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Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore (Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, #1)
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Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore > MPTHB: Section 1: The Book Store

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message 1: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6374 comments Mod
Section 1

Please keep all discussion and speculation to the events of The Book Store.

No spoiler tags required. Though it would be highly appreciated if you Uncheck Add to my Update Feed to avoid accidentally spoiling things for your good read friends.

Please do not discuss events from later sections.


message 2: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6374 comments Mod
I'm really into this so far. I love the premise of a bookstore that is secretly a library with some sort of puzzle attached to it.

But I'm also loving the coding/data modeling side of things too. I just hope he doesn't get in trouble for taking the log book.

There are a bunch of San Francisco things in the book I'd probably have missed if I hadn't been there a few times visiting my sister.

Incidentally she bought me this book, and works in marketing there, a bit like the protagonist, and the author appears to be the same age as her.

I can see why this book appealed to her, and so far it's appealing to me as well. I hope the mystery of the books lives up to the build-up so far.


Suzanne | 1582 comments Yes it's hard to beat a bookstore setting. especially a mysterious one!!


message 4: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6374 comments Mod
So the book store mystery is solved by cheating and using Hadoop! I use that at work and have had a book on Hadoop on my currently reading shelf for several months, so some of you may have a leg up on that chapter as a result. :-P

I'm curious where this leads next. Its like a nerdier Dan Brown novel.


Jaime | 97 comments This is a delightful, fun read. I am enjoying the voice of the narrator (though it took me a couple of chapters to really get into it just because it was such a switch from the book I had just finished reading, The Enchanted).

The mystery of the bookstore/library has me intrigued. Though I wasn't sure how I felt about Clay cheating to solve the first part. I know the story didn't want to have him spending years trying to solve it, and I can tell that there is the idea of bringing the traditional books and the technology together, but I just felt a bit disappointed at how little work it actually took. Technology is sure amazing though! I feel the bigger mysteries being solved with be more satisfying.

Is Corvina going to be a mustache twirling villain? That's all I could wonder from the description given from the photo. ;)


message 6: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6374 comments Mod
Haha. I didn't even think about that description of Corvina.


message 7: by Kat (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kat | 1177 comments Loving this so far.

And my namesake is smart and cool, which is a bonus that flatters me for some reason :)


message 8: by Sky (last edited Jul 17, 2016 06:48AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sky | 1291 comments Great book - what Rob said. I like all the San Francisco details, they are quite accurate. While I don't use Hadoop at work, I am taking a class on Spark right now for fun :) We have a physical book scanner that turns the pages and snaps in photos that someone built at our Hackerspace. I thought the Mechanical Turk aspect was genius. My company has an office in Belarus, so I thought the description of the Belarus hacker was pretty funny - I've met a few like him. Their premiere company in digital boob simulaition...*Snicker*. Reminds me of Dead or Alive :)

I did think the whole solving of the puzzle was a little coincidental. Let me practice coding in 3D! I'll visualize which books are checked out. Hey, why don't you do a time series visualization - Hey, the books are pixels and it's an image, just like those adult puzzle coloring books!

So far really enjoying this so far though. If solving this puzzle gets you to be a stage 2 unbound acolyte, I wonder what the next puzzle is? Also, maybe Mr. Penumbra was called back not for what Clay did but because he kept selling used "normal" books :)


message 9: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6374 comments Mod
Sky wrote: "Their premiere company in digital boob simulaition...*Snicker*. Reminds me of Dead or Alive."

Yeah, I assume they were referring to DOA Volleyball.


Christina Pilkington | 126 comments Jaime wrote: "This is a delightful, fun read. I am enjoying the voice of the narrator (though it took me a couple of chapters to really get into it just because it was such a switch from the book I had just fini..."

*side note - I LOVED the Enchanted! It was one of the best books I read last year. So haunting. I still think about it.


message 11: by Christina (last edited Jul 18, 2016 01:10PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Christina Pilkington | 126 comments I'm really enjoying the mystery part of this book so far. I keep wanting to know more and more and more! I'm enjoying it so much, though, that I'm a little worried that I'll be let down at the end and the mystery will turn out not to be that great. I hope not!

The narrator is really good, too, so it's easy to listen to for long stretches of time.

The romance is a little cheese though. I've had some cringing, eye-rolling moments so far. Kat often reads like a geeky boy's fantasy girl instead of someone who is real. But there are also some really funny, laugh out loud moments in the book, too.

The tech stuff is mostly over my head, yet I can't help listening in fascination :)


message 12: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (last edited Jul 18, 2016 01:21PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6374 comments Mod
Christina wrote: "Kat often reads like a geeky boy's fantasy girl instead of someone who is real.."

I've actually met some girls like Kat, but very few. Also, we're getting her description, actions, etc from the narrator, who is obviously very infatuated with her. It could be a bit of rose colored glasses on his part.


Christina Pilkington | 126 comments I guess they are a rare, breed :) It just irked me a little that some hot girl comes waltzing into the store, just happens to be really smart and into coding like Clay is and suddenly they're together. There really wasn't that much of a build up to their relationship. And it seemed way too convenient that they would meet like that. I know it was supposedly because of the ad that Clay placed on Google, but for Kat to be the only person to answer that ad and then hook up with him? Hmmmm. But this is just me being extra critical! I really am having a good time listening to this story.


message 14: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6374 comments Mod
Well, again hot is subjective. Just because Clay finds her got, doesn't mean society finds her hot.

In my experiance with both college and professionally, when women are vastly outnumbered, their relative popularity goes way up.

I can see your point about how quickly they are together, but that I just chalk up to love at first sight, though I doubt that is as common as the single geeky tech girl.


Christina Pilkington | 126 comments I see your point. Now that I think about it, I went to an arts school for undergrad in Chicago where I majored in film. There were VERY few girls in the film program. For every class I took, I was usually the only girl. And the other girls usually were heavy pierced, had shaved heads or wore goth style clothes. So I was considered one of the few "normal" girls. So I guess I did get a lot of male attention, even though I would hardly consider myself hot (although I hope my husband thinks so at least!).

And since the first day I met my husband we never had a day where we weren't together, and we were married 11 months after we met, so I guess I'm being a little bit of a hypocrite!


message 16: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6374 comments Mod
Haha. Yeah, you should be way less cynical about love at first sight than I am! :-P


Christina Pilkington | 126 comments (hides my head in shame)


Jaime | 97 comments I have to agree with Rob on the idea that it is through Clay's eyes we are experiencing the story and that's why Kat is so amazing. Though I feel I could say so much on the topic from past experience as well (being a girl who grew up playing AD&D and video games, reading comics, watching anime), but I think the problem with the relationship in the book is there is little to no depth. I was way more interested in the mystery and Penumbra, so it didn't really bug me.

Christina, I loved The Enchanted as well. I have a feeling I will be thinking about it for a while. Definitely one of my favorites this year.


message 19: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6374 comments Mod
Yeah, I agree about the lack of depth to the relationshio. It feels more like a plot device, especially later on in the book.

We can talk about it more in the next section!


Jaime | 97 comments I just finished my comment in the last section (skipped section 2 because I just read right on through to the end) and saw this update. Yes Let's discuss. =)


message 21: by Sky (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sky | 1291 comments Christina wrote: "And since the first day I met my husband we never had a day where we weren't together, and we were married 11 months after we met, so I guess I'm being a little bit of a hypocrite! "

I went over to my now-wife's apartment after our first date and never left. I was a tattooed pierced goth computer programmer and she was a raver chick who was getting her phd. That was 16 years ago.

So i found the romance totally legit :)


message 22: by Kat (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kat | 1177 comments Sky wrote: "I went over to my now-wife's apartment after our first date and never left."

I had a boyfriend like that once, so it seems to be not that uncommon after all :)


Christina Pilkington | 126 comments The more I read everyone's comments I think the real reason I'm having problems with the relationship is because of the lack of depth like Rob and Jamie were saying. Kat just seemed like a stereotype hot girl who was also a geek that a geek boy would like and vice versa. They don't always seem like real people, especially Kat because we don't get a POV from her. I like Clay's humor most of the time, but we get more his thoughts on the situation at hand rather than any deep, insightful musings or motivations. Maybe that will change in later sections. I'm almost through listening to the second section. Can't wait to see what everyone has to say at the end!


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