Daily Archives: October 8, 2014

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore: coded books, secret societies, hidden passageways

mrTitle: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore

Author: Robin Sloan

Summary: Clay Jannon, an unemployed web designer, takes a clerk position at a strange bookstore run by an old man. Not only does the store keep strange hours but few customers ever visit, and those who do are quite bizarre and “check out” rather than buy books. Clay soon discovers that there is much more to the bookstore and its customers than meets the eye, and becomes caught up in a centuries-old puzzle that has yet to be solved.

Six Word Review: Coded books, secret societies, hidden passageways

How many stars (out of 10) would you give this book & Why ? I would rate this book 8/10 because the story is vey engrossing, but the writing style is not particularly remarkable.

I started reading it because… I was looking for a quick and entertaining book with a fast pace, and a friend had recommended this book.

I kept reading because… the plot was so unusual but captivating and I wanted to find out if Clay ever cracked the code.

Discuss: This book presents an interesting exploration of the relationship between modern technology, such as computer programming and e-readers, and the place that physical books hold in our society. The author seems to suggest that physical books and new technologies can exist together. This is definitely a book for both book-lovers and computer enthusiasts!

What you loved/hated/couldn’t get enough of… I loved the mystery of the coded books and how the characters used technology in interesting ways. One aspect I didn’t love was that the ending was very rushed and was too perfect to portray real life.

If the main character were stuck on a deserted island, they would… construct a computer program to get help (because Clay would never go anywhere without his computer).

Websites of Interest: Here’s a link to the author’s website: http://www.robinsloan.com/

–Ruth, Greenwood Teen Blogger