Ships in Throne of Glass

The problem with having bookworm friends is that they are constantly recommending new books for me. And I know they have fairly similar taste, which means I’m probably-almost-definitely-positively going to like it. Seems like a good problem, honestly. The catch? I already have a TBR list a mile long. Normally, book recommendations get tacked to the end of this list.

My friend Ali recently recommended yet another book series to me, Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. This time, I deviated from my status quo and began reading almost immediately – I simply cannot resist a good fantasy novel. I was not disappointed! These books are really good and I cannot wait to finish the series.

Spoiler disclaimer: At the time of writing, I have read Throne of Glass, and Crown of Midnight. The short-story prequel book Assassin’s Blade plays no role in this discussion, but I will assume that if you continue reading after this point that you have read ToG and CoM. Please do not spoil Heir of Fire for me.

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There seems to be a trend in YA literature recently have positioning a strong female protagonist between two male protagonists and forcing her to choose between one of the equally enticing men. This strategy tends to produce groups of fans who favor one or the other of the love interests, usually resulting in people identifying as Team A or Team B. Generally people are not allowed to be ambivalent but must choose a ship.

I am not a fan of this particular writing strategy. I never have been and I never will be. That is not to say I cannot greatly enjoy books that employ said strategy, but I personally do not like this trend.

Just a handful of chapters into ToG and I saw the beginnings of this unfolding. The spoiled prince Dorian who is used to having anything and anyone he wants, and the solid, responsible captain of the guard Chaol whose greatest ambition in life is to protect the prince – who also happens to be his best friend.

My friend Ali wasted no time in letting me know that she is most definitely Team Chaol. Eventually, once I had read enough of the book to have an opinion, she asked me who I wanted Celeana to be with. My answer? Neither. I don’t particularly want her to be with either of them. Not because I dislike them or think they’re unworthy or beneath her or anything like that. I don’t want her to be with either of them because I’m Team You-Don’t-Need-A-Boy and Team Be-Your-Own-Person.

This is not me wishing Celeana a life of loneliness. This is not me hating on men. This is not me saying that a woman can’t be a happy, whole person and be in a relationship with a man. This is also not me making a larger statement about feminism.

This is me saying I don’t think Celeana is in a place right now where she’s ready to be in a relationship. I think she is still really messed up about Sam being killed and everything that happened around that time. Her heart is not whole; how can she give it to another when it isn’t even hers?

I also think that she subconsciously seeks to find redemption in men. Celeana does not believe herself to be a good person. She’s a murderer and she knows it. I think she seeks to find some type of redemption by being with Dorian and Chaol, both of whom are very good men. If such a good man is willing to be with her, maybe she is not as despicable as she inwardly believes herself to be. In this sense, she is using them to make herself feel better. That’s no way to begin a relationship. She may seem to have reconciled the assassin’s life that was thrust upon her, but inside she is still the frightened princess.

Celeana needs to finish her grieving and healing from Sam, and then she needs to face the darkness within herself. Once she has come to terms with who she is and is at peace with herself, then, then I will consider shipping her with someone.

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Google Books

I seriously love Google Books.

Today one of the faculty at my school requested a stack of article requests, all of which were really old. So old that I was afraid no libraries would eve have them, let alone send them to us. It turns out that some of these were so old that I couldn’t even find them in our resource sharing service.

old bookThinking maybe I would have more luck if I had more information about the articles, I turned to my dear friend, Google. Not only did Google give me more information about the article, Google gave me the article itself! Google Books has always been one of those resources I knew existed, but never really used a lot, so naturally I never think of it as a place to find resources for my library users. However, Google Books had every single one of the articles the faculty member requested. What I hadn’t thought of when I saw how old the articles were is that they are now in public domain, and thus available for Google Books to offer digitized versions of to all users.

Once again, Google saved my bacon.

What does your music say about you?

What does your most frequently-played music say about you? I’m not really sure, but I find it fascinating to look at my own and others’ top-played charts – especially now that I have my last.fm account (mostly) accurate from all my music sources. It’s still not perfect because there are several artists I listen to a lot on cd (I know, how very un-2014 of me), but it’s the clearest picture of the last 4 years of my musical life I am likely to ever get. Do you have a last.fm account? Find me here!

So let’s jump into it.

Overall, my top artists section shows I have a fairly eclectic taste, covering musical scores, worship, alternative rock, hip-hop, pop, indie, and broadway.

Of the top six artists, four are instrumental artists (Danny Elfman, Yiruma, Lindsey Stirling, and Hans Zimmer). This is due primarily to having been both an undergraduate and being a graduate student. While I write papers, I listen to music to help me focus better, but I (normally) can’t have words in the music or else I start singing along. David Garret also makes the honorable mention list, coming in at number 13.

Of the top 18, six are Christian artists of various genres. Surprisingly, Phil Joel makes the list even though I basically only listen to one of his songs – “I Will Not Be Afraid,” which I listen to at night if I’m having trouble going to sleep.

Four of the top 18 artists are prominent YouTubers. Once again, another I-only-listen-to-one-of-your-songs artists makes this list, Sam Tsui. He does a mashup of “Let It Go” and “Let Her Go” that is my all-time most played song.

Looking at my 18 most played songs, only 8 of them are from artists that also make the top-artists list. Apparently I like to listen to certain songs on repeat a lot.

I’m not sure what all this says about me, but if I did, I’m sure I’d find it fascinating.

Tea Break

 

I have found that even in the craziest of days, carving out a few moments to sit down and enjoy a nice cup of tea can make all the difference. There’s just something about sitting down with a cup of your favorite brew and blocking out the circus around you, even for a few small minutes, that can give you the strength and courage to get back up and face the rest of the day with grace.
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