Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore

I loved this book! Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan is a very good little novel.  I started to write that it is fantasy, except there's not any actual magic or fantasy world.  Then I was going to write that it's sci-fi but other than a love of all things Mac and Google there isn't really any techie stuff in it either.  It's about a young man who goes to work in a 24-hour bookstore.  There are 2 sets of stock, regular books and what he calls the "Waybacklist": books without any bar codes or ISBN's that he can't locate anywhere else.  Deciphering what the Waybacklist is sets the story in motion.   

The writing is lovely and poetic in parts.  It's about friendship and love and wanting to live forever and the love of books and mysteries.  I cried at the end because of lines like this:

There is no immortality that is not built on friendship and work done with care. All the secrets in the world worth knowing are hiding in plain sight. It takes forty-one seconds to climb a ladder three stories tall. It's not easy to imagine the year 3012, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try. We have new capabilities now—strange powers we're still getting used to.

I'm not doing it justice, read it! a 7. 


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