Editor's note: This week's Page Turner reader interview is with Cheri Becker, executive director of Leadership Fort Wayne.
“I usually am reading two or three books at a time, and the ones I am reading now are very, very different.
“One is 'Prague Winter,' by Madeleine Albright. It's about her discovery of her ancestry and of the family members who were lost. She was in Prague as a little girl — and this book is absolutely fascinating. The reader learns many lessons about Prague, how it is geographically located and is important in connecting East with West. How Czechoslovakia had independence and lost it and the organization of European Nations.
“She makes history very interesting, and she is a delightful writer: very pragmatic, full of wisdom and relating history to her personal story. Her descriptions of buildings, of all architecture, make me want to go visit there. It is a cultural center and very significant, especially about Russia and Germany. It's a melting pot for Europe. She is a fascinating woman.
“I love dogs. One of the books I'm reading is about dogs in the military — how they're trained, how they are socialized, how their handlers are selected. The title is 'The Dogs of War: The Courage, Love and Loyalty of Military Working Dogs' and is by Lisa Rogak.
“I was surprised to learn that many dogs are taken out of shelters and from litters. Of course, there are some German shepherds, among others, but all have strength and power. Canine soldiers rank typically higher than their handlers.
“It's a good book and has some fun, but there is also sadness when you realize these dogs are protecting our military by mine detection and other methods of protecting them against harm's way. Some of these dogs in the military are adoptable, others have become so stressed they must be put down. These dogs are wonderful!
“'Playing with the Big Boys' is the third book I'm currently reading. It's by Debra Pestrak. She has collected the experiences of successful women and has written (in the book) “The Success Secrets of the Most Powerful Women in Business,” including their personal stories. They have learned they always need to be extremely well-prepared and ready to answer the most unexpected questions.
“The successful woman must be prepared, intelligent and have knowledge-based answers. Then spend some time detailing facts around the answer. She cites women CEOs, and there were some names I am familiar with. She also talks about equality in pay.
“I love to read; I am an avid reader. Mark and his family are ardent readers, also. I love to touch the books and read the jackets – really read the jackets. I read a lot as a kid and have never stopped loving it.”