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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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Joreads
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Pickpick

This is a really clever book. It had me from the first page and it was so not what I thought it would be. This book takes you on a magical ride and it has a very satisfying ending.

Vivlio_Gnosi One of my favorite bibliophile mysteries. A great read. 6d
Joreads I really enjoyed it. I am so glad I read it. 6d
12 likes2 comments
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ShyBookOwl
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Borrowed this from a friend tonight. I LOVED Sourdough, so I'm excited to dive into this one.

nikirtehsuxlol I listened to this on audiobook and didn‘t love it. Eager to hear your thoughts! 2w
NeedsMoreBooks Didn‘t like it as much as I thought I would. Would be interested to hear your thoughts 😊 2w
smilingshelves I loved this one even more than Sourdough! Hope you enjoy it! 2w
See All 7 Comments
ShyBookOwl @smilingshelves that's what the friend who loaned it to me said. We shall see! 2w
ShyBookOwl @nikirtehsuxlol @NeedsMoreBooks Interesting! The friend who loaned it to me preferred it to Sourdough and said it's a favorite of hers. We both work in tech, but didn't plan to, so I think Sloan's characters resonate with us. Did you read/enjoy Sourdough? 2w
nikirtehsuxlol I have not read Sourdough!Once you got rid of the “quirky” bits, I didn‘t feel like the story or the characters held up with Mr. Penumbra‘s Bookstore 🙈 this was all the rage when it came out so I know I‘m in the minority here 2w
ShyBookOwl @nikirtehsuxlol hm. Well, I'm interested to see how I'll feel about it. Hopefully I enjoy it lol 2w
75 likes1 stack add7 comments
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KatieDid927
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Day 5 - The books glow in the dark!

#7days7covers #covercrush

SauerPatch 😮😮 That makes it so much cooler! 3w
ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled Excellent choice! I didn‘t know that the cover glowed and I woke up in the middle of the night and was like “what the hell is that??!” 3w
erzascarletbookgasm Yes, it‘s so cool! 3w
41 likes1 stack add3 comments
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MiqueMarie
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Mehso-so
Jesstifies I agree about so-so vibes. I really enjoyed the first half, and then struggled with how the plot resolved. Felt like an odd mix of atmospheric old world problems jammed together with a super pro-Google nerd fest :P 4w
MiqueMarie @Jesstifies exactly. Lol 4w
megzlynn I‘m doing the Modern Mrs. Darcy Challenge as well. I have one prompt left. I can‘t wait to finish. It‘s the first challenge I‘ve ever participated in! 4w
12 likes3 comments
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Jenken1998
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#7days7covers #covercrush day 6. Play along if you wish! Just post a cover a day for 7 days. No explanation needed. ***this one glows in the dark****

lele1432 Very cool!🌕 1mo
JackOBotts I enjoyed this novel so much! 1mo
mcctrish I loved this book 💛 1mo
erzascarletbookgasm Cool cover! 👍 1mo
RockLibn Loved this book and the cover! Even thought it freaked me out when I woke up in the middle of the night and it was glowing on my nightstand. 😊 1mo
58 likes5 comments
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Skeeterisme
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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ #7days7covers Day 5

Ruthiella Yeah, this one was pretty cool! 😀 1mo
57 likes1 comment
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Chelsey
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Pickpick

What can I say? Opinions are like... Well you know the simile. Everyone's got one. I looked over some of the reviews on this book that I just finished and completely adored, and I must say, they're pretty lackluster. This was one of my handful of 5 ⭐️ reads so far this year. I loved the weirdness, the books, the secret society. I love how typefaces and audiobooks play important roles in the plot. I just loved it! Highly recommend!

SW-T The picture is perfect for this title 😊 1mo
Chelsey @SW-T thanks! I totally stole it from google images 😆 1mo
23 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Court7
Pickpick

Weird. Good, I think? But weird.

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SheReadsAndWrites
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Moved my twin boys into their dorm yesterday. I'm officially an empty nester. 😐 Hubby and I wandered downtown and it warmed my heart to find this adorable bookstore. ❤️🤓 #bookstore #happyplace

48 likes1 stack add
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Mitch
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kspenmoll Thanks!!!! 2mo
Palimpsest Thanks for sharing! I‘m stacking a few of these books. 😊 2mo
Crazeedi I've read 3 and I'm going to add a couple of the other ones. I love books about books. Lovett's and Leon's were fabulous 2mo
Mitch @Crazeedi I was drawn to Lovett‘s 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 2mo
76 likes1 stack add4 comments
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Megabooks
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1. Definitely indoor. Too many allergens outside!
2. Cheerwine! Or a cappuccino shake from Cook Out.
3. Tagged! I‘m up for a trip to San Francisco right now.
4. Navy
5. Yes 👍🏻

#friyayintro @howjessreads

essayareayaitch I enjoyed this book. Need to make time to read the sequel, and Sourdough 2mo
74 likes1 comment
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Come-read-with-me
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Mehso-so

This was an......interesting book. I liked the idea behind the story (who doesn‘t want a 24 hour book store?) but didn‘t find it as engaging as the premise. ⭐️⭐️1/2.

rather_be_reading have you read Sourdough? 2mo
Come-read-with-me @rather_be_reading. You are truly the “Book of the day” club! (edited) 2mo
23 likes3 comments
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NeedsMoreBooks
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Mehso-so

This was a strange book. Set in San Francisco, Clay, who has been laid off due to the recession takes up a job at the bookshop. His night shift gets some really interesting readers. There is also a quest, an ancient society, and the importance of friendship. The main idea is how does old technology, like books, keep up with new knowledge, like the internet and Google. What happens when the two collide and can they coexist? The characters were ok.

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laur89
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Pickpick

What can I say... I‘m a sucker for books about bookshops/books!

Devoured this little adventure in 2 days. It‘s got some mystery, history, adventure... bookish nerds and tech geeks... made for a super fun story!

Will definitely be reading the prequel to this 😃

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laur89
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Fun fact, this edition actually does glow in the dark! This made my thrift store dollar-find even better. 🤩

So many mixed reviews on this one, but I‘m liking it! I‘m about 1/2 way through, and it‘s been a light, fun, quick-paced mystery centered around an eccentric bookstore.

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laur89
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I lead a simple life-
I see a bookstore, I walk in.
I see a title with the word “bookstore”, I read it.

22 likes1 stack add
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Ke633
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Very quick read. Quirky, smart, fast paced.

45 likes1 stack add
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Lauram
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Pickpick

“Why does the typical adventuring group consist of a wizard, a warrior, and a rogue, anyway? It should really be a wizard, a warrior, and a rich guy. Otherwise who‘s going to pay for all the swords and spells and hotel rooms?”

I really want Robin Sloan to be my friend.

64 likes1 stack add
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Tanzy13
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my day ☀️📚🍔

Mitch Now that‘s a GOOD LOOKING day! 4mo
bookandbedandtea Looks perfect! 4mo
cherinium Jealous. 🙃 4mo
tracey38 What a wonderful day! 4mo
99 likes4 comments
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Tanzy13
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went to alot of little free libraries yesterday with some good friends and I ended up picking these two books 🙂📚

“Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that aims to inspire a love of reading, build community, and spark creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world. More than 75,000 public book exchanges are registered with the organization.”

umbrellagirl Those were both great reads. Enjoy! 4mo
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erzascarletbookgasm
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A laid-off Silicon Valley tech worker finds a job at a peculiar bookstore owned by an eccentric proprietor, and falls into an exciting adventure. It‘s a fun read, raises the question- are books just stories and ideas on paper and ink in the era of digitising?
And if you have this edition, check out the cover - it actually glows in the dark! 😎

#WanderingJune #Californication

BarbaraBB Good choice. I still want to read this one, since I really liked 5mo
JennyM Cool choice 5mo
Cinfhen Great choice....my cover wasn‘t really glowing and neither was my review 😝I bailed #unpopularopinion 5mo
Crazeedi I had this one, sent it forward to my daughter or the library, cant remember! 5mo
85 likes3 stack adds4 comments
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bonitacrisolita
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"Lost in the shadows of the shelves, I almost fall off the ladder."

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Booksnchill
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Pickpick

Soaking up the summer breezes and finishing this book I started on my trip to San Francisco. “My boy, there is no immortality that does not begin with friendship and work done with care”. I only wish I could type this in Gerritszoon- then we‘d know the secret-43 I am reliably informed. A bit more sci fi than bookish but still a fun read. Live on!

rretzler I enjoyed this book as well. There is a companion short that goes along with it if you‘re interested in more Mr Penumbra: 5mo
Booksnchill @rretzler thanks! I will check it out! 5mo
92 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Echo
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kay89
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“With each mega-project she describes, I feel myself shrink smaller and smaller.”
Masculinity sure is fragile.

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kay89
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Loving this book so far! It‘s good to read a book about tech and books and have it be hopeful.

kay89 But real talk-does one of the characters have to be the ceo of an all male startup that creates the code for digital boobs?? It would be better without the misogyny. 5mo
3 likes1 comment
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Clwojick
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Pickpick

Finished off this audiobook (5/18) just as I was walking up to my door with my coffee in hand. I really enjoyed it! I could see it making a great movie, if they were to adapt it properly. Definitely gets a recommendation from me.

I‘m probably not going to get too many more steps in tonight, so I thought I‘d share my steps now. Then it‘s back to studying for me! 😉

#BookFitnessChallenge 💪🏻 @wanderinglynn

TheSpineView Way to go! 5mo
wanderinglynn Way to go! 🙌🏻 5mo
KathyWheeler Perfect timing! 5mo
See All 13 Comments
monalyisha Coffee in hand might be my favorite way to walk. 😉☕️ 5mo
BookwormAHN Great job 👏🏻 5mo
CoverToCoverGirl Enjoy your coffee.. great stepping! 5mo
Ash.on.the.line Nice work! Looks like some great weather! 😊 5mo
Clwojick @Ash.on.the.line 😂😂 I guess it depends on what you consider nice. It was a high of 9 degrees. A lot of people say they would freeze here, but I‘m used to it. We have VERY long winters here, so once it hits 15 it‘s T-shirt and shorts weather for most people. It does get up to the 40s, but we really only have two months of summer. 5mo
QueenJen Omg, where do you live!? My spawn would love that! 5mo
Clwojick @QueenJen Thunder Bay, Ontario. 🇨🇦 5mo
hilded Great work 🙌🏻 5mo
britt_brooke Love this book! 5mo
85 likes13 comments
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Clwojick
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On Monday, I tracked how far it is from my apartment to Tim Hortons.
So, today I needed a little study break, and really wanted to see what happened next in this book.... so I figured I could get the rest of my daily steps in by walking to Tim‘s for coffee.

Hey, find what motivated you, right? Maybe I‘ll track how many steps to the bookstore... that would be sure to get me moving 😂😂😂

#Bookfitnesschallenge @wanderinglynn

CoverToCoverGirl How many steps is it to your local bookstore? 😎 You certainly earned your coffee! 5mo
Clwojick @CoverToCoverGirl I don‘t know! I‘d have to walk there, and track the route to find out. But like, for educational purposes.... so it‘s okay, right? 5mo
CoverToCoverGirl Absolutely! And tell no one! 😂 5mo
See All 11 Comments
wanderinglynn Way to go! 🙌🏻 If I could (meaning there were sidewalks the whole way), I‘d totally walk to the bookstore. 👍🏻 5mo
Clwojick @wanderinglynn what about your thrift store or library? Any accessible by walking? 5mo
BookwormAHN Nice job 👏🏻 5mo
monalyisha I‘ve been to Tim Horton‘s so few times in my life (there are none nearby!) but it‘s the first place I ever had mint coffee, so it‘s got a special place in my heart. 🖤🍃 5mo
Clwojick When they first opened up they had something called a “hot smoothie” and it was basically like a caffeinated flavoured hot milkshake. It was amazing. They had raspberry, mint, Irish cream, vanilla, and butterscotch. They were so good. I almost cried when they stopped carrying them. 😂 @monalyisha 5mo
monalyisha @Clwojick My theory is that it must‘ve been the branding. 😆 There‘s something about the term “hot milkshake” that just doesn‘t seem right... 5mo
Clwojick I don‘t think they branded it that way. That‘s just how I remember it tasting. Lol. @monalyisha they sold it for like 5+ years than started Coming out with all these fancy lattes and whatnot. 5mo
monalyisha @Clwojick Ha! Okay. Phew. 😅 So sorry for your loss, though! 5mo
80 likes11 comments
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Mynameisacolour
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@jas16 Thank you so much for the lovely #JB surprise!!! I really was so delighted and surprised to find this in the mailbox this afternoon! Your thoughtfulness has really made my day! 💛💛💛
This one is getting bumped to the top of the TBR. 😁

Jas16 I am so glad it arrived safely. I hope you enjoy it! 5mo
44 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Clwojick
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Two days left for week 1 of #BookFitnessChallenge, so even though I woke up, and wanted to immediately shove my brain back into my textbooks... I made myself keep up with (new) my morning routine. Tea, audiobook, walk to the lake. 💙

My thought of the day: Even when you think something‘s NOT going to work (matching my Archie tee & teal sneakers with my grey peplum trousers) TRY IT ANYWAYS! You never know. I ended up loving this outfit!

OrangeMooseReads Way to go! Keep up the good work! 5mo
AsYouWish Way to go!!!!🙌🏻💙👟 5mo
Laughterhp Sounds like a great morning routine! 5mo
See All 12 Comments
LoveToReadLiveToRead Sounds like a good routine, well done you!
5mo
Princess-Kingofkings The trousers look great! 5mo
Clwojick @Princess-Kingofkings Thanks! I found them at Walmart for $11! I also have them in black. 😊 5mo
Princess-Kingofkings @Clwojick that's the way to do it ~ find a pair that fits and but more colors 5mo
wanderinglynn Fantastic job! 🙌🏻 Way to stick with it. 👍🏻 5mo
4thhouseontheleft Way to go! I love that outfit combo, I have the same color Converse. 😃 5mo
CoverToCoverGirl I love these photos! 😎 I wish I had a lake to walk to! 5mo
BookwormAHN Still most stylish 👏🏻 5mo
tracey38 Love it! 5mo
90 likes12 comments
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Clwojick
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Tonight‘s audiobook! I‘ve been basically studying non stop since 4pm... I‘m going to make up some flash cards, and then I‘m off to sleep.

Hope your day was brilliant!

RamsFan1963 I love this book!! 5mo
Vivlio_Gnosi This #fiction book was a ton of fun! Loved it. Good choice. 5mo
CoverToCoverGirl 👊👍 5mo
100 likes3 stack adds3 comments
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Echo
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A story about an eclectic bookstore and a bookmark from an equally eclectic bookstore go hand in hand. Check out #ReedBooks if you ever happen to be in Birmingham, Alabama, USA

britt_brooke I adored this book! 6mo
12 likes1 comment
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Caterina
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May #tbr in my #bulletjournal #bujo. These are all in progress, so my goal is basically finish what I've started and then read whatever I want! I've already finished one! ☑️ #maytbr
(I wrote everything myself, but the stickers are from Planningwithkay on Etsy!)

wanderinglynn Beautiful journal! 💜 6mo
bewareofwords 😱 Your journal is gorgeous! 6mo
39 likes2 comments
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knotmagick
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I don't know what I was expecting when I started this book, but it wasn't this.

I ain't mad. 😎📚

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Caterina
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The downside: we have no power and all my devices are about to run out of battery. The upside: my dog is sleeping on my lap and my book is glow-in-the-dark. 😂

valeriegeary So many emotional swings! 😱😰🐶🐶 6mo
Lcsmcat I hope your power is restored soon! 6mo
41 likes2 comments
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Booksnchill
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I am packing and preparing for my annual one week painting trip- this time to my favorite place to vacation in the USA, San Francisco. Rewatching my SFmovies and packing my books- have read and listened to and watched the Tales of the City series but Mr. Penumbra is a first time read for me. I will be there on the 27th for Independent Bookstore Day so although I will be missing the day at Parnassus my second favorite is within walking distance😍📚

AlaMich Enjoy!! Don‘t forget warm clothes!! 🥶 6mo
Booksnchill @AlaMich ready for cold, fog, wind and rain- one day in Sonoma but otherwise mostly near the ocean! 6mo
AlaMich I grew up just north, and I know that you will (almost) never go wrong assuming SF will be cold, no matter the time of year. 6mo
kalinichta I miss San Francisco (and City Lights) so much. 💜 6mo
Leftcoastzen @kalinichta Me too!! I love Green Apple and Book Passage and Alexander Book Company and..... 6mo
83 likes5 comments
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Lauram
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I‘ve nearly made it through April work insanity and decided to have a mini #treatyoself day. The bing-reading kit will shape what‘s left of the weekend.

riversong153 That looks awesome!! 6mo
Crazeedi Penumbra great read! 6mo
rretzler I agreed with @Crazeedi - Penumbra was a great read. 6mo
77 likes3 comments
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wen4blu
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Up next. Pulled from my TBRRRS (to be read really really soon) pile.

janeycanuck Ha! Love your multi-TBR system 😊 7mo
DivineDiana 😂I have one of those piles too! 6mo
45 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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Paperback.Propensity
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#LiteraryLuck day 16 - Spell out March with Book Titles

[M]r Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore
[A]lias Hook
[R]aisins in Milk
[C]rank
[H]ere I am

This was a really fun one.
I have read them all except for Raisins in Milk, and Here I Am.

@Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @vkois88

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Pretty photo 💛💛 7mo
vkois88 💚💚💚 7mo
23 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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Samplergal
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Mehso-so

I enjoyed this before it turned weird. Not for me.

thebluestocking I couldn‘t get into this one, but I loved 7mo
BookNerd9906 Lol. Great review. ❤️ 7mo
102 likes2 comments
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Samplergal
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I started this last night and was enjoying it. I am now 70% in and it‘s crazy weird. Anybody else just give up on it? Or shall I just plow through?

BookishMarginalia I enjoyed the weird — you just have to go with it 🤷🏻‍♀️🤓 7mo
Erofan The book is really weird, but I loved it! 7mo
Samplergal Ok. I‘ll keep going. Not much of a fan of sci if or whatever you might call this. 😂 7mo
See All 7 Comments
KatieDid927 I enjoy crazy weird, and I also really liked Sourdough so this is only making me want to read this one more haha. 7mo
Susanita It‘s quirky! I loved it! 7mo
EclecticBookLover I finished it, but I wasn't crazy about. Just didn't quite work for me. Weird is a good description. 7mo
100 likes1 stack add7 comments
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Jovy
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Mehso-so

This should have totally worked for me! I'm the classic book and IT nerd so a bookstore plus google plus a puzzle to be solved is the perfect recipe for an awesome read. And it was for about 60% of the way and then I wasn't sure where it was going anymore. 🤔The audio was great, but overall just an ok read. #Booked2019 #remindsyouofyourhappyplace

BookNAround I‘m sorry this one didn‘t work better for you. I thoroughly enjoyed it but it was definitely a twist away from what I normally read. 7mo
Jovy @BookNAround Glad you enjoyed it! I probably had very high expectations 😅 7mo
Gissy Agree 100% 7mo
50 likes3 comments
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Leeamora

“But, Clay- sometimes discipline is the truest form of kindness”.

TrishB Hi 🙋‍♀️ welcome 7mo
Leeamora Thanks! 7mo
Weaponxgirl Welcome to Litsy 😊 7mo
See All 11 Comments
wanderinglynn Welcome to Litsy! 👋🏻 7mo
Tamra Welcome to the best book corner on the web! 7mo
ValkyrieAndHerBooks Welcome to Litsy!🎉📚💕 7mo
Chelleo Welcome to Litsy! Hope these #Litsytips by @RaimeyGallant http://bit.ly/litsytips and #LitsyHowTo videos: goo.gl/UrCpoU are helpful. There‘s so many fun things to do: book exchanges, buddy reads, photo challenges and more! 7mo
RaimeyGallant Welcome! 7mo
Eggs Welcome to Litsy 🤗 7mo
DebinHawaii Welcome to Litsy!! 🎉📚🎉Hope you enjoy it here! 7mo
22 likes1 stack add11 comments
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slategreyskies
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Pickpick

I‘m definitely going to have a book hangover from this one. I was completely absorbed. I‘m still finding it difficult to come back into the world around me. This one was very well done. Highly recommended! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️!!

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slategreyskies
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There is no immortality that is not built on friendship and work done with care.

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slategreyskies
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Good Morning, Litsy!!

I‘m having breakfast while listening to this #audiobook —-

32 likes1 stack add
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whats
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Pickpick

It was a really different -slightly odd-, but amazing story.

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