Cerebral Mystery

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore - Robin Sloan

Clay Jannon, newly unemployed, stumbles upon a mysterious bookshop during his frequent wanderings through the streets of San Francisco.  The Help Wanted sign in the window seems like a sign of fate and he feels drawn into the bizarrely shaped store filled primarily with antique one-of-a-kind texts. Although far removed from his previous employment as a tech-savvy designer and marketer for a failed startup, Clay accepts the position of overnight sales clerk. Little does he realize that this spontaneous decision will catapult him into a mystery involving an ancient society whose cryptic workings will change the course of his life. Robin Sloan’s unique novel, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, brings together cutting-edge advances and time-worn tradition as they conflict and combine. Clay discovers that his embrace of new technology and a new-found respect for the methods of the past brings him great reward. Sloan’s novel also explores the idea that good things happen when people of different backgrounds combine their personal strengths and beliefs to solve problems.  Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is a delightful exploration of how curiosity and innovation have acted as universal and timeless inspiration for the advancement of ideas.  A good selection for those who enjoy mysteries that are more cerebral than action-packed.