||2013 Powell's Staff Top 5s
Mixing large doses of high tech, a mysterious bookstore, and an entire army of bibliophiles, this charming novel is a booklover's dream. You will be entranced by Mr. Penumbra's bookstore, with its shadowy customers and shelves teetering on the edge of vertigo, along with the twists and turns of this tale. Recommended By Mary Jo S., Powells.com
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore is a treat for the literary puzzle/code-breaking techno-savvy set. (Is that a set?) There's much more to the dusty three-story bookstore full of completely incomprehensible titles than meets the eye. Sloan does a slick job of pairing old-world secret society mystery with cutting-edge unimaginable technology. Who knew a 15th-century German typesetter would be so clever as to send a message forward into the future? This is a fun read — fast and quite amusing — with everything from goldsmiths to Google being central to the plot. Recommended By Dianah H., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
The Great Recession has
shuffled Clay Jannon away from life as a San Francisco web-design drone
and into the aisles of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore. But after a few
days on the job, Clay discovers that the store is more curious than
either its name or its gnomic owner might suggest. The customers are
few, and they never seem to buy anything — instead, they check out large,
obscure volumes from strange corners of the store.
engineers an analysis of the clientele's behavior, seeking help from his
variously talented friends. But when they bring their findings to Mr.
Penumbra, they discover the bookstore's secrets extend far beyond its
Rendered with irresistible brio and dazzling intelligence, Robin
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore is exactly what it sounds like: an establishment you have to enter and will never want to leave.
“Part love letter to books, part technological meditation, part thrilling adventure, part requiem....Eminently enjoyable, full of warmth and intelligence.” The New York Times Book Review
“A book about passion — for books, for history, for the future....There is nothing about Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore that I didn't love.” Cory Doctorow, author of Little Brother
“An irresistible page-turning novel.” Newsweek
“One of the most thoughtful and fun reading experiences you're likely to have this year....There's so much largehearted magic in this book.” NPR
About the Author
Robin Sloan grew up in Michigan and now splits his time between San Francisco and the Internet. He is the author of
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore and
Powell's Books on PowellsBooks.Blog
At any indie bookstore, you’ll find at least one staff member who shares your passion for poetry or history or children’s books or local hiking guides, and whose absolute favorite activity is filling your arms with heartfelt staff picks...