Thursday, October 26, 2017


A year ago, I gave a not-quite-a-review for a book.

I read Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore in a Denver hotel room while preparing for a life that ... as it turned out, never quite happened. It was a weird place and time in my universe and on some level, I wondered if my deep, abiding love for that book was inextricably linked to that almost-life.

Six months later, I read it again. Turns out this was a book that had nothing to do with where I was. I still loved it.

Then, something crossed my radar in September. Robin Sloan, the hilarious and brilliant author of Penumbra, had a newly released novel.

... About bread. Kind of.

I finally acquired it last week, and then this week I opened it up. And the next day, I was done.

Here's my review:

The thing that gets me about Sloan's books as a whole is that they are rather hard to describe. They're not directly mysteries or love stories or anything quite that easily classified (well, not yet). They're worlds colliding with a hint of something fantastic -- a bookstore and Google and a secret society, or a robotics company and a yeast culture and an underground market.

And reading them, I feel an awful lot like I'm hearing a story from a friend that started with, "You'll never believe what I did last month."

It doesn't hurt that so far, he's talked about two things I love dearly -- namely, books and bread. Following the current path, his next book (in a couple years) will somehow involve space and/or beer.

Now, to get back to my own sourdough starter. The book was more than inspirational...

[Yes, that second book in the picture is now getting my attention. Yes. It is very, very good. No, I'm not done with it yet.]

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