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Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
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ARCHIVE 2013 Group Reads > JANUARY 2013: Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore: Reviews by 2013 Reading Challengers

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message 1: by Kara, Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kara (KaraAyako) | 2843 comments Have you already read Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore? If so, post your review here so we can take a look. If you haven't yet but will read it with the group, post your review once you've finished.

This thread will be for all group members to post their reviews of our group read. I will aggregate the number of stars (so please be sure to include that in your review) to provide one "group" rating of the book.

Don't forget to mark spoilers! You can do this by adding [spoiler] at the beginning of the spoiler and [/spoiler] at the end but swapping the []s out for <>s.


Barb | 192 comments I read this a couple of months ago, and it's definitely going on my personal "best books of 2012" list! It's got a lot of things going on -- a little magic, a tiny bit of romance, technology, a LOT of quirky characters, and of course, books. Who doesn't like reading a book about books?

I've encouraged several of my co-workers and our library patrons to read the book too. Most have enjoyed it -- although not as much as I did -- but some didn't care for it at all. I'll be interested in reading what everybody here thinks of the book when you're done reading!


Kathryn | 425 comments I also read this a couple of months ago. I wavered between enjoying it and not liking it. It is about books, but not so much books as we know them. It is more about computers and code, really, and while you can read and enjoy the book without being a computer programmer, the author does go into a bit too much detail at times - probably interesting to those who are into computers and programming, not so interesting to someone like me who knows nothing about it. However, I like the bits in-between and the premise of the book is intriguing. I was going to give it 2 stars but by the time I finished it I decided it was more than just OK so I gave it 3 stars.


Megan (LahaiRoi) | 1322 comments Just finished Mr. Penumbra. Quirky, optimistic, and a great blend of the old books and the new digital age! And there's also a great bit of nerd thrown in as well. Definitely worth reading! 4.5 stars


Morgan | 137 comments This was a really great book, loved reading it. It had a fascinating mix of old and new technology and I think that the author did a good job of contrasting different characters attitudes and perspectives towards e-readers and the digital world. It also gives you an interesting insight into what the future of bookstores and reading will be. I liked most of the characters in this, but I found Kat to be a little confusing at times. Overall, this was a fantastic read and I'd definitely recommend it. Thanks to whoever nominated it for this months group read! 4 stars from me :)


message 6: by Kelsi (last edited Jan 06, 2013 10:56AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kelsi | 727 comments What's not to love about this book? A mysterious bookstore, code breaking, fantasy, an ancient cult, history, typeface, robes, Google, museums, a cave, a codex and more combine for this lighthearted, well written, mystery novel that has a little bit of something for everyone. I now have a new book I will be recommending to everyone.

4 Stars!

I agree with Morgan in that Kat really didn't do much for me. It seemed like she was self absorbed and led Clay on, but nothing was ever explained or resolved for the readers. It worked, but barely.


message 7: by Maria (last edited Jan 06, 2013 04:49PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Maria (ReeReads) | 144 comments Clay Jannon is a 20 something guy living in california and recently out of work. He sees a Help Wanted sign in an older Bookstore window- when he walks in the Magic begins! This book is a wild, topsy-turvy ride of eccentric characters,codes begging to be broken,and extremely likeable characters. I totally loved the ride this story took me on, I loved being brought into Google headquarters, the author,Robin Sloan made me feel as if I was a part of the book. Not my usual genre- which was the cool thing about this adventure- 4 stars from me!


message 8: by Lori (new) - rated it 1 star

Lori (LoriWatsonBooks) | 7 comments I hate to admit it, but I found this to be quite dull. I had to push my way through it and rated it only 1 star. Others seem to love it though, so I am willing to admit it may just be me. Not my cup of tea.


message 9: by Ana (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ana | 129 comments i have just finished it and i gave it only 2 stars.
when i read the review from goodreads i was very exciting fantasy book about a mysterious bookstore but it was not what i expected nothing fantasy beside the encrypted books


Karina (karinargh) | 596 comments I found the character Kat refreshing (if too polished, like all the characters) - here's a young female whose life revolves around knowledge, not around her romantic relationships. I award bonus points for that.


Alexandra (nolifequeen) | 167 comments I really wasn't expecting to like this book before I picked it up. It probably would have taken me much longer to read this book if we hadn't done it as a group read.

The more I read the less I could put it down. I loved the references to books and modern culture. Even though it wasn't an action/adventure, it made my heart race at the turning points and I sat there thinking "OMG WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN???"

A book about books that mingles with modern technology. Wonderfully written. All of the characters had their own passion, even the weird ones, and it just reminded me that I can be successful no matter what I like or want to do. I'm still floating in that post-good book haze so I can't clearly define all of the reasons that I enjoyed it.

I loved loved loved it. It's going up there in my top favorites of all time.

Five stars, something I rarely hand out.


message 12: by Kristi (new)

Kristi Tadlock (KTADLOCK) | 5 comments All done. Interesting book. I'm still trying to decide exactly how I feel about the book. It was an easy read and was enjoyable, but just a little blah. Maybe 3 out of 5 stars?


Alexandra (nolifequeen) | 167 comments It's so interesting to see how everyone interprets a book and reacts so differently!


message 14: by Kara, Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kara (KaraAyako) | 2843 comments Solid five stars from me.

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What a killer way to start out the new year. I loved this one.

It's a mystery that revolves around, surprise, a bookstore. Our protagonist, Clay, doesn't have any purpose in his life. He gets a job at a quirky little bookstore in San Francisco and soon notices weird things that leads to a secret society.

With mysteries, I'm always afraid I'll accidentally give something key away in the review, so let me just say this. The book is quirky, very modernly written, and the characters are interesting. I can see this isn't a book that everyone likes, and I can understand why. Sometimes the metaphors are a little too crazy, and maybe it tries really hard to be cute. But I found both traits endearing.


message 15: by Sharon (last edited Jan 26, 2013 02:10PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sharon (sharint) | 488 comments I'll give it 3.5 stars, it was hard to get into at first and then it got to a point that you had to know what was going to happen. I was thinking this book was going to be about the book store, the customers coming in and it would all revolve around them - it was until they went to New York. Totally not expecting all the Google stuff. I liked the characters, except for Kat.


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