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Sourdough: A Novel
by Robin Sloan

Published: 2017-09-05
Hardcover : 272 pages
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*One of Amazon's 20 Best Books of 2017*

Named one of the best books of 2017 by NPR, San Francisco Chronicle, Barnes & Noble, and Southern Living

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 ...

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Introduction

*One of Amazon's 20 Best Books of 2017*

Named one of the best books of 2017 by NPR, San Francisco Chronicle, Barnes & Noble, and Southern Living

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.

Editorial Review

An Amazon Best Book of September 2017: Bread is life as the saying goes, and it certainly is life-changing for software engineer-turned-baker, Lois Clary. As Robin Sloan’s latest novel opens, Lois gets a plum gig working at a tech company that specializes in robotics. The money is good, but the longer Lois stays in the role, the more she feels like the product she’s working on. Her only respite is a neighborhood takeout place she orders from each evening, run by two infinitely amiable brothers. When they are forced to flee the country due to visa issues, Lois is entrusted with something that jogs her from her dispassionate existence: a sourdough starter. Armed with this magical mixture of flour and water (it really is magic—it even sings!), Lois--whose fridge and gastronomic knowledge has heretofore been utterly barren—begins to bake. Applying herself earnestly and enthusiastically to the task, Lois finds that she excels at it, and soon she is foisting the fruits of her labor onto eager, gluten-tolerant co-workers, one of whom encourages her to hawk her wares at a local farmer’s market. The cutthroat committee rejects her, but Lois is quickly courted by a mysterious marketplace that ends up exploiting both her tech savvy, and culinary pluck. If all of this sounds a bit out there, it is. In the best way. And you’ll need to steel your suspension of disbelief for a stunner of an ending, of Stay Puft Marshmallow Man proportions. But Robin Sloan’s Sourdough is quite simply delightful. Its overarching message of the importance of pursuing a fulfilling, meaningful life is one you will loave. --Erin Kodicek, Amazon Book Review

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by Djbg1 (see profile) 02/16/18

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