A Novel

Book - 2017
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*One of Amazon's 20 Best Books of 2017*

Named one of the best books of 2017 by NPR, San Francisco Chronicle , Barnes & Noble, and Southern Living

In his much-anticipated new novel, Robin Sloan does for the world of food what he did for the world of books in Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

Lois Clary is a software engineer at General Dexterity, a San Francisco robotics company with world-changing ambitions. She codes all day and collapses at night, her human contact limited to the two brothers who run the neighborhood hole-in-the-wall from which she orders dinner every evening. Then, disaster! Visa issues. The brothers close up shop, and fast. But they have one last delivery for Lois: their culture, the sourdough starter used to bake their bread. She must keep it alive, they tell her--feed it daily, play it music, and learn to bake with it.

Lois is no baker, but she could use a roommate, even if it is a needy colony of microorganisms. Soon, not only is she eating her own homemade bread, she's providing loaves daily to the General Dexterity cafeteria. The company chef urges her to take her product to the farmer's market, and a whole new world opens up.

When Lois comes before the jury that decides who sells what at Bay Area markets, she encounters a close-knit club with no appetite for new members. But then, an alternative emerges: a secret market that aims to fuse food and technology. But who are these people, exactly?

Leavened by the same infectious intelligence that made Robin Sloan's Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore such a sensation, while taking on even more satisfying challenges, Sourdough marks the triumphant return of a unique and beloved young writer.

Publisher: New York : MCD, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780374203108
Branch Call Number: FIC Sloan
Characteristics: 259 pages : map


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Mar 09, 2018

I thoroughly enjoyed this quirky little book. Anytime I stay up late to read a book it has to be a good one. Sourdough has a little bit of sci-fi fantasy magic in it which is fine by me. Who wouldn't love being in the "Lois Club"?

Dec 23, 2017

As expected after having read "Mr. Penumbra" Robin delivers a lighthearted, fun and interesting story based here making it easy to relate with. I couldn't help but think the character who surprises Lois in the end was created using Alice Waters as the foundation. Lots of fun, a quick read and a good book for the beach or anywhere else.

Dec 20, 2017

I found this book absolutely delightful. I read it after hearing Sloan interviewed on a podcast. As someone who has worked as a vendor at many of the farmers markets that are mentioned I found his descriptions of farmers market culture both accurate and hilarious. If you are a food lover you will probably like this book, especially if you don't mind a little magical realism. Easy, quick read too.

Nov 08, 2017

I loved 'Mr. Penumbra's...' and was eagerly awaiting Sloan's latest book. Loved it! I love books where there is a strong grounding in reality with a big streak of magic running through it.
As others have mentioned, it's beautifully, descriptively and imaginatively written, and at the same time, a smooth, quick read. I 'rationed' my reading of it so that I could enjoy it longer and mull over the happenings.

Nov 06, 2017

I found the book to be a little disappointing. It was a quick, easy read but somewhat lacking in substance. I thought the ending strange to say the least.

Cynthia_N Oct 26, 2017

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It was quirky and interesting and now I need to find some Mazg sourdough starter!!

SnoIsleLib_KathyS Oct 25, 2017

Read-alike to "Like Water for Chocolate": perfect for those who like a little magic with their meals

Marlowe Oct 05, 2017

Pleasantly surprised by Sloan's new book. I loved the mystery of "Mr. Penumbra's..." and was definitely looking for another tale of intrigue. Here Sloan offers us culture; bacterial and social. Through food, baking, and eating, Sloan meditates on society - whether the tug of the past, or the lure of the future. This is also a delightful coming of age story, filled with love and friendship. This is an easy and fun read, that made me hungry the entire time.

Oct 03, 2017

Absolute garbage. I couldn't get through it. What a disappointment after waiting so long for Sloan's next book.

Oct 03, 2017

This is a delightful confection of a book, as tasty, quirky, and well-crafted as the loaves made from the titular sourdough. But a lesson is definitely there and it is both pertinent and timely. While technology is incredible and adds much to our daily lives, it would be unwise to set aside the magic and satisfaction involved in artisanal creation. Sloan shows us that they can and should be successfully blended if we want to live our lives at the highest level of satisfaction.

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Nov 25, 2017

The house was large and deeply lived in, all the shelves and surfaces stacked with boxes and books, framed pictures, old greeting cards set up like tent cities. If there was a spectrum of spaces defined at one end by my barren apartment, this marked the other extreme. Every single surface told a story. A long one. With digressions.

Nov 25, 2017

Here's a thing I believe about people my age: we are the children of Hogwarts, and more than anything, we just want to be sorted.

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