Editor's note: This week's Page Turner reader interview is with Vicki Leininger, a vice president with the Hylant Group.
“I just recently read 'The Hunger Games' and enjoyed both books. It's bizarre, because I am categorically opposed to the whole concept. But it is well-written, and my daughter was reading it, so I had to catch up: she challenges me. I saw the movie and think it did a good job of casting and telling the story.
“And while I was on vacation I read 'Winter Garden,' by Kristin Hannah. Someone had recommended it to me. The story takes place in Russia during the Communist regime. The action goes back and forth to when she was a girl and now as an adult. Her husband dies, and her daughters go back to find out why she is so cold; their relationship has always been cold.
“In the end, they meet other people — in Alaska — who had defected. It is a well-written book and pretty factual — and humbling, too. How did these people have the strength? She lost both parents to the regime through starvation.
“Yes, I have a Kindle, but I love the feel of a book. I presently have five books on my iPad. A group of friends shares book lists, and you get to know that one likes and will recommend historical fiction, another likes action — so you get an idea about their recommendations.
“I tried to read 'Harry Potter,' but I have a rule that if I'm not caught up in a book after reading 100 pages, I won't finish it. I'm told I should have kept on, but I didn't.
“I enjoyed 'The Glass Castle,' by Jeannette Walls. I've thought about it long after reading it. It's so different from my life. And I loved 'The Kite Runner.' It is very well-written, and I hurt for those people. 'Sarah's Key' is a grabber — really hard to put down; it was written by Tatiana de Rosnay.
“I enjoyed 'The Art of Racing in the Rain'; it's fun. And 'Water for Elephants' is another I enjoyed, and I thought the movie did a good job. Usually I like to read the book before seeing the movie; I think we picture the characters and the situations our own way first.
“'The Book Thief' is one I can recommend. It is an excellent book that takes place during the Nazi regime. What a display of courage! I felt a connection with those characters. The book is by Markus Zusak.
“'The Knitting Circle' is another good one — about people sharing grief. And I must mention 'The Help.' It's by Kathryn Stockett, and so humorous and so real. I think you can say I read a lot!”
“'Kisses from Katie' was recommended to me for my daughter from a colleague of mine in the insurance industry. He was visiting our agency and asked about my daughter Katelyn, and I told him about the mission trip she went on last summer to Kenya and how it changed her life.
“He said then you have to have her read 'Kisses from Katie.' He knew this family personally, and it is about their daughter, Katie, who went on a mission trip to Uganda when she was 19. It is a beautiful story about how this Katie followed the calling God placed on her heart and is now living in Uganda permanently and has adopted 14 girls. She is now only 23 years old.
“When it arrived, my daughter read it immediately. Once she finished, she would not stop talking about it, so I read it a few weeks ago on my way to our vacation in Michigan. It is inspirational and beautifully written.
“The other series she reminded me of was the 'Mark of the Lion' series by Francine Rivers that I shared with many friends and family about 10 years ago. It too touched our hearts.”