Editor's note: This week's Page Turner reader interview is with Amber Eagleson, manager of the African Journey area at the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo.
“I am currently reading lots of African guide books, looking at the various countries. If I'm going to be working with cranes, I'll read books about cranes; my reading depends on the work I'm doing. I'm learning about breeding and aggressive behavior, and I hope to make a trip to Africa in two years, so I'm gathering a lot of information.
“I have read and enjoyed almost everything Jane Goodall has written — 'In the Shadow of Man' and 'Beyond Innocence' are two very good ones. She is renowned for her work, especially with chimpanzees. She's the one who told us they used tools and made everyone understand they are related to us.
“Her journey is very interesting. No one thought she'd really do anything, and where she was going was unsafe for females. It took a long time for her to get the chimpanzees comfortable with her. It's an incredible story, taking 20 years plus.
“I also love some classics. One favorite is 'To Kill a Mockingbird,' by Harper Lee. Atticus is such a noble person, standing up for what he knew was right. And I first read another favorite, '1984,' in high school. I think it must have scared people at first.
“And I loved 'Water for Elephants,' which isn't a classic but is an awfully good book. I hated the treatment of the animals! I couldn't understand how people could treat animals so cruelly, but the ending was truly heartwarming. No, I haven't seen the movie nor will I.
“I also am reading a lot of gardening books — books about vegetables and gardens that attract birds. I'm learning what to plant; I'm a beginner, but my husband and I have had a garden for four or five years, and we are learning what works and what doesn't.
“Another book I enjoyed is 'Into Thin Air,' by Jon Krakauer – the story of his climb of Mt. Everest. The book keeps you on the edge of your seat. And I learned a lot about mountain climbing. I have read it a few times; I always remember a few parts as I get immersed in a book, and then I will re-read it.
“I have always loved reading. When I was in grade school, I was enrolled in the summer reading programs where if you read so many books you were rewarded with a pizza. And I still remember how much I enjoyed the “Baby-Sitters Club” series and R.L. Stine's mystery books. I have always loved reading!”