book review

Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore

by Robin Sloan

Length: 288 pages
Published: October 2nd 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Medium of Consumption: eBook

The Rundown:

Clay Jannon finds himself jobless when the company he does web design for goes under.  He takes up a third shift book clerk position at Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, and finds his new job stranger than what it should be.  First, there are the Wayback Shelves, books that he is forbidden to read and only a select few customers carrying membership cards are able to check out.  Second, he is required to log every customer that enters the store in great detail.

Third shift book buyers are few, so Clay decides to design a model of the store on his computer.  Inputting the data of what books are checked out by the members of the WayBack shelf he notices a pattern.  A pattern to what?

Joining him on his quest to find out what these members are up to, his tech-savvy friends become just as engulfed in cracking what seems to be an impossible code to a centuries old book club.  

Can Clay find any meaning to all of this or is this some elaborate ruse 5 centuries in the making?

What I Thought:

This book was such a fun read!  Technology versus books is a huge theme, which characters either want to embrace both or reject one.  There are a ton of nerdy allusions that just tickled me pink!  The mystery aspect was pretty interesting, and it definitely was a page turner.  I loved how each of character played their part in helping Clay, and how varied their talents were.  You have the Google programmer who is like a computer herself, the haphazard artist who can work in any medium given to him, the archaeological nerd who can spout out any information about things make before 1200 A.D., and a few others who are equally as skilled in their own right.  This has totally made my top 20 list of books I loved in 2017, and there is still so much to read!

giphy (19)

This is a must read for any 21st century bookworm!

5/5 Stars

Recommended To:

  • If you like fun, witty books
  • Modern day adventures
  • Underdog characters
  • If you like nerdy stuff



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