Broomstick Book Club #1: Binti

Image credit to Nnedi Okorafor

When Ayanna and I first started discussing what sort of content we wanted to include on the Broomstick website, a book club of some sort was one of the first things that came to mind. Our friends, contributors in many respects, are exactly the sort of people we would love to put in the same room after reading something and say “Discuss!” Or, you know, as close of an equivalent as these times allow.

But that’s not the sort of thing you can capture in a blog post, is it? What would we do, write out a script of the proceedings? That’s no fun. We had something better in mind. Once the participants are all very literally on the same page - namely the last one - we’re going to video chat with each other and lay out the finer points for perpetuity.

Before we go any further, it’s important to note, this is not going to be your mother’s book club. Yes, there may be some wine, and because this is, at the end of the day, a venture that needs some focus, there will probably be a discussion guide in the mix. But that’s where it ends. The goal here is to dig a little deeper.

The most important question we had to address, of course, was what book to read. Taking a stab at a newer title was discussed, as was sinking our teeth into a classic like Fellowship of the Ring or Dune. But in the end, we decided the best option we had was something more modern, but with a reputation for forward-thinking. After all, we don’t want to talk about fantasy and sci-fi exactly as they’ve been done for years, we want to talk about people who are changing the game.

To really set a standard for what we focus on and believe in here at Broomstick, the first book we’re going to be reading is Binti by Nnedi Okorafor. The novella tells the story of a girl named Binti leaving her home to venture into space, where she is to attend Oomza University. Binti is a winner of the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award, and we couldn't be more excited to start our book club feature with it.

If you want to read along, you can pick up a copy of the book here or at your local bookstore. We'll be meeting in early March, but if there are any questions you have or components you want to be discussed, comment below and we'll make sure to keep you in mind! Until then, happy reading!


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