In Conversation With …has been a long overdue project I have been wanting to start.. with an aim to reach out to the community and interact more while highlighting amazing people that I come across in this fandom journey.
Here’s to moving the spotlight to yet another book lover.
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I am Mridula, a 25-year-old bookworm from Ranchi, Jharkhand, taking a break from my career (as a biotechnologist). I haven’t read enough books, but just enough to finish my GoodReads challenge of 200 books a year. I enjoy Historical Fiction, Adult Fantasy, and Romance. I am a fellow Ravenclaw (and quite proud of it). I prefer paperbacks over e-books, but I can read in any given format. I am currently reading ‘A Catcher in the Rye‘ by J. D. Salinger and ‘A Long Petal of the Sea‘ by Isabel Allende. I do hope to finish the Reading Women Challenge this year (smaller goals this year).
What kind of monster turns a perfectly pretty book into something old, torn and dusty? My books are well maintained and I am so proud of them.-Mridula
When and How did you get into reading for pleasure?
I wasn’t much of a reader as a child. I would occasionally pick up ‘Akbar and Birbal‘ or ‘Tales from the Panchatantra‘. It was a friend who, in the teenage years of my life recommended me ‘Nothing Lasts Forever‘ by Sidney Sheldon and that’s how it all started. Now, I am a voracious reader and I am not even kidding.
Do you have a reading ritual?
I need some peace and quiet while I read. That’s the only thing I am fussy about.
What’s a trope you like to see in books?
One of my favorite settings is a Murder mystery set in the Victorian Era (such as The Corset by Laural Purcell). Enemies to lovers is a trope that excites me the most, be it any genre. I live for those vicious banters turning into something sweet and full of love. I also hate happy endings.
Your go to mantra for overcoming a reading slump?
Stop reading, Take a break. Do other unrelated things. Let your books coax you back into loving them. You don’t have to read all the time just because you’re a reader or a reviewer.
What’s one unpopular bookish opinion you have?
I really, really hated ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ by Sarah J Maas and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo.
Your favorite bookish merchandise?
I hoard bookmarks. Almost all bookmarks I own are my favorite but if I had to pick one, Its a ‘woodmark’ from Little Inkling Designs based on ‘Game of Thrones’
Pride and Prejudice– I am fond of the Bennet household, to be honest. All the characters are beautifully crafted, there’s an adequate amount of sexual tension and angst to keep a reader gripped without feeling out of place.
What are your bookish pet peeves?
Does breaking the spine while reading count? That and physically destroying a book while reading. I mean what kind of monster turns a perfectly pretty book into something old, torn and dusty? My books are well maintained and I am so proud of them.
Favorite Fictional Character?
Morozko from The Winternight Trilogy– Because he is the man I would like to spend my life with. He is cold but caring, passionate about his bit of the world, doesn’t fuss about what’s right and what’s wrong, believes in the women he loves and would do anything for family. I should also mention that he is a Winter Demon and a very powerful one.
Current favorite literary quote?
“To be alive at all is to have scars. ”John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent
What are your thoughts on Diverse Reading?
Diverse Reading’ is extremely important and I think, it is beyond the need for some basic representation. It is fascinating to see how a particular culture came into existence, how it fits in this world and the stories these individuals have to tell. There is so much to learn and absorb in this world and diverse reading will bring that right to your doorstep.
Last Five Star Read
The Therapist by Nial Giacomelli
It is a surreal experience. The story brings out magical realism amidst a major crisis in a way that it touched my heart rather than sounding foreign or uncalled for. The writing style is atmospheric and gripping and in very few pages the author managed to break my heart and surprise me at the same time.
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Three Books From Your Favorite Genres
Three Regional Books
Three Hidden Gems
After the End by Clare Mackintosh
It is inspired by a real-life situation and isn’t the usual genre the writer writes in (thriller). It is a family drama, which most people tend to skip. But it has the most realistic story about how either a family breaks after a tragedy or they start again. I say ‘either’ because there are two alternative parallel plot lines in the book which isn’t as confusing as it sounds.
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Bhumika by Aditya Iyengar
A lot of people in India look for retellings and here’s one that is refreshing and unique. Iyengar gives us an alternate reality where Sita isn’t married to Ram and ends up being as powerful and prosperous as Ram. Iyengar raised certain questions and answers them exceptionally well. It’s a well-crafted story that is also empowering.
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The Adivasi will not Dance by Hansda Sovwendra Shekhar
A book set in Jharkhand, that brings to limelight the life of tribals that changed drastically after industrialization. The encroachment in their properties, loss of their culture and rituals, etc. makes it an enlightening read.
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