Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012)

This is a very enjoyable, clever book that is hard to categorize. On the one hand it is the story of a twenty-something man living in San Francisco, with his iPhone and MacBook, web design skills and wealthy friends. But is also the story of aged bibliophiles and booksellers, printers and typeface experts, embroiled in a DaVinci Code style mystery. The best part is that the protagonist maintains his healthy skepticism and sense of humor, while in the end solving the puzzle that had eluded generations. Unlike many novels today, this one has an upbeat, optimistic tone without being frivolous. It celebrates modern technology while valuing friendship and enduring knowledge and skills.


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