By the ever opinionated E.C. Stacy.
I like one word names. Our guest for Meet the Reader today prefers to go by one name. Danna is a voracious reader with candid opinions. If you think E books are all the rage, check out Danna’s two cents about them.
CIR: According to your rating system, a four star has beautiful imperfections that prove to be perfections. I love that philosophy. Care to suggest a favorite book that shows this?
D: Books are like humans and we all are not perfect. If we were – if books were – there would be nothing special about us, so imperfections are the only thing that keeps (or make) us who we really are, helps us develop our own identity and individuality. The same applies to books.
I know every book has an imperfection, and Flowers in the Attic and The Blue Lagoon prove it: two couples who practically grew up together are struggling to survive: one on an isolated island and the other in a locked room. They have no one else to hold on to but themselves. So, at some point, nature works its magic and they do it. I know many people banned these books because of these scenes, but I see those as perfections –Richard and Em, Chris and Cathy – trapped in an imperfect world. I mean, this is the way things are supposed to be from the very beginning, natural and perfect…. LOL I know, it's complicated. (- :
CIR: Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett is one of my favorite novels and I noticed you gave it top ratings. I wish that every author could tell an epic tale and teach something as complex as cathedral building in his or her writing with such finesse. Do you think Follett’s mastery for writing exceptional thrillers early in his career gave him the ability to hook his readers into Pillars of the Earth?
D: In fact, I am not familiar with any of his mystery novels, although I know they're considered at a very high level, so his style must have captured the readers. Judging from his historical-fiction pieces, he can sure write everything and fascinate his readers under any circumstances!
CIR: Who was your favorite character in Pillars?
Now we're talking! I think it was Aliena. I am very connected to female characters because of three reasons:
a) I am a big believer in feminism and girl power and a strong heroine makes a books a million times better! Aliena is amazing, as a woman and much beyond: she had guts and has been through a cruel rape, hunger and a drastic, sudden change in her political, social and economic status all at once;
b) She still survived, physically and mentally, and managed to be successful on her own (with the wool business) – that's a real hero;
c) All through the story she is mainly accompanied by her brother Richard, and Follett strongly highlighted differences between them, which reflects her unbelievable personality: as strong and capable as her brother could only dream of being;
d) I am a female and am very proud of her!
CIR: In your opinion, what makes fantasy fans keep reading that genre?
D: It might be some sort of taking a break from reality when you feel like unwinding. Some do that with a bubble bath or something and others choose to dive deep into a world they could never reach but in their imagination.
CIR: You gave high marks to La Princesa Prometida (The Princess Bride) by William Goldman. I, too, love Goldman’s works. He uses the elements of classic story telling but puts such original twists in them that Hollywood couldn’t resist adapting several of his novels for film. What part of The Princess Bride won you over?
D: Look, this is one of the best adventures books ever written, in my opinion: classic piece of pure joy! My favorite part would be when they describe the pasts of Fezzik, Inigo and Vizzini… And when Buttercup and Westley enter the Fire Swamp!
CIR: Do you prefer printed or E books?
D: I happen to have quite a theory about that. Well, e-books are part of what has been called lately 'the digital age', which we apparently are in right now. 'Digital age' is simply when we all use technology, such as computers, phones, televisions and see this as a main part of our lives. This, combining with the fact that not many people today read as they did in the past, proves that books, sadly, probably belongs to the past.
Well, I suppose there are two sides to every story, eventually - on the one hand - e-books seem to blend in quite well among the technology we all use on a daily basis. On the other hand, books have souls. Computers don't. Books are written with passion and love and reflect whole lives - not only fictional. It has a meaning. It has the writer's personality, and in a paper book you can literally feel it. This is the beauty of a book, if not to consider the story in it. I love books. I love it that every book old and new, big and small, has its own smell and feeling. Books are personal. To me, turning books to something completely different than what it feels is sort of like underestimating its value, in a way. I like to think that there is nothing more human than a good book.
I would love to end with a nice quote (: I LOVE quotes!
“Happiness resides not in possessions and not in gold; the feeling of happiness dwells in the soul.”
Think of books while reading it… You'll see what I mean.
CIR: Thank you, Danna!