Whether you’re new to the scifi/fantasy genre or we’re reading your old favorites, you belong in this group. There are no gatekeepers here: just awesome humans who love a good story.
At our September gathering, the group voted on our next read!
For our Friday, November 17 gathering at 7 pm, we’ll be discussing Babel by R.F. Kuang, in which four Oxford University students study the art of translation to create magic, and find themselves confronting an empire.
About the book //
Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller from the author of The Poppy War
“Absolutely phenomenal. One of the most brilliant, razor-sharp books I’ve had the pleasure of reading that isn’t just an alternative fantastical history, but an interrogative one; one that grabs colonial history and the Industrial Revolution, turns it over, and shakes it out.” — Shannon Chakraborty, bestselling author of The City of Brass
From award-winning author R. F. Kuang comes Babel, a thematic response to The Secret History and a tonal retort to Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell that grapples with student revolutions, colonial resistance, and the use of language and translation as the dominating tool of the British empire.
Traduttore, traditore: An act of translation is always an act of betrayal.
1828. Robin Swift, orphaned by cholera in Canton, is brought to London by the mysterious Professor Lovell. There, he trains for years in Latin, Ancient Greek, and Chinese, all in preparation for the day he’ll enroll in Oxford University’s prestigious Royal Institute of Translation—also known as Babel.
Babel is the world’s center for translation and, more importantly, magic. Silver working—the art of manifesting the meaning lost in translation using enchanted silver bars—has made the British unparalleled in power, as its knowledge serves the Empire’s quest for colonization.
For Robin, Oxford is a utopia dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge. But knowledge obeys power, and as a Chinese boy raised in Britain, Robin realizes serving Babel means betraying his motherland. As his studies progress, Robin finds himself caught between Babel and the shadowy Hermes Society, an organization dedicated to stopping imperial expansion. When Britain pursues an unjust war with China over silver and opium, Robin must decide…
Can powerful institutions be changed from within, or does revolution always require violence?
So… what’s this book club like? //
Scifi / Fantasy readers have been gathering bi-monthly for about a year now and it’s been a blast! Some people finish the read, others dip in for as long as they have capacity for. All are welcome, valued, and celebrated.
The group draws a crowd of about 15 people; enough to keep the perspectives diverse and fresh, but not too many that all voices aren’t heard.
We have a number of folks who’ve returned to us–and a number who are new. Booksweet co-owners Shaun and/or Truly facilitate the session and prep the questions, but are also just eager to join as participants and readers for the session.
After a good discussion, the group votes on the next session’s read. Shaun and Truly will present some options, but club participants are more than welcome to pitch a book for the group to vote on too!
While we don’t serve refreshments at the chat, Booksweet is located in The Courtyard Shops, filled with AMAZING dining options. Drinks are totally welcome at the meet-up; don’t feel shy about sipping boba while we chat!
Hope to see you there!