Today we present June’s featured reader for our Page Turners of Jefferson County series, which asks a local resident to reflect on the role books and reading have played in his or her life.
Ambika Khurana is a recent graduate of Washington High School and a Charles Town Library volunteer. She is passionate about learning and helping others, and will be attending George Washington University this fall. Ambika’s ambition is to eventually be a plastic surgeon.
What book(s) are currently on your nightstand?
I have a ton of books currently on my nightstand! At least, enough to last me for the duration of summer break. Books currently on my nightstand are The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, Jasmine by Bharati Mukherjee, and Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. Although I’ve been trying to read some more critically-acclaimed books recently, I definitely also have some young adult on my nightstand as well such as The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer and The Raven Cycle Series by Maggie Stiefvater.
What genres do you especially enjoy reading?
My favorite genre is fantasy! I usually read to kind of take a break from the day so to speak so I like fantasy because it’s always completely out of this world (literally).
Where and when do you most like to read?
I love reading in my room when I first wake up with some tea but most of the time I read right before I go to bed. As I said before, I usually read to take a break from the day so right before bed is ideal for that.
Who is your favorite fictional character?
Wow I actually have so many favorite fictional characters so one of my favorites would definitely have to be Finnick Odair from The Hunger Games. I usually lean towards characters with an immensely deep backstory and Finnick’s is honestly amazing, and his character development was also amazing.
What book were you “supposed” to like but didn’t?
A book I was supposed to like was Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte because it was recommended to me a lot, and then I had to read it for school and everyone was like, “Oh this is your type of book, you’re really going to enjoy it!” and then I read it. And I absolutely hated it. I thought it had the dumbest story line ever.
Which three authors (living or dead) would you invite to a dinner party? What would you ask them?
3 authors I would invite to a dinner party would be Maggie Stiefvater, Oscar Wilde, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. I think I would initially ask about the main differences in their time periods that influenced them to write about what they did, and then I think I would let the conversation just flow. After all, I’m sure there must be a ton to talk about and debate with these three authors since they’re all from such different times!
What book read in school made the greatest impression on you?
I first read The Great Gatsby in school, and this book has become one of my favorite books. I’ve at least read The Great Gatsby like 7 times and it’s led me to want to read other classics.
Which five books would you take with you on a desert island?
Five books I would take with me to a desert island would be The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, East of Eden by John Steinbeck, and A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking.
Is there a book you’ve read & liked that you’re embarrassed to admit? Guilty pleasure?
My guilty pleasure reads would have to be DIY pages on the Internet. It absolutely fascinates me how people can do these things and they turn out great but when I try and do the same thing, it looks NOTHING like what it’s supposed to look like and it doesn’t even look good either! I end up reading and watching videos on DIY stuff for hours, but now I’ve learned that it’s better to watch and not do in my case. I’m not sure if this counts as a guilty pleasure but I love puns, and I’ve spent solid time just going through pages of puns: it’s truly great stuff.
What do you plan to read next?
Next I plan to read the next book on my nightstand: The Kite Runner.