The Cosmos Book Club, the newest in town, kicked off with author Ng’ang’a Mbugua engaging on his award winning book Angels of the Wild. The event was moderated by book blogger James Murua.
The Cosmos Coffee House at the Highwayy Mall (yes its Highwayy with two “y’s” in the name – there is no typo there) is one of the newest coffee houses in a city which is finally getting to be mad about coffee. Its management decided that it was time to start up a new concept as it seeks to get a bite of the general population in the Southern part of the city. This new innovative event was the Cosmo Book Club which would bring in the Nairobi reader who would discuss a book of the month and meet an author. This would be useful both for readers as well as authors who have a serious lack of spaces to meet their readers. The first author who would be featured would be serial award winner Ng’ang’a Mbugua with book blogger James Murua performing moderation duties.
Ng’ang’a Mbugua is one of Kenya’s respected writers with many titles to his name. The most well-known before this year were Different Colours and Terrorists of the Aberdares. These books were fiction which were focused on environment and its adverse effects on the Kenyan landscape. In Different Colours there is an artist who helps a community that he moves to when he went to paint a breathtaking waterfall. In Terrorists of the Aberdares, we meet some fellows who are threatening the Aberdares range which many Kenyans acknowledge as the ones at that water many of the cities in central part of the country including the capital city Nairobi.
Mbugua who is also a publisher with his Big Books Publishers’ unleashed his latest book Angels of the Wild which was published by One Planet Publishers a new kid in Kenya. The book talks about a young man called Birgen and his tribulations as he tries to find a way of coming up with a way of making a dream he had coming to being. His dream was that he would help ending the poaching menace that messes our country.
The turnout at the Cosmos Coffee House wasn’t great with Lutivini, Pauline and Mercy being the first members of the new initiative. The small numbers allowed the readers to get a close up and chat with the writer. The discussions were lively with writer talking about his writing journey. He started writing as a students with his stories written in exercise books that would vanish when they were encountered by early fans.
He spoke about his book which was targeted at young readers who are in the 14-15 year old range and his entering his book for one of Kenya’s premier literary prizes. He explained even though his publisher was reluctant to enter the competition, he did so as he read the criteria for entries. The criteria stated that the book had to use satire and/or humour as one of its tools as well as deal with one of big issues of the day. The book did use humour in parts and it dealt with poaching which is a real threat to our country right now.
Eventually the conversation moved away from the book like book clubs tend to and they moved everywhere from the how people read, books turning into movies (Half of A Yellow Sun as movie wasn’t popular), plagiarism in poetry (you know that Redscar story wasn’t going away any time soon) and more. With the afternoon done and dusted, guest left at their leisure.
The next Cosmos Book Club meeting will be at the same venue on December 3rd at 2pm. For those who cannot wait a whole month until meeting other readers, they can attend the Text Book Centre Book Club which will be happening next weekend. The event at the Kenyan national theatre starting at 10am will be moderated by book blogger James Murua.