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Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel | Robin Sloan
A gleeful and exhilarating tale of global conspiracy, complex code-breaking, high-tech data visualization, young love, rollicking adventure, and the secret to eternal lifemostly set in a hole-in-the-wall San Francisco bookstoreThe Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a San Francisco Web-design droneand serendipity, sheer curiosity, and the ability to climb a ladder like a monkey has landed him a new gig working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore. But after just a few days on the job, Clay begins to realize that this store is even more curious than the name suggests. There are only a few customers, but they come in repeatedly and never seem to actually buy anything, instead "checking out" impossibly obscure volumes from strange corners of the store, all according to some elaborate, long-standing arrangement with the gnomic Mr. Penumbra. The store must be a front for something larger, Clay concludes, and soon he's embarked on a complex analysis of the customers' behavior and roped his friends into helping to figure out just what's going on. But once they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, it turns out the secrets extend far outside the walls of the bookstore.With irresistible brio and dazzling intelligence, Robin Sloan has crafted a literary adventure story for the twenty-first century, evoking both the fairy-tale charm of Haruki Murakami and the enthusiastic novel-of-ideas wizardry of Neal Stephenson or a young Umberto Eco, but with a unique and feisty sensibility that's rare to the world of literary fiction. Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore is exactly what it sounds like: an establishment you have to enter and will never want to leave, a modern-day cabinet of wonders ready to give a jolt of energy to every curious reader, no matter the time of day.
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Geemom1118
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A co-worker lent me this one. First time read from this author.

13 likes1 stack add
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Robotswithpersonality
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Pickpick

First book finished for today's #rgreadathon . It's been a great week for finding new favourite books! The realities/difficulties of information management/preservation in the digital age and possibilities of artificial intelligence/machine learning, the struggle between protecting valuable knowledge from loss or misuse and the dangers of gatekeeping. The adventure and mystery, the ending. Truly wonderful. Wish the Dragon Song books were real. 🫤

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Robotswithpersonality
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And today's 'scratched my brain just right' sentence is:

"Fingers of thought are raking the space behind the cushions, looking for loose ideas, finding nothing."

Blueberry 😆 1mo
6 likes1 comment
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Robotswithpersonality
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Learned a new word! Basically, toroid is a geometrical shape like a doughnut, or, in this case, bagel.

8 likes1 stack add
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Ladygodiva7
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✨ New from a bookstore ✨

StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego The cover glows in the dark (if you didn't already know) 2mo
Ladygodiva7 @StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego NO!!! 💀🤯 I did not!!! Thanks!! 2mo
Ladygodiva7 @StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego it doesn‘t glow in the dark, I think it‘s for the black light tho. 2mo
tpixie @Ladygodiva7 well darn it, it used to!! Try putting close to lamp first, then turn off lights! 2mo
81 likes2 stack adds5 comments
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kissmehardy
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Pickpick

Haven't read this in years, and I'm glad I picked it back up again! Clay has such an engaging voice, and I love the mystery of Manutius and his codex. Fun to track how different 2022 is from this depiction of 2008, too. #fiction #reread

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peanutnine
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#SavvySettings Bookstore
So many to choose from for this prompt, but I enjoyed this book 💛
@Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Eggs

Eggs Well done 🖤👍🏼💛 7mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 💛📚💛 7mo
41 likes2 comments
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JuliaTheBookNerd
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#Bookstore 📚 #SavvySettings 💚🍀

#BookNerd 🤓💙📚

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 📚💛📚 7mo
Eggs 💛📖💛 7mo
61 likes2 comments
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Bookwormjillk
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Thanks so much @slategreyskies

I‘ve always wanted one of these ❤️

slategreyskies Awww, I‘m glad it made you smile. Have a great rest of your day! 💕 7mo
Ruthiella The cover glows in the dark (at least mine did!) 7mo
73 likes1 stack add3 comments
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slategreyskies
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I mailed this off today. I‘m sorry it‘s a few days late. I forgot that I wanted to mail it earlier this week and didn‘t remember until today. Tracking says it should be there by Tuesday, Jill. Thanks to all of you for a great round of #LMPBC! I had fun and read several books I wouldn‘t have read otherwise. I‘d say that‘s a success!! 🤍💛

slategreyskies @Bookwormjillk While there‘s no packaging material inside the envelope with the book, there is something besides the book that can be damaged if sliced with scissors, so use care when opening it when it arrives. 🤍 7mo
Bookwormjillk Thanks for the warning! 7mo
slategreyskies @Bookwormjillk It‘s out for delivery today. :) 7mo
Crazeedi Can you email me? crazeedi73@gmail.com. thanks!! 7mo
slategreyskies @Crazeedi just sent it! :) 7mo
50 likes5 comments
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Susanita
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1. Shetland library 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
2. The title notwithstanding, it‘s actually a library.
3. The library at Rivendell
#sundayfunday

ozma.of.oz Oh Rivendell is an excellent choice! Thank you for sharing! 7mo
26 likes1 comment
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slategreyskies
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Starting this one soon!! I‘ve had it for a while, but I think I forgot to post that it arrived.

Also, the previous book is on its way to you, Jill. Tracking says it should be there on Thursday! :)

#LMPBC

Bookwormjillk Great! Mailing to @Tattooedteacher tomorrow! 8mo
CaramelLunacy I read this one recently and enjoyed the puzzle! 8mo
55 likes2 comments
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FogLady
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Pickpick

I adore stories set in certain cities and San Francisco is one of them! Some of the characters were stereotypical, which felt like a cheat, but the pace was quick, the concept was super creative and while it might not be on my top ten list, I was entertained which is enough sometimes.

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Crazeedi
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Mehso-so

This was a reread for me. I did think it was a pretty good book, something out of my usual genre! #LMPBC #groupG @suvata
The book will be on the way soon Sarah!
@slategreyskies @Bookwormjillk @Tattooedteacher

slategreyskies Oh yay, I‘m looking forward to it! It‘s a reread for me too, but I really enjoyed it the first time around and am looking forward to reading it again. :) 9mo
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Mary_Reads
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Mehso-so

Trying out more audio books this year. They've never really been my jam but I like the idea of being able to listen while I do busy work around the house. That being said I'm not sure if this one didn't hit with me because it was audio or because it just didn't hit. Seemed like it would be right up my alley but was just so-so

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shortsarahrose
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Thank you so much @alexus_sb for the book and snacks! I just listened to this book on audio, but I am happy to have my own copy because I know I will want to reread it in print! (I know I probably missed some things in the audio). Plus, I can lend it out to my mom in the meantime because I like talking books with her 🥰 the green tea will be perfect for my currently scratchy throat and the pretzel will be good once I get them away from April

shortsarahrose Thanks @bookish_wookish for running #LittleChristmasSwap - I was right: this is just the pick me up I needed in January! 9mo
alexus_sb Oh yay! I‘m so glad you like everything! There were so many books that sounded amazing on your list I had to write a few down for myself. This was such a fun swap! 9mo
shortsarahrose @alexus_sb I know my tbr grows every time I participate in a swap! 9mo
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Crazeedi
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slategreyskies Yay!! I‘ll be on the lookout for it! :) 9mo
57 likes1 stack add1 comment
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shortsarahrose
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Pickpick

Reminds me a bit of A Series of Unfortunate Events (fantastical adventure, a secret society, some odd characters), but narrated by the guy from The Martian if instead of botany he had studied typography and set in a San Fran bookshop in 2012. This was a fun way to start #NewYearWhoDis
I have some quibbles with it (slog between 25-33%, two dimensional characters except Clay and Penumbra, odd audio narrating choices), but overall enjoyed it.

monalyisha What a quirky description! I still haven‘t read this one & have had it in my hot little hands so many times! 9mo
shortsarahrose @monalyisha it‘s definitely a quirky book! It was a good palate cleanser after reading/watching a lot of things that are more serious. 9mo
24 likes2 comments
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shortsarahrose
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It‘s New Years Day. It‘s cold and snowy out. I‘ve got a space heater and a snuggly cat. Sounds like a good time to start a #NewYearWhoDis pick. Luckily, my local library had this one available as an digital audiobook - looks like the rest of my day is set 🛋 🐈 🎧📖🥪
#catsoflitsy

Leftcoastzen 😻👏 9mo
MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm Yay!! Hope you enjoy it! ❤️ My order isn‘t in yet for the books I first chose off your list, but I‘m eager to dive in once they‘re here. 9mo
30 likes2 comments
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EatSleepRead
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Pickpick

Audiobook pick:
A fantastical story about a mysterious bookstore and a quest for answers.

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Bookwormjillk
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Mehso-so

A good idea but I had some issues…

This was my#LMPBC pick for round 13. I plan to get this in the mail before Thanksgiving @Tattooedteacher

Oh, and sorry group. I have lost my beloved teal pen and had to switch to pink. If I find it before the next round I‘ll switch back.

#33by33 #AnywayYouReadathon

Eggbeater Nice job 👍 11mo
slategreyskies Oh, that‘s a bummer about the teal pen! Hope you find it soon! :) 11mo
MatchlessMarie That‘s one‘s been on my TBR forever too 🎉🧁 11mo
52 likes3 comments
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Bookwormjillk
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Daisy and I are having trouble concentrating this afternoon. We may need a nap.

sharread Awesome photo. 11mo
ShelleyBooksie Adorable 11mo
TheDaysGoBy Love that book. And your kitty is sooo cute! 11mo
Leftcoastzen 👍😻Naps are great! 11mo
71 likes4 comments
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britt_brooke
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️ I adored this when I read it 7 years ago, but sadly, it didn‘t quite hold up second time around. I still enjoyed the bookish secret society story, and the marrying of paper and tech, but the characters are so flat. Mr. Penumbra himself is quite the lovable enigma, but the rest are generic AF. Still love the glow-in-the-dark cover, though! #reread #coverlove

britt_brooke @Cinfhen I seem to recall you not liking this because it says “Google” way too much. You‘re not wrong. 😂 13mo
Cinfhen Hahaha 🤣 I don‘t remember why I bailed on this book, I just remember being BORED and annoyed!!! Sorry round two didn‘t deliver the same effect 13mo
sharread I loved this book, and the bookstore. 13mo
britt_brooke @sharread The bookstore is definitely magical! ✨ 13mo
102 likes4 comments
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KelsiTaylor
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“Her home is the burrow of a bibliophile hobbit— low-ceilinged, close-walled, and brimming over with books.”
This is probably one of my favorite love letters to books that I‘ve ever read

DrexEdit ❤️ that quote! ☺️ 1y
10 likes1 comment
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BriannaT
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Mehso-so

THIS BOOK GLOWS IN THE DARK!!
In this book, the main character works as a desk clerk at a bookstore, but there‘s something more to the mysterious coded books that eccentric characters check out. I love the “secrets within books” plot, as the idea of a secret library or book room is so enticing! I just didn‘t like the talk about boobs or the way the female character was written. I feel she was a geek variant of the manic pixie dream girl trope.

RaeLovesToRead Totally agree regarding the female character. I didn't really rate this one, sadly. 1y
BriannaT @RaeLovesToRead Right?! There were parts of this book that really showed it was written by a man. If it weren‘t for that I would have enjoyed it so much more. 1y
RaeLovesToRead @BriannaT I did a fair bit of eye rolling! Haha 😄 1y
13 likes1 stack add3 comments
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ChaoticMissAdventures
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#curiouscovers I am a day behind with #pattern
But perfect prompt for this fun inside and out read which puzzles the mind and glows in the dark!
@Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Eggs

Eggs That‘s amazing 📚👏🏻✅ 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks So cool!! 💚💚💚 1y
25 likes2 comments
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CaffeineAndCandy
Pickpick

A new and interesting concept where a cult of readers try to decipher the writings of deceased writers. ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

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seibelsays
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#reread
I'd forgotten how much I enjoy this book. It's been an excellent listen as I finish up the last details on the sweater I'm knitting.

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ke1lbe1l
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March was extra stressful (for many reasons and no reasons at all), and without realizing it, I escaped into 7 different worlds to try to get away from the daily reality ... I think that‘s the most I‘ve ever read in a month. 5 ⭐️ to all the books on the left.

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Laughterhp
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Mehso-so

So I liked the premise of this book. The bookstore, the secret society, all the mystery.
However, I could have done without all the boob talk. It was really weird and you can tell this book was written by a man. Also, it might be a little dated because Google did not ruin books and neither did Kindles... books and bookstores are still around. But overall I liked this book.

Also, yay I can finally take pictures outside again! (For now)

snowpaws94 I completely agree about the boob talk. I also felt like sometimes the way Kat was described in the first half of the book was also a little odd. For some reason the shirt thing really threw me off. 1y
Laughterhp @snowpaws94 Yes, the shirt thing was really weird! I agree. 1y
71 likes2 comments
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MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm
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Pickpick

5 ⭐️s
I absolutely love this book! Sloan channels a Douglas Adams vibe that had me feeling nostalgic and comfortable from the offset, not to mention laughing my head off at times. Jannon is incredibly relatable and nearly all the characters are extremely lovable. I adored the equal love given to the old and the new, like books and e-readers. Mr. Penumbra‘s has become a fictional place that I would give a great deal to visit in real life. ❤️🥰❤️

MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm A HUGE thank you to @Addison_Reads for sending me this copy! It‘s probably my favorite read of 2021 so far! 2y
Addison_Reads Yay! I'm happy that you enjoyed it. 💚 In case I didn't tell you, the cover glows in the dark, which makes the book even better in my opinion. 😀 2y
MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm @Addison_Reads Yes! I think @Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick told me about it originally. ❤️😍❤️ I love that added flair! Anything that glows is at least 50% cooler! 😜 2y
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Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick I think it was me who mentioned it! 😁 I'm glad you liked it. I know I did but it's been a few years since I've read it. I have a prequel unread, so maybe I'll give it a reread. 2y
MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm @Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick THERE‘S A PREQUEL?!? *runs off to add it to wishlist* 2y
MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm @Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick Lol, thanks! I‘ve added it to my multiple TBR lists. 😅 2y
37 likes1 stack add7 comments
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MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm
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My goals: Finish tagged book and start and finish Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman.
I‘m trying to keep my goals modest for this readathon. Lately work has been taking a lot out of me and I‘ve been having to stay late. I‘ve also gotten into the habit of playing Red Dead Online with the hubby for at least an hour or so each night. Needless to say, my reading has suffered. 😅
#FabulousFebruary Readathon hosted by @Andrew65

Andrew65 Great to have you with us, good luck 😊👍 2y
21 likes1 comment
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CaffeineAndCandy
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Thanks so much! My prize finally arrived. This looks like a fun read, very fitting. 🥰💜💜💜 Thoughtful of you. @Mommamanzi

Mommamanzi Oh my, that took forever. You‘re only the second person to receive yours. I‘m starting to worry! Enjoy ❤️ (edited) 2y
eeclayton If I'm not mistaken, this cover glows in the dark 2y
CaffeineAndCandy Omgosh I'm so turning the lights out @eeclayton 2y
See All 9 Comments
CaffeineAndCandy I'm gonna charge it up under the light... @eeclayton 2y
LisaLovesToRead I read this one last year & enjoyed it a lot. I hope you do too! 2y
Patchshank I just finished reading that not too long ago. I loved it. 2y
eeclayton @CaffeineAndCandy hope it worked! 😁 2y
CaffeineAndCandy It did! @eeclayton this is so cool! Thanks for letting me know 2y
eeclayton @CaffeineAndCandy I'm glad 😊 2y
76 likes2 stack adds9 comments
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Patchshank
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I finished the tagged book for #NewYearWhoDis and I loved it. Secret societies and book stores? Hell yeah Using insane new technology to solve old puzzles? Yes please. I also finished listening to the audiobook as I did my chores. It's a short prequel that shows how Penumbra came to be involved with the secret society. It was equally delightful. I hope Sloan writes more books for this series.

@Read-y_Picker @monalyisha

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jb72
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Pickpick

This was a terrific book. While I didn‘t always understand the technical jargon, I enjoyed it nonetheless. How can you go wrong with a secret society and a secret library?!

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Buechersuechtling
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Additionally the solution for the big secret is one that made me smile and feel warm. Usually the denouement presented for such big life questions is always a bit forced and too “wanted“ for me. But this time I felt it fits the protagonist, the story and the one who hid it.

Only thing I miss: An epilogue by the author that reveals to me how much of her fiction is true. (Is there one in the book, does anyone know❓🤔)

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Buechersuechtling
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Pickpick

I loved listening to it. The crossing between new technology and craftsmanship, printing and books and a mysterious treasure hunt. Kept me hooked. I loved how Roland Wolf read it and brought to life all the freaky and passionate nerds: Matt with his “landscape”-models, Kat with her positive belief in computer skills and Neil with his boobs. Who by the way is fringe group member without having a label round his neck.

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Buechersuechtling
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After I realised that my lending period for this audiobook will be over in 2 days and that I haven‘t nearly finished chapter 1 I decided it‘s important to change books immediately in order to make ends meet. 😅

So here I go, gal on a mission. 🎧

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Buechersuechtling
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Apropos “insights” into Google. After having read that Jaron-Lanier-book about why one immediately should delete all social media accounts I noticed that I am quite critical about all that talk about the benefits Google‘s work and plans are supposed to bring. I mean, it‘s credible that the character believes in everything he says, but I caught myself constantly thinking: “Come on, put off those rose-coloured glasses. Grow up and reflect about it!”

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Buechersuechtling
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*sigh*

Oh Littens, yesterday was one of those days. Intense, nerve-wracking, full of paperwork. I pulled an all-nighter but I‘m not yet done.

Anyway, I decided, after sleeping in, to have a nice tiny breakfast with the newspaper. Now I decided to enjoy a bit of reading “Wuhan Diary”.

But before I wanted to let you know, that I like the tagged one (Mr Penumbra) very much so far. I like all the “insights” you get into Google.

Avanders Hope today is better and you find some sleep! 🤗🤗 2y
Buechersuechtling @Avanders Thank you. I appreciate your sympathy. I would so much need to unwind, but since I am involved practically and emotionally, it‘s hard to step back and handle it all just factually. 🤷🏽‍♀️ I think, I just need to pause and then take a run up to try to dig through. 2y
JacqMac Good luck getting it all done. I hope a restful day follows. 2y
17 likes3 comments
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Buechersuechtling
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“Clay Jannon finds a new job working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore. Soon Clay begins to realize that this store is even more curious than the name suggests. There are only a few customers, but they come in repeatedly and never seem to actually buy anything, they only borrow impossibly obscure volumes from strange corners of the store, all according to some elaborate, long-standing arrangement with the gnomic Mr. Penumbra.”

13 likes1 stack add
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Wildly_Bookish
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Pickpick

I really loved the nerdy-quest-ness of this book. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Read-y_Picker I read that one last month and it was AMAZING! Even better is that there is a follow-up/prequel which is the 'one last hit' you might not think you needed. It's a novella, with just enough to leave you completely satisfied with this storyline. Perfect cure for book hangover. 2y
Wildly_Bookish That's super exciting! I had no idea! 2y
23 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Wildly_Bookish
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Onto my next prompt for the #MBC #2020ReadingChallenge, an author with the same first or last name.

18 likes2 stack adds
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Godpants
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Mehso-so

There were definitely a lot of parts that I enjoyed, but it also felt very bro-y, and the ending I didn‘t find particularly satisfying. Overall not bad, but not really for me.

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MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm
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IT GLOWS!!!! ❤️😱🤯❤️
You were right @Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick !!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick I had it on my nightstand stack and at first I thought there was something casting a light shadow into the room, then I realized the book was glowing! 2y
MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm @Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick Well thank you for sharing! I love little book secrets like this!! ❤️😍❤️ 2y
EH2018 I didn't know that! Great book! 2y
UwannaPublishme How cool! 🤩 2y
33 likes4 comments
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Godpants
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Did I wait 1.5 years for this audiobook? Sure did.

16 likes1 stack add
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MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm
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It came @Addison_Reads ❤️😱❤️ And I most definitely did not expect the second surprise! I‘ll admit, I got a little teary-eyed when I opened it. Your kindness and generosity is so very touching. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!! ❤️😍❤️ Now I have to have the argument with myself on whether or not these get to usurp any of my current #BookSpinBingo reads... 😅

katy4peas I have both of those! Mr Penumbra is great! I haven‘t read the other yet! 😁👍🏼❤️ 2y
MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm @katy4peas I‘m looking forward to them! I‘ve only heard good things about either. 😊 2y
Addison_Reads @MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm I'm so glad they finally made it. 😍 I hope you enjoy them both. 2y
Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick Mr Penumbra might glow in the dark! Mine did. 2y
MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm @Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick WHA?!? I‘ll have to try that when I get home from work today! ❤️😱❤️ 2y
31 likes1 stack add5 comments
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LeafingThroughLife
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Pickpick

This unusual mystery about a bookstore with a strange catalog of both books and patrons manages to be a clever send-up of our modern technological life and a reminder that there are some things technology can‘t do. Populated by a cast of lovable nerds, it‘s a little mystery, a little satire, a little adventure and a lot satisfying. I love Sloan‘s clear enthusiasm for technology and equally clear awareness of its absurdity in modern life. 👍🏻👍🏻

34 likes1 stack add
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LatrelWhite
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Starting this tonight as I relax with a cup of Tea!☕️

13 likes2 stack adds