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Reader profile: "Unnaturally Green' a great read for anyone who wanted to be on stage

Saturday, December 1, 2012 - 12:01 am

Editor's note: This week's Page Turner reader interview is with Mary Voors, Children's Services manager at the Allen County Public Library's main branch.

“I have just finished reading 'Unnaturally Green,' by Felicia Ricci. It's the autobiography of a young woman who was an understudy for the role of Elphaba in the San Francisco company of 'Wicked.' It covers the auditions and what she went through waiting to go on — with a taste of her personal life.

“She even writes about the makeup and how, no matter how hard she tried to remove it, a little of the green stayed on. It is great fun. She had to confront her demons and is an overachiever who achieved! I loved the show, which is for the whole family, and loved that part so much. Anyone who ever wanted to be on stage or in a musical will enjoy this book.

“If I'm going to read nonfiction, it must be more than just a dry reading — an encyclopedic entry — it must include a good story that draws me page to page to page. That's the kind of book 'The Race to Save the Lord God Bird' is. Written by Phillip Hoose, it's the story of the ivory-billed woodpecker and covers ecology, environmentalism, history — and incredible research. It is written in beautiful prose, and it really makes you think. Now I'm wondering: Is the bird actually extinct?

“Another excellent nonfiction book is 'Bomb: The Race to Build — and Steal — the World's Most Dangerous Weapon,' by Steve Sheinkin. It, too, has excellent research and teaches us that once you let the genie out of the bottle, you can't put it back in. This is a great way to learn more about science and World War II. I think it is a great book.

“I have been reading more and more 'crossover' books — books written for young adults but also outstanding adult fare. The two books I mentioned are in that category. And, of course, so is the 'Hunger Games' series. Adults have thoroughly enjoyed the books, and I must admit I stood in line to watch the movie.

“I liked 'Under the Dome,' written by Stephen King. A dome suddenly covers a community: No one can get in, and no one can get out. The people lose all contact with the outside world. I won't tell you any more about it because I don't want to spoil it for you. But there's something about Stephen King. He creates an alternate reality. That man can write!

“Two books I re-read and re-read: First, 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,' by C.S. Lewis. I first read it as a child and enjoyed it as a story. Then I re-read it in high school and saw it as a Christian allegory. And every time I re-read it, I see something more. The other book is 'The Little Prince.' What a magical story.

“I like to read. And I've been very lucky. I've served twice on the Newbery (book award) committee, and I work surrounded by books. What more could I ask?”