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Reader interview: ‘Hunger Games’ series, classics among her favorites

Saturday, May 25, 2013 - 12:01 am

Editor's note: This week's Page Turner reader interview is with Gina Kostoff, executive director of Fort Wayne Urban Enterprise Association.

“I really read a lot. And a lot is fluff, like the 'Twilight' series. It's brain candy — light and entertaining. My two nieces loved the books, so I shared them, and I thought the first film based on the series was pretty decent.

“I read all the 'Harry Potter' books, the first one in Ireland: A friend I was with was reading it and then gave it to me. It was phenomenal! So I bought the second one in Ireland. There was controversy about the witchcraft, you know. I just thought how clever the writing was. The books and movies got darker as the series went on, but the first film was exactly what I had envisioned.

“But most of all, I have enjoyed the 'Hunger Games' series and the political undertones, including the Roman era and the gladiator hero. I found them each a fascinating piece of work.

“Favorite books would include 'To Kill a Mockingbird,' by Harper Lee, and 'The Catcher in the Rye' (J.D. Salinger). I first read the Salinger book when I was in high school, then wrote a paper on it in grad school. I loved Holden Caulfield, and I concentrated on the rhetoric. It stuck with me.

“Of course, '1984' was on my list. So is 'We,' by Eugene (Yevgeny) Zamiatin, the Russian version of '1984.' I got interested in Eastern European literature when I was at IPFW.

“I still recommend 'Anne of Green Gables' and 'Little Women.' They are characters from a different time, but their character traits are phenomenal. Ann Shirley's unconventional home life is interesting, and the book teaches that a good heart and an imagination are more meaningful than being pretty and conventional.

“Now on my list is 'A Game of Thrones' and a book on yoga, this one based on an Eastern philosophy. The 'Kabbalah” is also waiting to be read. I have a political science background, and my reading reflects that.”