A Novel

Book - 2017
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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: FICTION SLO
Characteristics: 259 pages : maps ; 22 cm


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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.

katbee Oct 03, 2017

Robin Sloan has written another awesome book! I loved reading it so much. It's nice to read a story in which you have no idea of what to expect, but you also aren't worried about something bad happening. I think the side story of emails from Beo was a nice mix to the main story with Lois. The touch of magical realism was fun. This book makes you very hungry when you read it!

Sep 28, 2017

The way I heard this one discussed, I thought it would be super weird. But it's refreshingly light and only a little bit bent! Since reading, I've been taking more time to listen to what the ingredients in my kitchen might be telling me. Highly recommended for foodies, home cooks, and anyone who likes stories about discovering or reinventing yourself through pursuing a craft. It's an especially good way of sneaking a little sci-fi on someone who doesn't think they like sci-fi.

LPL_DirectorBrad Jul 26, 2017

You ever read a book and think, this author gets me and writes something that's just what I want to read? That's how I feel about Robin Sloan. I loved his previous book and his latest is equally fabulous. I just want to hang out with him!

Sourdough is a love letter to yeast--and to finding your true passion in life (and loaf). A brilliant young computer programmer named Lois moves from Michigan to San Francisco for a fancy tech job. Looking to eat something other than the liquid nutrient gel Slurry that she and her comrades slurp down at lunch, she begins ordering soup and bread from a mysterious local delivery only food vendor. Suddenly her food purveyors must skip town and entrust her with the starter for their yummy sourdough.

She decides to try to make some bread and does a good job. She becomes obsessed with making bread which leads her into a strange world of an odd market named Marrow Fair where she meets many fascinating and strange folk. There's no need to say more. Just read this dang book.

I devoured this book. Robin Sloan writes with wit and intelligence yet it is effortless reading. I'm always impressed with books that can achieve that.

So excited for this book to make its way into our literary world this fall. Highly recommended reading!

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