Editor's note: This week's Page Turner interview is with Jane Wilks, who is retired from Leadership Fort Wayne and is currently working with IPFW on its Continuing Studies program.
“I am currently reading 'Atlas Shrugged,' – I'm about 200 pages into it. I've wanted to read it for a long time, and my son has read it, so we'll be having conversations about it. It is very interesting; Ayn Rand was ahead of her time. There is so much going on now like 1957, when the book was first published. Somehow it never made my reading list until now.
“Just before that I read Ken Follett's 'Fall of Giants,' the first in a trilogy. I have been a Ken Follett fan for a long time and have a hard time putting any of his books down. But they are long. Some years ago, I had some surgery and was reading Ken Follett afterwards in my hospital bed when a nurse walked in.
She took one look at the book and said, 'That's beyond your weight limit.'
“I've read his mysteries, 'Pillars of the Earth,' 'World Without End,' well, everything he has written. It's historical fiction, and he does amazing research. I'm being entertained, but I'm learning, too. I bought two of the books at our downtown library for 25 cents each. Imagine! I love finding great books — classics — and buying them for a quarter.
“My book club has selected 'The Good Earth' as our next book. It's by Pearl S. Buck. I'm reading it for the first time; I don't know how I missed it. It's wonderful history and shows cultures in previous times as well as relationships between men and women. Olan is very quiet but meaningful and right on point. Her husband is blustering and could be mean, but he is an interesting character.
“I read 'Room,' the story of a girl who gets kidnapped off her college campus; it's kind of like the J.C. story, only this is fiction. She has a child and five years later they escape from the room where they have been confined and encounter many new things after being confined for so many years. I am enjoying having the time to read!
“A book I thoroughly enjoyed is 'The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,' by Rebecca Skloot. I had cancer in my 30s when there was quite a breakthrough in the treatment, and I wondered if perhaps her cells might have played a role in my recovery. I have great respect for the research.
“Her family might have benefited financially, but I'm not sure they had a right to compensation. If someone used my cells, I wouldn't expect to be compensated. But with biopsy, et al, we sign away for the greater good.
“Well, her cells grew and continued to live, so she does have an immortal life. I went online to read more about this and have heard discussions on the radio, interviews and on NPR (National Public Radio). The book has received a lot of national attention. I certainly enjoyed it and learned from it.”