What kind of book starts with a mysterious antiquated bookstore before transforming into Google employees creating code-cracking algorithms to uncover the secret of immortality? Welcome to “Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore,” by Robin Sloan.
Clay Jannon went from life as a web designer to unemployed during a recession. Searching for any job, he finds himself working the late shift of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after only a few days working under the harmless Mr. Penumbra, Clay starts noticing how odd the store really is. The customers are few, appear seemingly eccentric, and only check out old tomes from dusty shelves towering far above the store’s floor. Clay’s curiosity leads him to form a team of helpers, including his Google-centric girlfriend and nerd-turned-success best friend in cracking the mysteries of his employer, and what he finds creates twists and turns in the plot that no one can see coming. I would love to live in this bookstore, and I invite you to come visit.
This book was a 2013 Alex Award Winner. For those unfamiliar with the award, the Alex Awards are given each year to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18. This particular book might be a little mature for 12 or 13 year olds, but I’m comfortable recommending it to anyone of high school age. And for those of you intrigued by the Alex Awards, descriptions of the 2014 winners can be found here.
Next month, in celebration of this year’s current summer reading theme of science, we’ll be focusing on the science of superheroes with several graphic novel reviews.
Originally published at Books for Dudes – “Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore”.
Before Marv Albert, Bob Costas, and Mike Breen, there was Marty Glickman. The documentary chronicles the life and career of Glickman, a Jewish-American athlete turned broadcaster who pioneered many of the techniques, phrases, and programming innovations that are commonplace in sports reporting today. A multi-sport athlete with blistering speed, he was a teammate of Jesse Owens on the 1936 U.S. Olympic track team.
I grew up in Columbia, and one of the things I have fond memories of doing each year is going to Art in the Park with my mom. It became a little tradition of ours. We’d eat kettle corn and walk through the booths, ohing and ahing over each artist’s work.
I’m glad to be back in Columbia this year and able to resume the tradition. Columbia Art League’s 2014 Art in the Park will be held at Stephens Lake Park on Saturday the 7th and Sunday the 8th. For information about everything from the artists to parking, visit the festival’s website.
As an artist, I always find myself inspired to create after visiting the festival. In preparation, I browsed the library’s collection of art books. DBRL has every kind of how-to book you can imagine. We’ve got books on woodwork, ceramics, painting, quilting, knitting, drawing and jewelry making. It’s a great collection and definitely one to look at if you’re in the mood to make something beautiful.
Here are some of my favorites within the collection.
“Freehand” by Helen Birch
This book has a picture on every page and quick how-tos on techniques. Easy to read and fun to look at!
“Paper to Petal” by Rebbeca Thuss
Everything in this book is beautiful. The flowers are imaginative, colorful and realistic. They would look good in anyone’s house.
“Animal Hats” by Venessa Mooncie
One word: Fun. These hats are crazy cool, and you won’t just find the generic cat hat here. There is a cow hat and an elephant hat, just to give you an idea of how creative these toppers get.
“Simon Leach’s Pottery Handbook” by Simon Leach
As a potter, I thought this book provided good information on throwing techniques and ways to apply them. It also comes with a DVD.
“Silversmithing for Jewelry Makers” by Elizabeth Bone
I am not a jeweler, and the techniques demonstrated in this book look difficult, but the final products are gorgeous.
Have fun, and go enjoy Art in the Park this weekend on Saturday the 7th and Sunday the 8th. Maybe I’ll see you there.