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Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore 

By Robin Sloan (Harper Collins)

First-time author and full-time geek Robin Sloan’s fast-paced new novel, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, is comfortably nestled between the Google headquarters in Silicon Valley, a cramped and curious bookstore in San Francisco and a secret society in New York. On his website, Sloan claims “I wrote this book because it’s the one I wanted to read, and I tried to pack it full of the things I love.” Books, computers, typography, art history, redheaded computer programmers---they’re all here! Although there is a half-hearted attempt at a romance subplot, the novel mostly follows protagonist Clay Jannon as he attempts to disrupt a literary conspiracy with the use of technology. An adventure brimming with a unique blend of programming jargon and literary prowess, this timely novel is a constant reminder of how important books are as tangible objects. A quick, entertaining read.
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Vol 26, No 34
January 17, 2019

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