What you need to know:
- So, from a WhatsApp group that consisted of women who are AIESEC alumni, an NGO, I asked if any of them would be interested in a book club
- We started off as 20 members
Reviewer’s name: Kazi Mghendi, Social Entrepreneur
Book Reading: Pet by Akwaeke Emezi
I grew up in rural Kenya where books were not in surplus. After class eight, I had to shelve the dream to further my education for some years due to financial constraints.
But, I loved to read so I looked for alternative ways to learning and would read whatever resources I came across including magazines. Through reading, I learned about people, money, business, religion, and science. I also developed a desire to go back to school and be someone that can impact and bring change to my community and beyond.
I started a book club in March 2019. It was from a place of “I have read so much and it would be wonderful if I could connect with others who have read similar books and together draw lessons and teachings from these books”.
So, from a WhatsApp group that consisted of women who are AIESEC alumni, an NGO, I asked if any of them would be interested in a book club. We started off as 20 members, some ended up dropping along the way and we've had others come on board. We'd meet every first Sunday of the month.
We call ourselves Sunday Brunch Bookclub, a name inspired by our 11am meetups for book reviews. Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, our meetings are virtual.
At Sunday Brunch, we read all genres of books but lean more on books written by women for women.
The members get to choose the book of the month after suggestions and a vote. Sometimes, we select a book based on a season; for example, last year, in February, we read Three Women by Lisa Taddeo, which seemed appropriate for a Valentine read.
Our book of the month is Pet by Akwaeke Emezi. It’s a story set in a utopian city, where only good people lived, a city with no evil. It tries to explore a world that is perfect. It somehow highlights the issues of injustices that are happening in the world and in my opinion borrows a lot from the situations in countries like the US where there are issues of race and other injustices. Lucille, the city that the story is set, is a city that from the outside seems very peaceful but in reality it’s full of “monsters”.
The girl Jam who lives in Lucille encounters a spirit that comes out from her mother’s painting named Pet. Pet's role was to hunt the evil monsters.
Like many people in the city, this girl and her friend Redemption didn’t believe in these monsters but Pet helped them to see the unseen. I think it tries to show the many injustices that people choose not to see. It’s a wonderful story that creates awareness of the challenges in the world and seeks to provide solutions. It also helps the reader to be self-aware of the unconscious biases that most of us tend to have.