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

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
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it was ok
bookshelves: audio, challengereads, challengereads-2017

OK, I'm going to try something different with this review...a bit of snark!

I have been wanting to read this one for so long. I was enchanted about the idea of this 24 hour book store. A book about a bookstore, with book references...yeah! But what I got instead, was a drinking game. That's at least what I got out of this one. The story starts with Clay Jannon, who has lost his job at a bagel place where he is doing tech work and then goes to work at Mr. Penumbra's 24 hour book store. He tells his story and I was a bit worried initially when he gets into tech talk about his job, doing web site design, coding, and more. Describing the bookstore was good, but then you keep hearing more and more tech jargon. I started getting bored, then it was GOOGLE this and that. Over and over again. So I decided when he was began talking tech, DRINK a shot! When he mentions GOOGLE, drink a double shot, DRINK! Oh wait, every time he opened his Mac book or closed his Mac book (never just a computer) DRINK! Oh my goodness! Anyway, Mr. Sloan is obviously a foodie - from the info on the job at the bagel place, to the risotto making roommate, to the...wait for it.... GOOGLE (DRINK!) cafeteria. Where he had the lentil salad that is awesome at the GOOGLE (DRINK!) cafeteria. But there's more, there is a heavy tequila shot you must DRINK when we hear about Steve Jobs, Apple, and Microsoft (DRINK!). At this point, I just don't care about the bookstore and how the GOOGLE (DRINK!) pixie chick with her friends help with....oh I dunno, I've had too much to drink by now.

Seriously, I work in the tech field. I hear all this stuff all day, I write and read code, I read technical books, I write technical documents, I use GOOGLE (DRINK!) search engine for troubleshooting, and the last thing I want to do in my evenings is read a technical book. I had no idea this book would go down this path. I actually did a GOOGLE (DRINK!) search of Mr. Sloan to see if he was an employee at one time of GOOGLE (DRINK!). After awhile, I though he was this geeky tech guy who wrote a book about all his favorite stuff - coding, different programming languages, a friend whose company creates boobs for computer games, food, GOOGLE (DRINK!), and his favorite book. It was almost like he had this idea to create a video game but out of that instead came a book. So yeah, this did not work for me. But I've created a drinking game that is much more fun than quarters.

I give it to the author as many people really do love this book. I listened to this one via audio and I really did like the narrator. I'm not done reading this authors books. I've been patiently waiting for his latest, which NG is making me wait forever on a decision. I do plan to read it. I just hope there are no references to GOOGLE (DRINK!) in it.

One more thing.....I actually do not drink at all! :-)
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Reading Progress

January 28, 2014 – Shelved
January 28, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
September 7, 2017 – Started Reading
September 7, 2017 –
page 0
0.0% "My new audio - needed a light read after my last one."
September 12, 2017 – Shelved as: audio
September 12, 2017 – Shelved as: challengereads
September 12, 2017 – Shelved as: challengereads-2017
September 12, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 61 (61 new)


Paula Kalin Sorry to hear you didn't like this one, PorshaJo.


PorshaJo Paula wrote: "Sorry to hear you didn't like this one, PorshaJo."

Thanks Paula! Well, I didn't expect it to be so tech heavy. Had I known that, I would not have started it. Oh well, onto the next read.


message 3: by Wendi (new)

Wendi Lee Sorry you didn't like the book, but your review made me laugh!


Julie Ehlers Great review of a bad book. :)


PorshaJo Wendi wrote: "Sorry you didn't like the book, but your review made me laugh!"

Ha! Thanks Wendi! Not all books work for everyone.


PorshaJo Julie wrote: "Great review of a bad book. :)"

Thanks Julie! :-)


message 7: by Candi (new)

Candi Your review was thoroughly entertaining, PorshaJo! I had this book on my TBR some time ago, and then decided it wasn't my cup of tea (or shot of tequila or bourbon in keeping with your theme, lol!) I'm happy to say I think I made the right choice in staying away ;0


PorshaJo Candi wrote: "Your review was thoroughly entertaining, PorshaJo! I had this book on my TBR some time ago, and then decided it wasn't my cup of tea (or shot of tequila or bourbon in keeping with your theme, lol!)..."

Thanks Candi! Ha! Yeah, I think you made the right decision. It just became so much on Google and it was just odd. Many other wonderful books out there....that don't make you drink! :-) Glad I was able to confirm your choice.


message 9: by Mary (new)

Mary  Carrasco Well, if I ever feel that I need an excuse to DRINK! I'll be sure to pick up this book. Great review!


message 10: by Alice (new)

Alice Cai I love books with a lot of technology, but is this about real tech? Not anything cool or made-up?


PorshaJo Ha! Thanks Mary! Yeah, there are a few books out there that can drive you to drinking. :-)


PorshaJo Alice wrote: "I love books with a lot of technology, but is this about real tech? Not anything cool or made-up?"

Yeah, it's real tech. But more of references to tech stuff. Google, Amazon, Apple, kindles, scanners. So not made up. You might like this one Alice. Hope that you do if you give it a shot.


message 13: by Angela M (new)

Angela M Love your snarky review. I haven't read this and honestly don't plan to !


Sonja Arlow Awww a pity you didn't like this, but I loved your review!


message 15: by Bkwmlee (new) - added it

Bkwmlee Great review! I haven't read this one either and definitely not in a hurry to....


message 16: by Amalia (new)

Amalia Gavea This review is EPIC!


message 17: by Adina (new)

Adina :)) Enjoyed your review immensely. My husband is a programmer and he only reads tech books in the evening.


PorshaJo Angela M wrote: "Love your snarky review. I haven't read this and honestly don't plan to !"

Thanks Angela! Yeah, I think this one is not for everyone. I see reviews all over the place for it.


PorshaJo Sonja wrote: "Awww a pity you didn't like this, but I loved your review!"

Thanks Sonja! I really did want to like it but I thought it was going to be more about a bookstore. Oh well, on to the next one.


PorshaJo Bkwmlee wrote: "Great review! I haven't read this one either and definitely not in a hurry to...."

Thanks Bkwmlee! Now you know exactly what this one is about. Glad I could help out.


PorshaJo Amalia wrote: "This review is EPIC!"

Ha! Thanks Amalia!


PorshaJo Adina wrote: ":)) Enjoyed your review immensely. My husband is a programmer and he only reads tech books in the evening."

Thanks Adina! Perhaps your husband would like this one. I think it has a bit of a gamer element to it also. But lots and lots and LOTS of techie references so this might be a nice change of pace for your husband. As those tech books can get pretty dry after awhile. :-)


message 23: by Adina (new)

Adina PorshaJo wrote: "Adina wrote: ":)) Enjoyed your review immensely. My husband is a programmer and he only reads tech books in the evening."

Thanks Adina! Perhaps your husband would like this one. I think it has a b..."
he thinks fiction is boring so... I don;t think so. + he is not a gamer.


message 24: by Meredith (new)

Meredith Awesome review, PorshaJo!


PorshaJo Meredith wrote: "Awesome review, PorshaJo!"

Thanks Meredith!


message 26: by PorshaJo (last edited Sep 13, 2017 06:36AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

PorshaJo Adina wrote: "Thanks Adina! Perhaps your husband would like this one. I think it has a b..." he thinks fiction is boring so... I don;t think so. + he is not a gamer."

Aw, that's too bad. Well, my husband thinks reading in general is boring. He's a weirdo.


message 27: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Ansbro Until I'd read your intriguing review, PorhaJo, I'd never heard of this new-fangled Google (DRINK!) thingamajig before, so I thought I'd Google it (DRINK!). Apparently it's wider known than we imagined: originally known as BackRub, Google (DRINK!) is a search engine that started development in 1996 by Sergey Brin and Larry Page as a research project at Stanford University to find files on the Internet. ... it's what's commonly known as a search engine, but by thff time I frinnishd googglingg the name googgle (DRINK! DRINK!), I was completingly smashed an' I could barely shay my name or remembrance who I am. So hurrah for gloogle (I'll drink to that an' I'll fight any man who says otherwise!) Hic!


PorshaJo Kevin wrote: "Until I'd read your intriguing review, PorhaJo, I'd never heard of this new-fangled Google (DRINK!) thingamajig before, so I thought I'd Google it (DRINK!). Apparently it's wider known than we imag..."

Ha! Thanks Kevin! That's about how I felt after this one. :-) Ah, I can see the Irish in ye now. :-)


message 29: by Melissa (new)

Melissa OMG . . . I love the snarky side of PorshaJo! WooHoo! I can't stop laughing. 😂Your honesty is great, although I'm bummed for you that this was disappointing. Nothing worse than being letdown by a book you were looking forward to. Onward and upward.


PorshaJo Melissa wrote: "OMG . . . I love the snarky side of PorshaJo! WooHoo! I can't stop laughing. 😂Your honesty is great, although I'm bummed for you that this was disappointing. Nothing worse than being letdown by a b..."

Ha! Thanks Melissa! Glad I could make you laugh. Well, they all can't be gold and work for everyone. But as you say...onward and upward. But I at least got a little bit of entertainment out of this via the review. :-)


message 31: by Jen (new)

Jen I think I would be hammered by the time I finished this one! Lol great review, PorshaJo!


Jeanette This made me laugh. I too am not attracted to tech based or context related tales.


message 33: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Joint This cracked me up! Sorry it wasn't for you.


PorshaJo Jen wrote: "I think I would be hammered by the time I finished this one! Lol great review, PorshaJo!"

Ha! Thanks Jen!


PorshaJo Jeanette wrote: "This made me laugh. I too am not attracted to tech based or context related tales."

Glad I could make you laugh Jeanette! I'm sure we are not alone in not wanting to read these tales.


PorshaJo Sarah wrote: "This cracked me up! Sorry it wasn't for you."

Thanks Sarah! Glad you enjoyed it.


message 37: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Joint PorshaJo wrote: "Sarah wrote: "This cracked me up! Sorry it wasn't for you."

Thanks Sarah! Glad you enjoyed it."

I haven't read it. I don't think I'll be rushing to it now. 😂


PorshaJo Sarah wrote: "PorshaJo wrote: "Sarah wrote: "This cracked me up! Sorry it wasn't for you."

Thanks Sarah! Glad you enjoyed it."
I haven't read it. I don't think I'll be rushing to it now. 😂"


Yeah, I wouldn't suggest this to anyone unless they love tech. Many other books out there to get to.


message 39: by Kendall (new)

Kendall Hahaha PorshaJo loved your review. Sorry this was a terrible two 🤦‍♀️.


message 40: by Kaceey (new)

Kaceey Oh my gosh PorshaJo! Loved your review! 😂Hilarious!


message 41: by Vanessa (new) - added it

Vanessa So in other words if your keen to get drunk read this book!!! Lol love love this review. Sounds like a must read 😉🥂


PorshaJo Kendall wrote: "Hahaha PorshaJo loved your review. Sorry this was a terrible two 🤦‍♀️."

Thanks Kendall! That's OK, in the end....I did get some enjoyment out this, via the review. :-)


PorshaJo Kaceey wrote: "Oh my gosh PorshaJo! Loved your review! 😂Hilarious!"

Ha! Thanks Kaceey!


PorshaJo Vanessa wrote: "So in other words if your keen to get drunk read this book!!! Lol love love this review. Sounds like a must read 😉🥂"

Ha! That's I read this one. :-) Thanks Vanessa! Many people really like this one. But it just strayed so much from the original bookstore into this tech world and I was just bored. It gets repetitive on all the Google references, hence my new game. I'll be interested in your thoughts if you do read this.


Jennifer Masterson I'm sorry the book didn't work for you, Jen! I love your review! I got a good chuckle! :D


PorshaJo Jennifer wrote: "I'm sorry the book didn't work for you, Jen! I love your review! I got a good chuckle! :D"

Thanks Jennifer! Glad I could make you laugh. :-) Not all books work for everyone. But I just read a fabulous one that I just loved. So it's all good.


message 47: by Crumb (new)

Crumb I really liked your review!


PorshaJo Crumb wrote: "I really liked your review!"

Thank you Crumb!


message 49: by JanB (new)

JanB I haven't read this one but your review is very entertaining! lol


PorshaJo JanB wrote: "I haven't read this one but your review is very entertaining! lol"

Ha! Thanks JanB!


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