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Last updated: Sat. Aug. 30, 2014 - 08:49 am EDT

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Reader interview: Communications prof enjoys reading about humanity

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This week's Page Turner reader interview is with Jane Martin, a professor of communication and the program director in communication at the University of Saint Francis.

"I have just finished reading 'The Ocean at the End of the Lane,' by Neil Gaiman. He does a lot of writing based on mythology. In this book, he has a gentleman revisiting his family home and reliving his growing up. It is dealing with memory and where you are in life. It is kind of magical and mystical.

"It's a good story, with strong female characters, too. There were three women who lived in the house at the end of the lane, and they kind of nurtured him. This is a nice, easy, short novel, and my second time through it. I do re-read books, although some are often too long.

"I love Ernest Hemingway. His writing is so clear. I especially liked 'Moveable Feast,' which made me want to travel, to enjoy art, to eat and sample some really good food. And I like the verses by Gertrude Stein that were included. He wrote so well.

"When I look back to name a favorite, it is 'Charlotte's Web.' It inspired me to do what I do. My job is to help people find their careers. It's about communicating and professional development, helping to give them skills to be successful, to engage well with others. That spider is such a selfless person! I first heard it in the second grade when our teacher read it to us, and I learned about friendships and sacrifice. The writing is so beautiful. E.B.White could really write, and this book captured me as a child.

"I also recommend 'Elements of Style,' by Strunk and White. It helped me write. You really learn in college how to edit, how to be effective in your own writing, and I found this book very helpful. I revisit it.

"As I grew up, I read the 'Nancy Drew' series and the 'Hardy Boys'; I always was a reader. Some books affected me more than others, of course. I have long been a fan of Ray Bradbury. He wrote the best short stories! I re-read 'Fahrenheit 451' a few years ago when we were using it for a course at school. We also used 'Frankenstein,' Mary Shelley's book. There are a lot of different factors in that one: discipline, the medical field, biology, what it means to be a human being, the arts and humanities. I enjoy reading about the human experience."

nsfeatures@news-sentinel.com


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