Wednesday, May 15, 2013

ARE YOU LISTENING? MR. PENUMBRA'S 24-HOUR BOOKSTORE: A REVIEW AND AN AUDIO BOOK GIVEAWAY

WELCOME TO BOOKIN' WITH BINGO'S" 
ARE YOU LISTENING? DAY"
I AM EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE TODAY'S
AUDIO BOOK CHOICE....
GIVEAWAY ENDED
MR. PENUMBRA'S 24-HOUR BOOKSTORE
A Novel
BY ROBIN SLOAN 

ABOUT THE BOOK:
A gleeful and exhilarating tale of global conspiracy, complex code-breaking, high-tech data visualization, young love, rollicking adventure, and the secret to eternal life—mostly set in a hole-in-the-wall San Francisco bookstore

The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a San Francisco Web-design drone—and 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.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Robin Sloan grew up in Michigan and now splits his time between San Francisco and the Internet. To read more about Author Robin Sloan, visit his "Bio" at his website HERE.

AN EXCERPT FROM MR. PENUMBRA'S 24-HOUR BOOKSTORE:
THE BOOKSTORE

HELP WANTED
 
LOST IN THE SHADOWS of the shelves, I almost fall off the ladder. I am exactly halfway up. The floor of the bookstore is far below me, the surface of a planet I’ve left behind. The tops of the shelves loom high above, and it’s dark up there—the books are packed in close, and they don’t let any light through. The air might be thinner, too. I think I see a bat.
 
I am holding on for dear life, one hand on the ladder, the other on the lip of a shelf, fingers pressed white. My eyes trace a line above my knuckles, searching the spines—and there, I spot it. The book I’m looking for.
 
But let me back up.
*   *   *
My name is Clay Jannon and those were the days when I rarely touched paper.
 
I’d sit at my kitchen table and start scanning help-wanted ads on my laptop, but then a browser tab would blink and I’d get distracted and follow a link to a long magazine article about genetically modified wine grapes. Too long, actually, so I’d add it to my reading list. Then I’d follow another link to a book review. I’d add the review to my reading list, too, then download the first chapter of the book—third in a series about vampire police. Then, help-wanted ads forgotten, I’d retreat to the living room, put my laptop on my belly, and read all day. I had a lot of free time.
 
I was unemployed, a result of the great food-chain contraction that swept through America in the early twenty-first century, leaving bankrupt burger chains and shuttered sushi empires in its wake. 

To finish reading this excerpt, visit the publisher Macmillan's website HERE.

PRAISE FOR MR. PENUMBRA'S 24-HOUR BOOKSTORE: 
“Robin Sloan has written this novel with rhythmic precision, and Ari Fliakos endows each of the characters with his or her own color and flavor. He makes believers of us all as Clay and his friends forge ahead on this fanciful journey – part mystery, part quest. We listen with delight and hope we can glimpse the future.” – AudioFile Magazine

“The love child of Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus and Neal Stephenson’s Reamde, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is a hugely enjoyable story of friendship, living, and the lure of the mysterious. It’s a good-hearted, optimistic book about the meeting of modern technology and medieval mystery, a tonal road map to a positive relationship between the old world and the new. It’s a book that gets it. Plus, you know: cryptographic cults, vertical bookshops, hot geeks, theft, and the pursuit of immortality. I loved it. And yes, I too would freeze my head.” —Nick Harkaway

“In a time when actual books are filling up tag-sale dollar boxes, along with VHS tapes and old beepers, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore reminds us that there is an intimate, adventurous joy in the palpable papery things called novels, and in the warm little secret societies we used to call ‘bookstores.’ Robin Sloan’s novel is delightfully funny, provocative, deft, and even thrilling. And for reasons more than just nostalgia, I could not stop turning these actual pages.” —John Hodgman

“Delightful.” —Graham Joyce, The Washington Post

“An irresistible page-turning novel.” —Newsweek

“One of the most thoughtful and fun reading experiences you’re likely to have this year . . . extremely charismatic . . . deeply funny . . . there’s so much largehearted magic in this book . . . Sloan is remarkably gifted and has an obviously deep affection for both literature and technology.” —Michael Schaub, NPR Books

“A jaunty, surprisingly old-fashioned fantasy about the places where old and new ways of accessing knowledge meet . . . [Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore] cleverly uses the technological age in the service of its fantasy . . . Sloan’s ultimate answer to the mystery of what keeps people solving Penumbra’s puzzle is worth turning pages to find out.” —Tess Taylor, San Francisco Chronicle

“[A] winning literary adventure . . . Sloan grounds his jigsawlike plot with Big Ideas about the quest for permanence in the digital age.” —Thom Geier, Entertainment Weekly

MY REVIEW/THOUGHTS:
Having read MR. PENUMBRA'S 24-HOUR BOOK STORE quite a while ago, I was happy to get a copy of the audio book to review. Since Robin Sloan had written such enchanting characters and a story that takes readers away from the start, I wanted to listen to it as I knew there was so much I probably had missed. I was right!

MR. PENUMBRA’S 24-HOUR BOOK STORE by Robin Sloan is the delightfully quirky, mysterious tale of a book store and those who are lucky enough to enter into it. It is also a bit of a love story and a seemingly cult-like group of people who appear to have knowledge about the secret of eternal life.

Clay Jannon, with an out-of-work career in computers background, works the night shift at Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore. One would think this a perfect job and in some ways it is but this is not just any bookstore! Even though it is a night shift, there are still very few customers. Of the few customers who enter, most pick out odd books that are written in some kind of code. Clay has to keep a log of everyone who enters and description of them so he can report to the owner who relieves him in the morning at the end of Clay’s shift.

With Clay narrating the story, readers will become entranced by his story. With a secret society and mystery, Clay and his love interest become involved in trying to solve Penumbra’s puzzle. Their trips to different places to get data to solve their mystery includes a fascinating look at GOOGLE as well as odd places like a museum of knitting! The main theme of MR. PENUMBRA’S 24-HOUR BOOKSTORE revolves around one that more and more is being discussed of late--that of how the use of the Internet may effect the knowledge one gets through old books. With delectable characters, wizard-like capes, secret rooms, and more, MR. PENUMBRA’S 24-HOUR BOOKSTORE will delight fans from Harry Potter to The Da Vinci Code. It is a fast read and small book but well worth the entertainment this little gem will impart!

GIVEAWAY
THANKS TO ESTHER AND ALL THE GOOD FOLKS 
AT MACMILLAN AUDIO BOOKS, I HAVE ONE COPY
 OF THIS DELIGHTFUL AUDIO BOOK TO GIVE
AWAY TO ONE LUCKY WINNER TO ENJOY!
 
--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES
---INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE TO
 

COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!
 
HOW TO ENTER:
+1 ENTRY: COMMENT ON WHAT YOU READ ABOVE ABOUT MR. PENUMBRA'S 24-HOUR BOOKSTORE THAT MADE YOU WANT TO WIN THIS AUDIO BOOK, AND DON'T FORGET YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS

+1 MORE ENTRY: BLOG AND/OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND COME BACK HERE AND LEAVE ME YOUR LINK

+1 MORE ENTRY:
COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FIND INTERESTING AT ROBIN SLOAN'S WEBSITE HERE

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON ONE WAY YOU FOLLOW MY BLOG. IF YOU FOLLOW MORE THAN ONE WAY, YOU CAN COMMENT SEPARATELY AND EACH WILL COUNT AS AN ENTRY

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON A CURRENT GIVEAWAY THAT YOU HAVE ENTERED ON MY BLOG. IF YOU ENTERED MORE THAN ONE, YOU MAY COMMENT SEPARATELY FOR EACH TO RECEIVE MORE ENTRIES  

GIVEAWAY ENDS AT 
6 PM, EST, MAY 31
GOOD LUCK!

101 comments:

debbie said...

Since I love old bookstores, I would really love to read this book. I would like to see what is really going on in the bookstore.
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holdenj said...

I read this last year and loved it! Hope everyone (except me) enters to win if you haven't read it. :)

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An excellent and engrossing book. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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Victoria Zumbrum said...

I love bookstores. I would love to read this book. It sounds really interesting. Please enter me in contest. I am a follower and email subscriber. Tore923@aol.com

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DarcyO said...

Since it's compared to The Night Circus, I think it would be great. Quirky is good!

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Linda Kish said...

Oh, this sounds like it will be so much fun to read. Full of quirky characters.

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I read The Wrong Plane on his website. Interesting story.

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Carol N Wong said...

I love code breaking and old bookstores! I think this one would be a winner.

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I tweeted:
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From his website, I read "The Wrong Plane".

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Pamela Keener said...

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Sue Farrell said...

I was entranced by this book when you reviewed the print copy---now I'm interested all over again with this audio book.
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