book reviews by Althea

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore – Robin Sloan *****

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This book arrived in my mailbox, mystically.
I do not remember ordering it, although I’m sure that I did.
I don’t remember what I read about it that inspired me to order it – but admittedly, any review I’d happened across probably would have intrigued me.

Because: Books! Mystical books! An ancient cult of puzzle-solvers! Weird and independent bookstores hiding secrets! An underground library! PLUS! Technology! Google! Software! Stuff that reads like a ‘Wired’ article! (Maybe I read about this book in ‘Wired’? It is possible.)

I fully admit that this is not the most erudite, literary offering of the year. It’s a very, very quick read. But it is a heartfelt love letter to both books and technology, and an optimistic look at the intersection of old and new information storage and retrieval techniques. I loved it.

PLUS! (Again). (I can’t believe that none of the previous reviews mentioned this.) THIS BOOK GLOWS IN THE DARK! Coolness.


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