Last week we adventured in Paris, where until now I spent only 3 days, many years ago, with my friend Zsófi. I re-discovered forgotten sights of that rainy and cold June, and after the first few days of enthusiasm, I realized I am quite happy that I did not move in this city.
And this is what brings me to what I want to share with you: one of my greatest book discovery of the year.
Apart from walking 12-15 km a day, and discovering Le Marais, Le Quartier Latin, the Montmartre by night, and some museums, the Louvre and the Centre Pompidou, I think we can resume in three things what we did: chasing writers’ favourite bars, visiting the world-famous Shakespeare and Co. bookstore (where Ethan Hawk signed his books as Jesse in Before Sunset) and pamper our tastes with wonderful cheeses, teas and galettes. Let’s face the facts: we are tea-enthusiasts and book lovers.
The first time we visited Shakespeare and Co., the very same day we arrived, we already left the store with several new books. This blue hard covered one was one of it.
Binti, the 16 years old heroine of this extraordinary sci-fi is one of the brightest descendent of an African tribe, the Himba, and has amazing skills of mathematics. Hence she is accepted to the best university in the Galaxy, where all kinds of People study. She has to leave her family to follow her dreams, and so she goes… and already in the first fifteen pages of the novel of Nnedi Okorafor I read two or three mindblowing things I’ve never met in other books.
Of course, I won’t spoil it for you, because you might like to read it. The trilogy exists in Spanish too, and actually I prefer these covers.
This is how, because of her book jumping on me in Paris’s most famous international book store, I discovered Nnedi Okorafor, who won «Hugo, a Nebula, a World Fantasy Award, and a Locus Award, and her many fans include Neil Gaiman, Rick Riordan, John Green, and Ursula Le Guin» as Goodreads says. She has 18 (!) published books, she is a creative writing teacher, and also a screenwriter, working for Marvel among others.
Meanwhile, we visited for the second time the wonderful tea house of the Mariage Frèrers, we came back to Shakespeare and Co. at least 3 times more, and we discovered George Perec’s favorite café and enjoyed some wonderful fondues and raclettes too.
Paris was a wonderful rest, and Okorafor’s book is a beautiful reminder of the importance of connecting with our strong, tempest-proof roots that attach us to our soil, our tribe, and family, and with it to life itself. And roots give the power for spreading our wings and soar toward our destiny.
Maybe what holds you back is not an externar barrier in front of you, rather it is something hidden down under, where your roots and ancestors could nurish you through your roots. What relation do you have with your progenitors, with your ancestors, with your soil? What if you give it a chance to you to explore these?
I wish you a great reading if you decide to venture in Binti’s world.
Have a lovely week,