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Friday, September 11, 2020


About the book:
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 her—feed 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, she’s providing loaves daily to the General Dexterity cafeteria. The company chef urges her to take her product to the farmer’s 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?
Leavened by the same infectious intelligence that made Robin Sloan’s Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore such a sensation, while taking on even more satisfying challenges, Sourdough marks the triumphant return of a unique and beloved young writer.
Lois is an introvert. She codes all day for a robotics company, even eating their nutritious paste instead of buying groceries. For dinner, she orders take-out every evening from a mysteriously run neighborhood restaurant with no address. When the brothers who own the restaurant have to close suddenly, they leave their sourdough culture with Lois. Their instructions? Keep it alive, feed it, play music and listen to it sing. And bake with it.
Having no experience, Lois bakes sourdough bread. She learns about this starter and what makes it sing and grow. She discovers that faces appear in her loaves which makes it unique and special. She begins selling it to the company cafeteria and decides to try her luck at a local farmer's market. She discovers secret markets, weird technology, funky people and a new life. All because of sourdough.
I loved the quirkiness of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore and so I was excited to read about Lois' adventures. This did not disappoint. And as a Bay Area native, I adored the setting. The secondary characters were just as awesome as Lois. So many creative personalities, so many quirks. 
As Lois begins to discover herself, she finds a life worth living and a purpose beyond anything she'd ever imagined. This book was just fun, full of magical realism, yet thoughtful and endearing. Delightful to read and easily recommended. 
I purchased my own copy.
Read 4/20
* * * * *
5/5 Stars

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