By Robin Sloan
Genre: Adult Fiction
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017
Of course this title grabbed my attention right away, my being a bread baker and all. It was suggested to me by a friend whose book club (my former book club before I started working on Mondays) was going to be reading it. I finished up the current book I was reading and dove into this one.
I wasn’t disappointed.
Whether you are a bread baker or not, this is a fun book about one woman finding herself. Lois is a systems programmer for robots. Yes, robots. Not the Lost in Space kind, but the kind that perform tasks in factories. Lois does not lead a terribly exciting existence, so when the opportunity to branch out not only into a new field of robotics, but also a new town, she jumps at it. She will be working in “Proprioception”.
“Proprioception, which is, I think, a beautiful word – pro-pri-o-cep-tion! – and also the process by which organisms judge the position of their own body parts in space.”
The revelations in this book have little to do with her job, but more to do with two young men Lois meets through food. It will take a bit of time in the story to deduce what the title has to do with her journey. This book was utterly unique in the storytelling. The diverse characters, their background stories, their jobs, their existence. I am drawn to quirky fiction and this book boasts tons of it.
Did you know there was such a thing as a Lois Club? Or a Mazg? Perhaps just flights of fancy, this book covers the fantastic as well as the mundane. Robot arms that resemble human arms. Cheese sporting pink or teal veins (think blue cheese only wilder.) I’m not sure if any of these things exist in real life, but they sure do exist in Lois’s world. And that is the fun of this book. Sourdough has one foot in reality and another in fantasy, not total fantasy like unicorns & dragons, but fantastical things that don’t quite exist yet in our world. It is what makes this book utterly unique and fun.
“Everything we eat tells a tale of ingenuity and creation, domination and injustice – and does so more vivdly than any other artifact, any other medium.”
I wish I could find one bad thing to say about this book, but I honestly can’t. It’s well written, it’s funny, it’s sad, it’s different, it’s interesting. It’s just a good read. Now that I’ve read Sourdough, I will likely add Robin Sloan’s other books to my “to read” list. If this is an example of the fun to be found, I’m in.
**quotes are taken directly from the book