Sourdough by Robin Sloan

I found this book when searching for books about sourdough a few months ago. I looked at the reviews and realized that this was the same author as Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore. I did like that book and remember certain unique passages in it even though I don’t remember all the plot details well.

This was a very enjoyable read and it was fast. I would have finished it one sitting easily too. This is the kind of book that gets me out of a book ruts as I have been in on and off for most of 2017.

What was personally enjoyable for me were all the bread baking references as I knew all about the techniques, a lot of the science, and even the various allusions to websites and figures in the bread baking movements. I got a lot more of the jokes because I have been exposed to that culture. As a bread baker who does keep an active sourdough starter, this book hit me close to the heart. In fact, I took a break to eat my own sourdough baked bread while reading this book. I did love the little magical realism aspect of the book’s sourdough culture. It sounded wonderful and I love the idea of bread as a unifier as well.

I liked the female protagonist Lois. I wanted more from her life and reflections in fact. The ending was a bit rushed and felt a bit tacked on. It was on the bombastic side and I would have been more glad of a quiet introspective end to things. Unsurprisingly, like the last of Sloan’s book, the best supporting character was the librarian or researcher. A lot of the other side characters were flatly drawn.

All in all, I really liked this novel and look forward to reading more from Sloan in the future.

Read December 29-30, 2017.

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