Sourdough

Sourdough

Book - 2017
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Lois Clary is a software engineer at General Dexterity, a San Francisco robotics company with world-changing ambitions. She codes all day and collapses at night, her human contact limited to the two brothers who run the neighborhood hole-in-the-wall from which she orders dinner every evening. Then, disaster! Visa issues. The brothers close up shop, and fast. But they have one last delivery for Lois: their culture, the sourdough starter used to bake their bread. She must keep it alive, they tell herfeed it daily, play it music, and learn to bake with it. Lois is no baker, but she could use a roommate, even if it is a needy colony of microorganisms. Soon, not only is she eating her own homemade bread, shes providing loaves daily to the General Dexterity cafeteria. The company chef urges her to take her product to the farmers market, and a whole new world opens up. When Lois comes before the jury that decides who sells what at Bay Area markets, she encounters a close-knit club with no appetite for new members. But then, an alternative emerges: a secret market that aims to fuse food and technology. But who are these people, exactly?
Publisher: New York : MCD / Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780374203108
0374203105
9780374716431
Branch Call Number: FIC Sloan, R 2017
Characteristics: 259 pages ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: Sour dough

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Michael Colford Mar 21, 2018

This delightful tale of food, robotics and microorganisms Robin Sloan, author of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore is filled with charm, magical realism, and science. It revolves around the unique starter for a sourdough bread in a future very near to our own.

Lois works at a company trying to perfect a robot arm, and while she has slipped to eating the "Slurry" or nutrient paste, that many use for nourishment, she discovers a nearby take-out restaurant that offers a "double spicy" along with the most delicious sourdough bread she has ever tasted. She is also briefly entranced by the brothers who own this restaurant, and before they leave San Fransisco, they share with her the starter for the bread, which changes her life forever.

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Edisto
Mar 09, 2018

I thoroughly enjoyed this quirky little book. Anytime I stay up late to read a book it has to be a good one. Sourdough has a little bit of sci-fi fantasy magic in it which is fine by me. Who wouldn't love being in the "Lois Club"?

j
jontalk
Dec 23, 2017

As expected after having read "Mr. Penumbra" Robin delivers a lighthearted, fun and interesting story based here making it easy to relate with. I couldn't help but think the character who surprises Lois in the end was created using Alice Waters as the foundation. Lots of fun, a quick read and a good book for the beach or anywhere else.

f
Fionabenjamin
Dec 20, 2017

I found this book absolutely delightful. I read it after hearing Sloan interviewed on a podcast. As someone who has worked as a vendor at many of the farmers markets that are mentioned I found his descriptions of farmers market culture both accurate and hilarious. If you are a food lover you will probably like this book, especially if you don't mind a little magical realism. Easy, quick read too.

m
mini_b
Nov 08, 2017

I loved 'Mr. Penumbra's...' and was eagerly awaiting Sloan's latest book. Loved it! I love books where there is a strong grounding in reality with a big streak of magic running through it.
As others have mentioned, it's beautifully, descriptively and imaginatively written, and at the same time, a smooth, quick read. I 'rationed' my reading of it so that I could enjoy it longer and mull over the happenings.

p
pocolocopadre
Nov 06, 2017

I found the book to be a little disappointing. It was a quick, easy read but somewhat lacking in substance. I thought the ending strange to say the least.

Cynthia_N Oct 26, 2017

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It was quirky and interesting and now I need to find some Mazg sourdough starter!!

SnoIsleLib_KathyS Oct 25, 2017

Read-alike to "Like Water for Chocolate": perfect for those who like a little magic with their meals

e
EricaReynolds
Oct 22, 2017

Creative, quirky, fun, well-written and totally inspired. One of my favorite books of the year.

Marlowe Oct 05, 2017

Pleasantly surprised by Sloan's new book. I loved the mystery of "Mr. Penumbra's..." and was definitely looking for another tale of intrigue. Here Sloan offers us culture; bacterial and social. Through food, baking, and eating, Sloan meditates on society - whether the tug of the past, or the lure of the future. This is also a delightful coming of age story, filled with love and friendship. This is an easy and fun read, that made me hungry the entire time.

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yarrow_
Nov 25, 2017

The house was large and deeply lived in, all the shelves and surfaces stacked with boxes and books, framed pictures, old greeting cards set up like tent cities. If there was a spectrum of spaces defined at one end by my barren apartment, this marked the other extreme. Every single surface told a story. A long one. With digressions.

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yarrow_
Nov 25, 2017

Here's a thing I believe about people my age: we are the children of Hogwarts, and more than anything, we just want to be sorted.

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