Sunday, February 3, 2013

Book report: Book lover's tech mystery

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

It's got a glow-in-the-dark cover - that alone should be reason enough to get this book. You can make all kinds of neat (temporary) designs by shining a flashlight over the front or back cover, which is really cool considering that if you don't know about it you won't think to turn off the lights for some play time (or you might turn off the lights and be freaked out about that glowing rectangle on the table, like I was!).

But seriously (sort of) this book is also great to read - I really liked it.  I even understood it, including the geeky parts.

The primary location:  San Francisco, a strange, dusty bookstore owned by one Mr. Penumbra.  Penumbra means partial shadow, especially when talking about eclipses. Hmmm.  What is the significance here?  You'll have to read the book to find out.

Secondary locations:  The Google campus in California, a book repository sunk into the bedrock of Manhattan, a knitting museum in Berkeley, an antiquities warehouse in Texas.

Mix together: A secret society, a team of talented friends with just the right skills, and a quest to find the clues and to break the code that could be the answer to immortality... or maybe at least to discover if there is any message in the code at all.

A fast read, great entertainment, some thought provoking moments.  Plus it's inspired me to play around with programming again.

Thumbs up!


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