Book Review: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore

I love books. I love everything about them. I like the way they look, the way they feel, the way they smell, but most of all, I love that they contain a story. All these together sum up why I was excited to read Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan. It is a book about old books, secret societies, ancient puzzles, the ever-expanding limits of modern technology, and the sad and rapid decline of used bookstores. I couldn’t wait to download it onto my Kindle. How ironic. Continue reading

More Moore Please

Do you love vampires, taxidermy, demons, Native American gods, sea monsters, King Lear, zombies, Goths, whales, strong women, and Jesus? Your strange assortment of tastes aside, I got the perfect guy for you! Christopher Moore is an author with 12 very quotable novels. The silliness takes you from Pine Cove, a little town outside of San Francisco, to an Indian reservation, all the way to the bottom of the sea, and beyond.  His strange themes and surprisingly deep and funny (and often recurring) characters had me laughing out loud at inappropriate times. Moore takes tough issues like mourning the death of a love one and finds a way to make it funny. His famous work “Lamb: The Gospel of Biff Christ’s Childhood Pal” is an interesting look at how the missing years of Jesus’ life may have went. Biff and Jesus (whom Biff calls Joshua) go on a mystical journey throughout the world. While Joshua is gaining knowledge from his wise teachers, Biff is learning about the sexier side in order to “help Joshua understand sin.” Plus they learn Kung Fu!

Moore’s novels tend to be “stand alone,” but those who like trilogies (and the attractive undead) are in for a treat – “Blood Sucking Fiends”, “You Suck: A Love Story”, and “Bite Me!” are about the newly sired vampires Jody and Tommy terrorizing the streets of San Francisco while trying to satisfy their lust for blood, at least it would be if they were any good at it. Though my personal favorite is “A Dirty Job”, this novel is about a Beta Male named Charlie Asher whose life is turned upside down by the death of his wife Rachel, his lively baby daughter Sophie (who can kill people with the word ‘kitty’), strange glowing objects, and voices from the storm drains. With great characters like the Goth teenaged shop girl Lily Darquewillow Elventhing, her tragically perky Goth best friend Abby Normal, Charlie’s lesbian David Bowie look-alike sister Jane, the refreshing Minty Fresh, the not so fuzzy squirrel people, and His Majesty the Emperor of San Francisco. You’re sure to love it as much as I do. His latest work “Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d’Art” will be out April 3rd. Be sure to read it! It will rock your stripy socks!