Book Report // Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore

Happy July everyone!
Summer is a time that everyone seems to be on the look out for good books for the beach or traveling, so I wanted to share a recent read that I really enjoyed and would highly recommend!
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel by Robin Sloan is a book that’s been on my radar for awhile, and I’m so glad I finally got around to reading it. It’s very different than a lot of other books I’ve read, and I almost don’t know how to categorize it? The book definitely has elements of a mystery and fantasy, but I wouldn’t classify it as a mystery or a fantasy…all I can say is it’s just a very interesting, engaging read! The story actually reminds of something you’d hear about on NPR’s ‘This American Life’ where they just feature a random tale about something that draws you in and keeps you guessing. And honestly, the book seems like something they’d love to talk about on NPR (and it looks like they have!) so if that’s your scene, you’ll probably enjoy this story as I did. It centers around a guy named Clay who is living in San Francisco and looking for work after getting laid off from his job as a digital designer. As luck would have it, he ends up landing a job at a bookstore that turns out to be much more than it appears on the surface. Parts of the story almost reminded me of the DaVinci Code in the way it made you want to keep reading (plus it deals with a secret society so there’s that too…) but this book is much less over the top and more nerdy. I feel like the characters are pretty true to what I understand of Silicon Valley (and the culture at Google in particular) and  I enjoyed the contrast the book explores between the written word and the digital age. It’s a story that’s not too dark, heavy, or going to make you cry, yet it’s not total chick lit fluff that’s completely mindless either. It’s just the sort of book I think that really anyone would enjoy, and it’s a fairly quick to get through as well. I’d definitely put it on your list of beach reads this summer!