- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: MCD; First Edition edition (September 5, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0374203105
- ISBN-13: 978-0374203108
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 279 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,885 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Sourdough: A Novel Hardcover – September 5, 2017
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"The Other Woman" by Sandie Jones
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An Amazon Best Book of September 2017: Bread is life as the saying goes, and it certainly is life-changing for software engineer-turned-baker, Lois Clary. As Robin Sloan’s latest novel opens, Lois gets a plum gig working at a tech company that specializes in robotics. The money is good, but the longer Lois stays in the role, the more she feels like the product she’s working on. Her only respite is a neighborhood takeout place she orders from each evening, run by two infinitely amiable brothers. When they are forced to flee the country due to visa issues, Lois is entrusted with something that jogs her from her dispassionate existence: a sourdough starter. Armed with this magical mixture of flour and water (it really is magic—it even sings!), Lois--whose fridge and gastronomic knowledge has heretofore been utterly barren—begins to bake. Applying herself earnestly and enthusiastically to the task, Lois finds that she excels at it, and soon she is foisting the fruits of her labor onto eager, gluten-tolerant co-workers, one of whom encourages her to hawk her wares at a local farmer’s market. The cutthroat committee rejects her, but Lois is quickly courted by a mysterious marketplace that ends up exploiting both her tech savvy, and culinary pluck. If all of this sounds a bit out there, it is. In the best way. And you’ll need to steel your suspension of disbelief for a stunner of an ending, of Stay Puft Marshmallow Man proportions. But Robin Sloan’s Sourdough is quite simply delightful. Its overarching message of the importance of pursuing a fulfilling, meaningful life is one you will loave. --Erin Kodicek, Amazon Book Review
From School Library Journal
Like Sloan's debut, Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, this novel twists new and old worlds together. General Dexterity, a robotics company in San Francisco, burns out its bright young employees on 12-hour shifts and feeds them a gray sludge called Slurry. Enter Lois Clary, the company's new software engineer, fresh from Michigan, whose social life is at an all-time low. Alone each night, she cheers up when Beo, the takeout guy, delivers delicious, spicy soup from Clement Street Soup and Sourdough. He's nicknamed her "number one customer!" for her loyalty. But Beo and his brother, the cook, are in a hurry to leave the country, and one evening they deliver more than her order—they give her the family's starter for their sourdough bread and urge her to carry on their tradition. Lois enters the competitive foodie world of hip San Francisco with a recipe from long ago and the means to change her life. She also gets some help from the women of the Lois Club, who offer comic relief and some sage advice. Laced with clever pop culture references, this humorous, richly plotted novel features unforgettable characters and imparts an important lesson: you can't succeed in the modern world without respecting the old one. VERDICT Highly recommended for all YA collections.—Georgia Christgau, Middle College High School, Long Island City, NY
Top customer reviews
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I heartily recommend this book to those with a willing imagination.
If of the above makes any kind of sense to you, or you just enjoy a good uplifting and non-dark read, give this one a try.
And then I realized. It's bacteria and fungus. Sloan managed to make me think bacteria and fungus was magical and quirky and likable and scary.
It starts slow. I put it down after 2 pages and nearly didn't pick it up again. And then yesterday I remembered that Sloan has already proven his worth to me with Mr. Penumbra and so I picked it up again and did not regret it. Push ahead. Meet the starter.
Clearly I am in the minority given all of the positive reviews of this book but this one was not for me.
The book started off as a fun adventure and there were some humorous aspects to the story. The ending was less than satisfying unfortunately and the whole book just left me flat. Cute premise but just didn't work for me. It was nice to have a woman as a central character not built around gender-based stereotypes.