pecaspers: a Blog in transition

January 25, 2014

The Empty Shelf Challenge

In advance of 2014, blogger/author/thinker Jon Acuff issued “The Empty Shelf Challenge.” The essence of the challenge is to clear a shelf and post pics of it filling up as you read books throughout the year. There is even a special board on Pinterest for it. (I can’t for the life of me figure out how to link to a particular board from within the Pinterest app, so no link for you unless or until I edit this post from my laptop.) I accepted the challenge while at my in-laws’ over Christmas, but obviously couldn’t clear a shelf until I got home.

Doh-tee-doh, it’s late January. I guess that makes it the perfect time to get around to clearing a shelf and posting my first complete read of the new year.

So, here is my empty shelf pictured with the Kindle I got for Christmas and the pouch my awesome wife crocheted for it.

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And here is my first finished book.

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Title: The Snow Queen

Author: Hans Christian Andersen

Cost: FREE! (At least, it was when I got it.)

Thoughts: I wanted to see how Andersen’s fairy tale related to The story told in Disney’s Frozen. It doesn’t. The two stories are in absolutely no way related, no matter what the credits of the movie might say.

Anderson’s Snow Queen is actually pretty tangential to the story bearing her name. Her heart is “frozen,” and she tries to entrap an unfortunately willing boy. The boy’s childhood playmate, a little girl, goes on a quest to find him, and it is this girl who is the focus of Anderson’s story. Neither of these characters–nor any others, nor the plot, nor any major theme besides self-sacrificial love–make it from Andersen to Disney. Queen Elsa ends Frozen (exceedingly vague spoiler alert) embracing the fact that people love her and she does not need to fear their rejection or hatred, and so she is able to wield her power to the benefit of her kingdom. Tim Burton and Quentin Tarrintino would have to be brought in to tell a story dark and twisted enough to turn Elsa into Andersen’s Snow Queen.

That is not to say that I didn’t enjoy Frozen. I loved it. It’s the best thing Disney has produced in house for quite a while. It’s also the one of the clearest depictions of what “true love” is about.

In it’s own right, The Snow Queen is…well…weird. The timescale is weird. It touches briefly on a wide range of topics in a weird way. Parts of the story are weirdly dark. Nevertheless, it’s a fascinating kind if weird. This work is “fantastic” in the older sense of the word. Reality is bent away for the sake of telling a story that is somewhat allegorical and begs to be referenced. It was, by no means, what I was expecting; however, I enjoyed experiencing it, weird as it was.

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