Karen's Reviews > Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
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Oct 15, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: literary, all-time-favorites, mystery, books-and-reading, ethereal, technology, sf-bay-area, new-york
Read from October 15 to 17, 2012

It's hard to write a review for this book.

It's not hard to rate it. I knew it's going to get a 5-star from me early from the beginning. The review is difficult since it's not a thriller, nor plot-driven, nor has poetic passages, nor it's realistic, nor a fantasy, nor dystopian...and it's not about love. Those people who knows me know how I love books about love.

One the other hand, I also love books about books and reading. Nothing also pleases me more than to read a book and learn something tangible. This book has the following subjects that highly interest me:

San Francisco
Berkeley
New York City
Reading
Books
Book Selling
Book Store
Technology
Computers
Google
Other high Tech Companies
Fonts
Software designs
Robotics
Data archives
A geek
A female geek
More geeks
History
A mystery
Codes
A secret society
KINDLE and other eReaders
Museum
A quest
Knitting...yes, you heard me right...knitting

The narrator is absolutely fabulous and funny. For example, on a just-like-new copy of Steve Job's Biography on the book store shelf:

Maybe it had been a Christmas present to a tech-executive dad who didn't actually read books. Or maybe Tech dad wanted to read it on his Kindle...

Or a Google employee:

He's dressed like a skater, so I assume he has a PhD in artificial intelligence.

Our narrator is Clay, and he just gotten a job as a grave clerk in Mr. Penumbra's book store. The book store shelves are three-floor high, and there's a secret group of special customers...who borrow weird and special books. What are they doing, who are they? It's up to you to find out....but, if you like what I listed up there, it will be a joyous ride. Since this is a debut, the plot was a bit weak, predictable and narration windy at times, but it's worth it. I tremendously enjoyed the ending and the setting of the book.
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Comments (showing 1-19 of 19) (19 new)

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Alyssa A friend of mine just finished this book and LOVED it. It sounds like such a unique story.


Karen In the short few chapters that I read, I thought of you THREE times. The last time was when you were writing this comment. So, although I absolutely hate recommending books to people without their asking for them.... this is your kind of book. You have to read it.

It takes place in the Bay Area...
It talks about the high tech companies...
It just mentioned Steve Job's biography, and...
I just keep laughing out loud at the writings. They are quite witty!


Alyssa Ok! Moving to the top of the to-read list!


Ruth Starting it cuz you mentioned it and I was so interested :)


Karen Ruth wrote: "Starting it cuz you mentioned it and I was so interested :)"

Be aware that there are lots of technical jargon regarding computer language and data handling! It's a fun read over all. It reminded me why I loved Harry Potter so much...


Michelle I have this on my to read list - probably after I finish The Twelve


Karen Michelle wrote: "I have this on my to read list - probably after I finish The Twelve"

How do you like The Twelve, or The Passage. I realize the books are not for everyone!


Michelle Loved the Passage, and The Twelve is every bit as good so fat


Karen Michelle wrote: "Loved the Passage, and The Twelve is every bit as good so fat"

I'll probably read them in the beginning of year 2013, then!! Thanks, Michelle.


Michelle I think the third book is out 2014, so you could maybe even push them back a bit. I have heard that this one ends on a cliff hanger


Karen Michelle wrote: "I think the third book is out 2014, so you could maybe even push them back a bit. I have heard that this one ends on a cliff hanger"

Of course I will. There's nothing worse than waiting for a book in a good series. Thanks, Michelle!


message 12: by Kiki (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kiki Great review of a great book!


Karen Kiki wrote: "Great review of a great book!"

Thank you, Kiki.


message 14: by Toni (new) - rated it 5 stars

Toni Great review Karen! This is one of my favorites for the year.:) I thought of you when I was reading it, because of the font.


Karen Toni wrote: "Great review Karen! This is one of my favorites for the year.:) I thought of you when I was reading it, because of the font."

Haha, Toni. Isn't it fun to read about Google as well?


message 16: by Nina (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nina I really enjoyed this book! Nice review :)


Karen Nina wrote: "I really enjoyed this book! Nice review :)"

Thank you! It's a cute story, isn't it?


message 18: by Nina (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nina Karen wrote: "Nina wrote: "I really enjoyed this book! Nice review :)"

Thank you! It's a cute story, isn't it?"


SO cute! And very original, i had never read anything like it :) Might be one of my favorites now! And Clay is hilarious haha


Karen Nina wrote: "Karen wrote: "Nina wrote: "I really enjoyed this book! Nice review :)"

Thank you! It's a cute story, isn't it?"

SO cute! And very original, i had never read anything like it :) Might be one of m..."


Just saw your reply! You know there's a prequel that came out last year, right? It's a novella about Mr. Penumbra.


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