Soundbite Sunday – Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore

July 13, 2014 Uncategorized 19

17155412Title: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
Author: Robin Sloan
Narrator: Ari Fliakos
Rating (Story): ★★★★☆
Rating (Narration):★★★★★

As a geeky, bookish programmer, this book was basically written for me. I love that the author created an exciting mystery with secret societies, codebreaking, mysterious disappearances, hidden vaults, and adventure, all of which revolve around books. I loved the geeky pop culture references, all clearly explained so the less geeky reader won’t feel left out. I loved that the author didn’t shy away from sharing some real details of programming and parallel computing, also well explained.  As a reader and a programmer, the author’s comparison of different programming languages to different writing styles made me incredibly happy. There are also delightful descriptions of books and bookstores and book obsessed people.  There are even book emergencies, which also made me happy because they showed that the characters’ valued books very highly.

The amount of romance in this book really worked for me too. It was an adorable romance, with two character’s who respected each other’s intelligence and liked each other’s quirks. It didn’t take over the plot though and developed in a very believable way. I was a tad disappointed by the ending of the book, which seemed anticlimactic to me, but otherwise this blew me away. The narration was perfect for the book. The author did a great job with men’s and women’s voices and with a variety of accents. Best of all though, his normal voice suited the main character exactly. I highly recommend the book to anyone who likes both books and computers and highly recommend the audiobook to anyone planning on picking this up.


19 Responses to “Soundbite Sunday – Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore”

  1. TracyK

    Any book with “Bookstore” in the title has its possibilities. And the programming stuff could be interesting too, since I am a programmer also. I will have to look into this book.

    • DoingDewey

      I agree! Books about books are so wonderful. I love descriptions of interesting bookstores and I have a hard time not loving characters who love books.

    • DoingDewey

      What didn’t you like about the romance? I maybe wished it had turned out differently, but looking back a few months after reading this, I can’t remember anything else I’d change, so I’m curious what you thought about it 🙂 I just checked out your review and agree completely about the bookish quotes. Authors who praise books and reading are well on their way to winning me over!

  2. Aylee

    Aww cute, love this cover! I know next to nothing about programming so that wouldn’t be for me, but of course I do love books and bookstores so I could still see myself enjoying this one. I think I’ll get the audio.

    • DoingDewey

      I don’t think not knowing anything about programming would be a problem, since the author does a pretty good job explaining. And there are tons of great book and bookstore descriptions which I’m guessing you’ll enjoy. The audio version is definitely a good choice 🙂

  3. Jennine G.

    This sounds great! I love the idea of mystery and such if it’s built around books! One of the better reviews on this book for sure, thanks.

    • DoingDewey

      Aw, thank you! I’m glad you liked the review. I like bookish mysteries too, so I’ve been thinking of trying a bookish cozy mystery series. They always look too light to me, but I think I might enjoy them.

  4. Geoff W

    I’m so glad you enjoyed this! So many reviewers were quite vicious about it and I didn’t think it deserved it. I guess I know enough about programming to enjoy those analogies and the merging of the two worlds was excellently done.

    • DoingDewey

      I mostly read positive reviews, but I certainly didn’t think it deserved any particularly strong criticism. The plot could have been a little stronger, but I loved the book and computer science references so much, I didn’t mind. I thought those two worlds were merged well too! It’s nice to see books and technology getting along 🙂

    • DoingDewey

      I love books which are this tailored to my interests! It makes them a bit harder to review, because I’m not sure if they’ll work as well for a more general audience, but they’re so much fun to read.

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