I got so hungry reading this book

The main point of Sourdough is: don’t obsess over technology, which is alienating and takes you out of the real world. Instead, obsess over food, which brings people together.

There’s probably something intelligent to say about the intersection of the two – after all, one of the subplots is about how the main character is using a robotic arm to help her make bread, and another character is using genetic sequencing to create the perfect super-food. The technology + food equation seems to work better when the technology is supporting the food, not when it’s an end in and of itself. But also, the food will be just fine without it.

Or maybe you could enjoy a sweet story about a young woman finding her way in the world and not worry about technology and food and underlying meaning. That would work too.

Beach read, not chick lit

Mr Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore


What’s it about?
Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is about a secret society that is trying to solve an algorithm without a computer. What happens when you bring a computer to bear on the problem? In fact, given that this story takes place in San Francisco and near Silicon Valley, what happens when you let Google’s geniuses and computing power at the problem? Well, this book tries to answer that, all while commenting on life in the SF Bay Area.

Why should you read it?
It’s not a great book. I read it for book club; the more we tried to analyze it, the more we realized its flaws. It’s not Great Literature, but it did manage to keep the mystery going long enough to be entertaining. Not to mention, it did a decent job of having fun with Silicon Valley stereotypes. Sometimes, that’s exactly what you want.