Editor's note: This week's Page Turner reader interview is with Brian White, executive director of the Allen County Education Partnership.
“I am reading a wonderful book titled 'The Untold Civil War,' by James Robertson. The subtitle is 'Exploring the Human Side of War,' and it is a publication of National Geographic. Robertson is a historian, and this book is a gift from my wife.
“I am reading about people I had never heard of and different battles, with great photography. There are great shots of Lincoln, Grant, Lee, actual battle scenes — many by Matthew Brady, some uncredited. The author also writes about city life during the war and about the ladies left behind. Much information came from diaries. This is a pretty thick book and is made up of short stories — each chapter a different facet.
“I usually read nonfiction. I enjoy reading history about music. I have quite a collection of recorded music — jazz, classical, rock, all kinds. I'm particularly interested in the history of the '60s and '70s and the growth of rock — Woodstock, etc. I like reading about the time in San Francisco and the Summer of Love — the Grateful Dead — and the British music with its brand-new sound.
“It's interesting to compare the new sound from San Francisco and musicians in cut-off jeans and tie-dye ties, to the British dressed like the “older brothers” in suits and narrow ties. The Vietnam War was going on, too, at this time, with the nightly news stories recounting the death count. We went to the air museum in Dayton recently, and there is the first victim brought back from that war. This makes one become more reflective.
“When I think back over favorite books from childhood, I think of those wonderful Golden Books. My parents had so many of them, including 'The Poky Little Puppy.' When they moved into senior housing, I brought all those books home and my children — young adults — are enjoying seeing them (and wanting them).
“There was delightful poetry — 'Where the Sidewalk Ends,' the Dr. Seuss books, the Berenstains and the Bears. But I was into sports when I was in high school, and my reading was about Jim Brown and Babe Ruth and Bill Russell; there were many bios of those great athletes. Then I became interested in political science.
“In my career, I read a lot about public affairs and technical, management stuff. The main publication is 'The Chronicle of Philanthropy,' a bimonthly publication I can also read online, which is concerned a lot with grant applications. Then I read a lot of children's books because here we care about helping every child read at grade level in the third grade. Of course I love reading!”