Author(s): Robin Sloan
From Robin Sloan, the New York Times bestselling author of Mr.Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, comes Sourdough, "a perfect parable for our times" (San Francisco Magazine): a delicious and funny novel about an overworked and under-socialized software engineer discovering a calling and a community as a baker.
Named One of the Best Books of the Year by NPR, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Southern Living
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 quickly close up shop. 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 to the General Dexterity cafeteria every day. Then the company chef urges her to take her product to the farmer's market--and a whole new world opens up.
`As with his first, bestselling novel, Robin Sloan had a great deal of fun. It comes through in his slightly delighted tone, his lilt and the way he laughs at himself...This relishing of language-and Sloan's awareness of the reader-forms a helpful lens, allowing us to "hear" the interior Lois, the one who deserves a life much richer than robots and Tetra Paks of slurry.' * NZ Listener * `This novel does a superb job of capturing what life is like-lonely, exhausting, at times quite strange-working at a tech start-up in San Francisco...Utterly charming.' * Whimn * `Sloan's charming storytelling, a mix of magical realism, and a dash of fabulism make for a fun read. It's dessert.' * Dallas News * `[Sourdough] plunges through so much terrain: microbial nations, assimilation and tradition, embodied consciousness and the crisis of the tech industry, all without losing the light, sweet, ironic Sloanian voice familiar from Mr Penumbra's, a plot that makes the book a page-turner and a laugh-out-louder, with sweetness and romance and tartness and irony in perfect balance. What a great book, seriously.' * BoingBoing * `In his novel Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, Sloan unraveled a mystery about a web designer who takes a job in a peculiar all-night Bay Area book shop. New technology clashed, then melded, with classic history. Sourdough promises a similar sort of tech and analog mashup, in this case involving the food industry: a software engineer learns to bake bread and uncovers a secret underground market. We're already hungry for it.' * The Miami Herald, Fall Books Preview * `Through narrative and email correspondence, Sloan captures contemporary work environments, current reality, and future trends...[Sourdough] offers much to savor.' * Publishers Weekly * `Sloan's comic but smart tone never flags, and Lois is an easy hero to root for.' * Kirkus Reviews * `A wild, geeky, flour-dusted ride through the oddball food and techie communities of San Francisco...A winning story that-like its namesake bread-carries a satisfying tang.' * Shelf Awareness * `How many novels can boast an obstreperous sourdough starter as a key character? A delightful and heartfelt read.' * Library Journal * `As he did in Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, Robin Sloan will have readers looking for magic in the mundane.' -- Nora Horvath, Real Simple `Delightful... It's equal measures techie and foodie fodder, a perfect parable for our times.' * San Francisco Magazine * `A beautiful, small, sweet, quiet book. It knows as much about the strange extremes of food as Mr Penumbra did about the dark latitudes of the book community.' * National Public Radio * `Sourdough is the story we all secretly dream about.' * Washington Post * `Filled with crisp humor and weird but endearing characters... [A] delight, perfect for those who like a little magic with their meals.' * Booklist starred review * `Mr Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore is an inventive Da Vinci Code bibliophilic romp. So visit Mr Penumbra's "tall skinny bookstore" and enjoy Robin Sloan's intriguing biblioverse.' * Canberra Times on Mr Penumbra * 'A fable for the computer age, this jaunty colloquy, replete with pop-cultural references and pithy asides to the reader, celebrates the restorative power of friendship and the creative spirit in whatever form if manifests itself.' * The Weekend Australian on Mr Penumbra * '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 on Mr Penumbra * 'A real tour de force [and] a beautiful fable...The reader is swept along by Sloan's enthusiasm.' -- George Saunders * on Mr Penumbra * 'There is nothing about Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore that I didn't love.' -- Cory Doctorow on Mr Penumbra
Robin Sloan is the author of Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore. He splits his time between San Francisco and the internet.