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Reader interview: ‘Between Shades of Gray’ great as book on tape

Saturday, February 9, 2013 - 12:01 am

Editor's note: This week's Page Turner reader interview is with Ruth Koontz, community relations and marketing specialist with Goodwill Industries of Northeast Indiana.

“When I have time to read, I love to read anything by John Grisham. It's fun. I also spend a lot of time reading international news in the Wall Street Journal, and I listen to the local NPR (National Public Radio) station for my own interests.

“On Science Friday, for example, the talk was about the difficulty of recycling electronics, so things end up going in the trash. Goodwill recycles computers and small electronic items. Don't throw them away: donate them.

“We get money by the pound when recycling computers as well as hand-held gadgets. I can't speak for every Goodwill in every city, but I can for the local one. And be sure the cord is attached.

“Additional reading includes local publications. I get Business People and Business Weekly and also read both newspapers. The library here has everything I want to read! I moved here last June and listened to a lot of books on tape as I drove back and forth.

“One of the best books on tape was 'Between Shades of Gray.' It's by Ruta Sepetys, a Lithuanian. When Stalin was in power, he was responsible for genocide. And he also separated men from women so there could be no procreation.

“Ruta Sepetys did research on this era and heard stories from the concentration camps. The stories are beautiful and heart-wrenching. That new series, 'Shades of Gray,' has helped sell her book because of the closeness of the titles.

“Her book concentrates on a family that is forced from its home. The mother keeps the protagonist and her little brother together and wisely sewed her valuables in the lining of her coat so she was able to buy things along the way. There's a love story woven in, too. This is one of the best stories I've heard on tape.

“A favorite book is 'The English Patient.' And I remember enjoying “The Saddle Club” series when I was a kid; a group of girls had their own horses and loved to ride. I constantly read those books! And now it's a TV show.”