two tunesmiths, “Why don’t you write a song called ‘Natural Woman’?” Using the title as a starting point, they did just that — and gave Wexler a songwriting credit to show their appreciation.

Included on Lady Soul, the song features backing vocals from her two sisters, Carolyn and Erma. King herself would later record a version on her breakthrough 1971 album, Tapestry. In 2015, when King was recognized at the Kennedy Center Honors, Franklin sang “(You Make Me Feel Like) a Natural Woman” in tribute.

8. “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Loved You)” (1967)

Franklin’s first major hit also marked the beginning of her fruitful collaboration with producer Jerry Wexler, who paired her million dollar voice with session players for the Stax label and also members of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. According to Franklin, “they just told me to sit on the piano and sing” — and the musical alchemy was apparent after just a few notes. “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)” became her debut single on Atlantic — hitting the top spot on the R&B charts — and served as the title track for her inaugural Atlantic LP.

9. “Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)” (1973)

Stevie Wonder wrote and recorded this song in 1967, but it would take nearly a decade for him to release it himself. In the intervening years, he played the track for Franklin, who issued her own version in 1973, backed by Donny Hathaway on electric piano and Cissy Houston on backup vocals. It quickly became a million seller, reaching the Top 10 on both the Hot 100 and the Billboard R&B charts.

10. “I Knew You Were Waiting For Me” (1987)

Franklin’s 1987 duet with George Michael became her first Hot 100 number one since “Respect” two decades earlier. Originally pitched to Tina Turner as a solo number, the song went to Franklin and Michael at the suggestion of Arista Records impresario Clive Davis.

“The first time I heard George was with Wham! and I liked it then,” Franklin said in a 2017 interview with EW. “He had a very unique sound, very different from anything that was out there. When Clive suggested we get together for ‘I Knew You Were Waiting,’ I was all ready. It reminded me of Jerry Wexler. We’d go in the studio and cut songs. If we were happy with what we recorded, Jerry would say, ‘Let’s wait until tomorrow. If we feel the same way that we do now, maybe we have a hit.’ ‘I Knew You Were Waiting’ had that. Musically, it does not grow old.”

Michael, who had recently split with his Wham! partner Andrew Rigeley, recalled being extremely nervous to sing with one of his great vocal heroes. “Nobody can emulate Aretha Franklin,” he wrote in his book, Bare. “It’s stupid to try. I just tried to stay in character, keep it simple — it was very understated in comparison to what she did.”


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Life Is Beautiful, But We Need The Hard Times To Remember That

“I suppose in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go, but what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye.”

-Yann Martel, Life of Pi

I’m confused about my life lately. Plotlines I thought might play out for months or even years have recently fizzled out at a moment’s notice. Much too soon.

I woke up to my dog’s death the other day, and I don’t think it’s quite hit me yet. I still think I’m about to see her come around the corner again. Maybe that’s me just suppressing something.

There’s a girl I was interested in for a while but I just realized in an instant my life was heading in an opposite direction. Why couldn’t I just notice this before?

Then there are those friends that tell me one thing while acting another. Talking a big game while not showing up when the lights come on. I’m letting go of them, too.

I’m headed into a long winter here in the Northeast United States. Every day the darkness closes in around me as things keep changing and leaving me. What a sad way to think about things, but I have to write what I feel.

What do I make of all this change, though–all this darkness?

There’s a great quote in one of my favorite plays that goes like this:

“Oh, if life were made of moments
Even now and then a bad one!
But if life were only moments
Then you’d never know you had one”

-Into The Woods

These lines get to a crucial truth about life that most of us forget about. What it means is that if there weren’t dark moments in our lives, we wouldn’t appreciate the good ones.

This past weekend I saw some old friends in Las Vegas. We head out there every year to hash out the past memories while making glorious new ones. We rented a limo and went to some clubs and strolled around laughing for 36 straight hours.

SQUAD.

A photo posted by Tom Kuegler (@tomkuegler) on

It’s hard to put my finger on why I feel so much joy when I see my best friends again. Maybe it’s because our heads try to shield our hearts from the off-chance that our friends aren’t going to show up and that this world really does suck and they’re all just going to laugh at us and say “Look! We got him, too!”

But then when that door does open and you do see them again your heart realizes that the worst lies about life are just that, and that despite what we see on the news, or hear from fake people, or were taught growing up, that this world is a good one. There are people that love us here. We can stare up at the stars with a heart full of hope for our time on this rock in the middle of the galaxy. We are loved.

I wonder why my life has been so rocky lately. I wonder why my friends have treated me badly and why I’ve treated other people badly. I think about why I don’t listen to my friends more.

Then it hits me.

We need the bad times as much as the good. We need the times when we stare up at the cloudy night sky in order to appreciate the nights when we do see the stars shining through.

I guess the questions we have now make the answers so satisfying later.

The confusion I feel now about my life is just going to make things sweeter later on. And, in turn, any unintentional harm I inflict on others could do the same things for them as well.

This life is a wild one. Too often we have bad days and broken hearts, but every now and then we get to go to Vegas for a glorious couple of hours. It’s those moments that I live for, as well as the people that share those moments with me.

“At times the world may seem an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe that there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough. and what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events may in fact be the first steps of a journey.”

-Lemony Snicket, A Series of Unfortunate Events

Like what you read? Find more of Tom’s writing at The Post-Grad Survival Guide. You can also follow him on Instagram, or give his Facebook page a like to keep up with what he’s doing. You can also follow him on Twitter, Youtube, or Vimeo, as well as cut out the middle-man to read his blog.

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Celebrities Remember Zsa Zsa Gabor With Touching Notes On Social Media

On Sunday, actress and glamour icon Zsa Zsa Gabor died at age 99.

Upon hearing the sad news, celebrities flocked to Twitter to share their condolences and words of remembrance. Stars including Miley Cyrus, Larry King and Paris Hilton, whose great-grandfather Conrad Hilton was once married to Gabor, all shared touching notes online.

“Sad to hear the news of Zsa Zsa Gabor’s passing. My great grandfather and her made such a beautiful couple. May she rest in peace,” wrote Paris, while King posted, “There will only be one Zsa Zsa Gabor. And, I liked her a lot. Rest In Peace, my dear.” 

See more celebrity reactions below: 

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14 Real Wedding Moments That Will Make It A December To Remember

Eat, drink and be married!

Our readers who said their “I dos” this weekend filled their big days with lots of love and holiday cheer. See some photos from their celebrations below:  

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Donald Trump, Please Remember Your Past Interest In The Environment

In 1992, current U.S. President-elect Donald Trump appeared in a television mini-series based off the 1990 Jackie Collins romance novel “Lady Boss.”

Trump, who won the U.S. presidential election early Wednesday morning, only makes a brief cameo in the series, but in a short scene, he expresses an enthusiasm for discussing the environment.

In it, Joan Rivers warmly greeting Trump as he comes over to her table at a restaurant. The Rivers character tells Trump ― who plays himself ― that her and her friend are “talking about the environment.” To which Trump responds, “That sounds pretty interesting to me.”

This was most likely a scripted moment for Trump, but the dialogue is still startling compared to the tone Trump has repeatedly expressed regarding the environment. Over the course of his now successful campaign, Trump repeatedly talked with disdain about those who believe in climate change and even claimed the Chinese invented the idea of global warming.

Although it’s wholly unrelated to the environmental conversation, watching the cameo from 1992 is a particularly jarring experience given a statement the Rivers character makes right before Trump arrives. The character tells her movie producer friend to give a part to Mel Gibson, then adds, “Cute little butt. I just love looking at naked movie stars.”

Sometimes you wake up and the world isn’t the same place you thought it was the day before. Is it just me, or is it getting really hot in here? 

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Erotic Photography: Best of the Best Sellers Remember Me to Roscoe Best of Mystery Police and Private Eye Detectives Investigations

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A Year To Remember – The 1950s

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4 Things to Remember When You Want to Get Married, But It’s Not Happening

Back when I was in my early to mid-20s I was worried and concerned about getting married, but every attempt to create a stable, loving and committed relationship turned into an utter failure.

Based on what I’ve learned, here are four things to remember when you want to get married, but it’s not happening:

#1 — You gotta focus on making yourself happy.

Be your own best friend. Learn how to love your life whether there is a guy in your life or not. The more joyful and loving that you are when alone with yourself, the better because others are going to recognize that energy that you are putting out.

And trust me — being joyful, happy, and loving is a lot more attractive then being depressed, self-conscious, and anxious. Just imagine what it’d be like going on a date with someone who is really depressed, self conscious and anxious. Would you want to go out with them again? Enough said.

#2 — Know that you deserve and are capable of having a loving relationship.

We can be happy and joyful in our lives and with ourselves all we want, but if we don’t think that we deserve and are capable of having a loving and joyful relationship that can turn into a successful marriage then it’s not going to happen. We have to really truly know and believe that we are worthy.

Doing this doesn’t have to be super complicated. It can happen at any given moment that you choose to fully admit to yourself and the universe what it is that you truly desire and you choose to fully know you are worthy. And, as a result, the universe can respond very quickly.

I know this very well from experience. A few years ago I was traveling in Japan after spending several months suffering with the aftermath from a breakup. I was working on being happy by myself but nothing new came along because I didn’t really believe I was ready for a new relationship. I deeply believed that I’d screw any new relationship up. I didn’t trust myself.

While walking around the Golden Pavillion (Kinkai-ju) in Kyoto I saw a section where you could buy candles for various different things and light them for a prayer. These were all in English so I felt inclined to light one. At first I rationalized and started telling myself to do one for world peace, but my eyes kept going back to one that was for finding love.

In that moment, finally admitted to myself and the universe my true desire and I knew that I deserved it. I lit the candle and left — forgetting about it.

Later that day, upon trying to get to the airport, a storm came through that caused me to miss my flight. I ended up meeting a man in this this stressful situation who helped me with language translations. This man I ended up having a stable relationship with for about a year.

Which leads me to my next point…

#3 — Always be open to possibilities.

When we have this very specific picture of what it is that we want then we are not going to be open for all of the creative possibilities. We may overlook or not even allow ourselves to see what is right in front of us.

It’s okay to have some standards of what you want: Like someone who is honest, loyal, caring, and so on. But if we’re going so far as to being very particular about how someone looks, their job, or where they grew up then we may be blocking ourselves from being with who we are truly mean to be with.

Also, I think it’s very important to remember that when I say “be open to possibilities” it’s not about letting go of the desire completely. It’s not about shifting your thoughts in a way to be forcing yourself to be thinking, “I don’t want to get married” because that doesn’t leave you open to the potential of marriage ever. It’s like going up to the universe and saying “I’m closing up shop” and the universe is thinking, “But, wait, I had all these customers lined up for you. What gives?”

The key is to learn how to get into a neutral space of “I am happy and love my life no matter what happens”. It’s about letting go of any concern or worry about the outcome and being open for all creative possibilities. That creates the foundation for a real change (or miracle) to occur, internally and, ultimately, externally.

2015-08-24-1440381398-3230050-FoundationForChange.jpg

Click to Tweet: When we let go of concerns about the outcome, we open ourselves to receive all the creative possibilities. via @jenilyn8705

#4 — Have faith.

Trust that what is going to happen will happen. Not all of us are meant to get married or have children by a certain age. It’s also true that not all of us are meant to only be married once. Things happen — it’s just the way life works out sometimes.

So trust and have faith that what comes to you is what is in your highest good. You have you own individual lessons to learn in this life that is totally unique to you. Nobody else shares those same specific lessons that you need to learn with you. So trust, have faith, and follow the flow of your own intuition and inner guidance.

Take action now!

Let’s do #1: What can you start doing today to help yourself love your life more? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Jennifer is a self and relationship coach and the founder of JenniferTwardowski.com. Her mission is to help women create loving relationships with both others and themselves. Click here for her Free Self and Relationship Healing Meditation and weekly blog updates. To learn about how you can work with her, click here.

Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

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Gina Rodriguez Has An Affair To Remember On ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’

If you’re going to sweep Gina Rodriguez off her feet, you’re going to need a hand — or two.

The “Jane the Virgin” star was the celebrity guest on Monday’s episode of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?,” playing alongside the show’s improv veterans Ryan Stiles, Wayne Brady, Colin Mochrie and Jeff Davis. But things got particularly out of hand when Stiles, Rodriguez and Mochrie’s hands were placed in a luxury hotel for a romantic rendezvous.

In the skit titled “Helping Hands,” Stiles popped some bubbly and fed threw the actress handfuls of grapes as she tried to keep up with the antics.

Earlier in the episode, the 31-year-old star challenged Brady and Davis to sing about her character Jane, reimagining her not as a virgin but as an organic corn farmer. The skit even inspired the actress to do a little bit of freestyle rapping.

Watch the “Helping Hands” segment above and check out the full episode on The CW.

 

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The Everything Wedding Checklist Book: All you need to remember for a day you'll never forget

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I Remember Rachel for Her Ferocity for Life, Not Cancer

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The skeet whooshed towards the heavens. My right eye stared ahead with the barrel flush. I had developed a rhythm with the saucer: After it launched I waited until it reached a precise point in my field of vision and then I pulled the trigger. Without patience, my aim would be low and the saucer would continue its original trajectory until it fell to the ground. So I waited and then, click, the target erupted, its orange pieces blending with the sky like a perfect match on the color wheel.

I hit 11 of 25 skeets. My friend Rachel, who I’m sure shot guns growing up based on my generalization of people from Arkansas and who say things like, “My drinking water had tadpoles,” only shot two. She hit her first, missed the next 23, and ended with a bang. Rachel sat against a rock and watched others in our group shoot. She smiled and now said things like, “I have not spent time outside in days. It is beautiful.”

There was not a cloud above us and Rachel, a Fulbright scholar, began telling me a story about the sky. If people had never been told the sky was blue then they may see it as white, another color, or simply a void. Those people may have as much trouble wrapping their heads around the blue sky as I have around not seeing it as blue.

I can’t see Rachel in a different light, either. When I met her 2.5 years ago I saw a radiant and beautiful 27-year-old whose attitude matched her use of exclamation points. She told me stories back then, too, like the meaning of interrobang, which is a combination of an exclamation point and a question mark, and how she was diagnosed at 26 with stage 3 colon cancer that would later spread to her ovaries and omentum, “upgrading” the cancer to stage 4. Rachel would stay on treatment forever, in a concept that is new to me and the way I had “finished” cancer treatment when I was a teen: Rachel was living with cancer.

I may never have met Rachel if her life trajectory had not been erupted by cancer. Even though we had many similarities and both lived in Washington, D.C., we met as part of a group of cancer survivors to rock climb on the red rocks of Moab, Utah, our trip funded by a nonprofit that believes providing outdoor adventures changes survivors’ lives.

I have always been strong and lean as if I was meant to climb rock walls in that desert that looked like Mars. Still, Rachel was better at climbing. She possessed grace and strength that was less obvious than mine. Rachel was actually better than me at most things I was passionate about, including writing, shedding body fat, researching nutrition and drinking whiskey, which I realized when we toasted her 29th birthday with her dad’s homemade moonshine.

When her cancer returned, Rachel underwent surgery to remove ovaries and parts of her colon. Controversial surgery to slice her open and pour hot chemotherapy into cavity, a procedure known as shake and bake. More surgery to remove more tumor and peek inside at the cancer that had spread everywhere and could not be removed due to its placement near her organs. So much treatment and so many procedures over so many years that I could not keep track of Rachel’s status without feeling like I was burdening her.

When Rachel shared episodes from her life there was always a funny story, because if her level of suffering couldn’t break her then nothing could. When she had to cancel climbing with me she said, “This kid with a provisional driver’s license just ran into me. I’m fine, car is fine — just a fender bender, luckily. And the guy was a super nice kid!”

And, “I’m supposed to be in the hospital right now but they don’t have a bed for me yet. I guess Georgetown was just really busy today! I just have some sort of bug, could be a result of the trip to Zambia. Who knows.”

And while she was still hospitalized the day before her thirtieth birthday party she said, “I have a lot of potential arguing to do in the morning to get them to let me out of here for a few hours. I’ll call you if we need to execute ‘plan prison break!'”

I am fortunate to have completed my 20s without cancer, following an adolescence smothered by it. I spent my college years questioning how to live more than actually living: When would I share with friends and romantic interests that I had had cancer? How long could I lie about my limp that was caused by my resected cancerous ilium? Could I ever do it again if I had to — endure cancer and its treatments with the same unwavering spirit and superhuman conviction?

Now eight years after college I wonder if I could I ever do what Rachel did — live with cancer without any possibility of a cure, all while never letting up on exclamation points?

Sitting straight up, on the ground with her back supported by the rock, under the clear blue sky, Rachel was at peace. She hadn’t eaten in a month and days before, the procedure to insert a feeding tube nearly failed catastrophically when her doctor at first couldn’t get the tube past the tumor that was blocking the entrance into her stomach. “That was almost it,” she said.

I have seen many young people pass away due to cancer. When death is inevitable, the end can come quickly. Rachel was different, living nine more months without food or drink; never surrendering to disease; never surrendering her loving and positive spirit. “I just want to live and have more adventures,” she said, still smiling at the heavens.

Rachel Yingling erupted into my life and so many others’ lives. She is the blue sky: Her impact on those who knew her was so great that none of us can imagine what life would be like if we had not met her.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
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The Everything Wedding Checklist Book: All You Need to Remember for a Day You’ll Never Forget

The Everything Wedding Checklist Book: All You Need to Remember for a Day You’ll Never Forget


The registry, invitations, reception, flowers, rings, place cards-how’s a girl to remember it all? During this insane time when every detail seems to take on a life of its own, you need help! The Everything Wedding Checklist Book, 3rd Edition provides solutions that target every bride’s greatest worry: “Did I forget something?” Loaded with timesaving tips, this handy guide keeps you on track and focused with checklists to help: Make tough budgeting choices; Determine wedding party responsibilities; Choose ceremony options; Figure out seating plans; Pack all that’s needed for the honeymoon. . and much, much more! This new edition even includes checklists for nontraditional weddings. With simple step-by-step checklists for each aspect of planning the wedding of your dreams, you won’t forget a single thing for your unforgettable day!

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Remember Mia

Remember Mia


Like Girl on the Train and Gone Girl, Remember Mia is a riveting psychological suspense, exploring what happens when a young mother’s worst nightmare becomes devastatingly real…First I remember the darkness. Then I remember the blood.I don’t know where my daughter is. Estelle Paradise wakes up in a hospital after being found near dead at the bottom of a ravine with a fragmented memory and a vague sense of loss. Then a terrifying reality sets in: her daughter is missing. Days earlier, Estelle discovered her baby’s crib empty in their Brooklyn apartment. There was no sign of a break-in, but all traces of seven-month-old Mia had disappeared. Her diapers, her clothes, her bottles-all gone. Frustrated and unable to explain her daughter’s disappearance, Estelle begins a desperate search. But when the lack of evidence casts doubt on her story, Estelle becomes the number one suspect in the eyes of the police and the media. As hope of reuniting with Mia becomes all she has left, Estelle will do anything to find answers: What has she done to her baby? And what has someone else done to her?From the Trade Paperback edition.

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The Everything Wedding Checklist Book: All You Need to Remember for a Day You’ll Never Forget

The Everything Wedding Checklist Book: All You Need to Remember for a Day You’ll Never Forget


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Remember Your Favorite Fleece From College? Designers Say It’s Time to Bring It Back

altuzarra-fleece

In his fall show, Altuzarra sent models down the runway in evening dresses and skirts styled with what we can most accurately describe as Patagonia-style fleeces. Though the styling was epically amazing, it may have fallen a little short of practical for most of us. That being said, it did nothing to stop us from swooning over each and every piece.

Altuzarra reminded us of the Patagonias of our past that we didn’t even realize we had forgotten about. So, in lieu of a black-tie event fit for the likes of his satin gowns, the winter season is the perfect time to appreciate a great fleece. Cozier than anything you will ever own, your fleece can be rocked everywhere from the ski slopes to the city streets. This winter, I definitely pulled a few of my old fleeces out of storage and—confession time—I even bought an awesome pullover from Crewcuts (seriously, shop some of the larger sizes in the boys’ department and you’ll be surprised what you can find!).

Now, some of you may have already tossed the fleeces of your past, and others are not overly enthusiastic to shell out designer prices for your fleece of choice. For both those reasons and more, we have rounded up 20 of the best fleeces of the season. Grab one before the holidays and cozy up at home with your family and friends!

How do you stay warm through the winter? Do you love the retro fleece trend as much as we do?





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Feeling Tense? Remember This 4 Letter Word | Oprah’s Life You Want Weekend | Oprah Winfrey Network

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Are you seeking inner stillness? You can do worse than Deepak Chopra, a true scholar in spirituality and meditation. Watch as Deepak, one of Oprah’s “life trailblazers,” reveals a four-letter word that will keep you from boiling over when you feel hurt and angry.

Join Oprah, Iyanla Vanzant and other “life trailblazers” on Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend this fall. Register now to start the journey to find your calling and summon the courage to live it.

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Join Oprah, Iyanla Vanzant and other “life trailblazers” on Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend this fall. Register now to start the journey to find your calling and summon the courage to live it.

About OWN:
Oprah Winfrey Network is the first and only network named for, and inspired by, a single iconic leader. Oprah Winfrey’s heart and creative instincts inform the brand — and the magnetism of the channel.

Winfrey provides leadership in programming and attracts superstar talent to join her in primetime, building a global community of like-minded viewers and leading that community to connect on social media and beyond. OWN is a singular destination on cable. Depth with edge. Heart. Star power. Connection. And endless possibilities.

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Feeling Tense? Remember This 4 Letter Word | Oprah’s Life You Want Weekend | Oprah Winfrey Network
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Remember When

Remember When


This volume presents a picture of everyday life in the 20th century – from the late-Victorian era to the new millennium – exploring all aspects of society as reflected in the legacy of packaging, advertising, magazines and newspapers, toys and games, and royal and commemorative memorabilia that has accumulated over the century. A sourcebook of images and anecdotes for those interested in the past, it includes memories of the first Kit-Kat to Beatlemania, Meccano to the Picture Post, Bisto to Barbie and other brand names.

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Getting Psyched to Not Remember Who Won the Oscars Next Week!

2014-02-24-statue.jpg

The excitement is building, as it does every year around this time. Soon, the eyes of the world will be on the glitz and glamour that only Hollywood can provide. The 86th Academy Awards are upon us! The stars will file in on the red carpet, the fashion choices will be scrutinized and the honorees will be feted in grand style.

I can hardly wait to see it all, and then forget who won, like, a few days later.

Forgetting who won the Oscars is such a long-standing tradition that it might conceivably be called a part of the human experience. We wake up each morning, we go to work, we spend time with those we love…we can’t for the life of us remember who won the Oscars. It’s all part of the great continuum, woven into the fabric of our existence.

Sure, the celebrities themselves who win the Oscars are not likely to forget the moment they clutch that gold statuette and thank their agents and current spouses. However, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that they, too, will totally blank on who won in the categories not associated with their productions.

In this way, we, each of us, are not that different from the rich and famous people who supply our big-screen entertainment. They, too, could easily be at a party a couple of weeks from now and, when quizzed on which film was given the award for Best Adapted Screenplay, give the same vacant stare that you or I might give if asked the same question.

The only difference is that the famous person forgets who won what Academy Award because he or she is preoccupied about how to remain famous by prepping his or her next deal, whereas you and I forget because we have jobs and don’t care. These are small, inconsequential differences. The fact is that everybody, in all walks of life, has the memory of Oscar’s winners wiped from their brain pan almost immediately after the ceremony. And this year, as with every year, I am really looking forward to it.

Weirdly enough, we can all still remember the names of the teachers who made indelible impressions on us, even going back ten, twenty or thirty years. But an awards show for teachers would be pretty damn boring. They make crap money, and they have no idea how to dress.

More of James Napoli’s comedy content for the Web can be found here.
Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Reasons to Drink Number Two: We Drink to Remember

We live in a world that dances to a liquid soundtrack of alcohol, and it’s a beautiful if bitter sweet song ruined occasionally by a harshly discordant note that sounds a lot like someone falling head-first off a table, or projectile vomiting up the side of a completely defenseless building.

Alcohol has the power to make life memorable, which is not always a good thing, but explains why our celebrations are so steeped in it. There is, quite simply, nothing we won’t celebrate with a drink. We toast life, we toast death, marriage and birth, farewells and returns. Just as when we suffer we drink to forget, when emotions run high in the other direction, we drink to remember and the same thing that will make you forget your own mother in large enough quantities is used to lubricate that joy. This lubricant will probably be champagne, the world drink of celebration and I guess by proxy what happiness tastes like. We’ve even made it a part of our very own coming of age; Voting, Consent, Driving and Drinking, the ages at which we can legally use the four most useful things in the world; wheels, political choice, a nice cold beer, and our own penis/vagina.

Some occasions are particularly soaked in alcohol and occasionally just as flammable. Prior to the wedding that we will undoubtedly celebrate with a drink to the sound of popping corks, we embark on one of the most hedonistic nights of our lives where we ritually say goodbye to the us that was and welcome in the us that will be, all to the sound of snapping G strings, the smell of some kind of bronzing agent and the taste of alcohol; lots and lots of alcohol. At Christmas we put brandy in the butter and drink beverages that taste like the holidays themselves; be it nog, or mulled wine. Personally I’m amazed a drinks brand with a particularly duplicitous marketing department hasn’t come up with a tenuous link to Mothers day or Valentines in the way Baileys Irish Cream has wormed its way so successfully into Christmas. Perhaps in the future these other days will taste of Chartreuse or, god forbid, Sambuca, who knows.

Nothing however compares to New Year. New Years Eve has grown to become a booze-fuelled celebration dedicated to memory; to remembering those past, lost or forgotten, to mark the end of another year with hope for the next while we raise a cup of kindness to the lilting melody of Auld Lang Syne, probably singing the same verse over and over again because no one has taken the time to look up the second verse on Wikipedia or ironically have once again forgot it.

What it all comes down to is liquid punctuation. The drinking isn’t the occasion itself, just a handy excuse. It doesn’t form the backbone, but can cap it off beautifully like a drinkable full stop. It can add a moment of drama in the form of a raised glass, help us pause for a moment and take stock like a handy comma, pose a question, or hashtag a shared memory communally forever.

Whatever, wherever or whoever we want to remember we can do it just as well if not better with a glass in hand and sometimes we owe it to them to do just that.

Which only leaves me to pour a glass myself and toast a happy Christmas and a magical New year to all of you, you’ve earned it I’m sure.

Here’s to you.

NB:
And surely you’ll buy your pint cup,

And surely I’ll buy mine

And we’ll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne

For auld lang syne, my dear. For auld lang syne

We’ll take a cup of kindness yet. For auld lang syne.
Comedy – The Huffington Post
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