Thursday, October 1, 2015

“Inspired by Reading” Book Club, September 2015

“Inspired by Reading” is a book club established by artist Andrew Thornton. Members read the month’s selection, chosen by Andrew, then create something inspired by the book.

September’s selection: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan.
Publisher’s description:

A Winner of the Alex Award, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction, named a Best Book of the Year by NPR, Los Angeles Times, and San Francisco Chronicle

“The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon away from life as a San Francisco web-design drone and into the aisles of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore. But after a few days on the job, Clay discovers that the store is more curious than either its name or its gnomic owner might suggest. The customers are few, and they never seem to buy anything--instead, they "check out" large, obscure volumes from strange corners of the store. Suspicious, Clay engineers an analysis of the clientele's behavior, seeking help from his variously talented friends. But when they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, they discover the bookstore's secrets extend far beyond its walls. Rendered with irresistible brio and dazzling intelligence, Robin Sloan's Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore is exactly what it sounds like: an establishment you have to enter and will never want to leave.”

What I loved most about this book is that the author is clearly technologically astute, yet expresses wonder and deep appreciation for the beauty of the printed word and the brilliance of its inventors. My favorite quote:
“There is no immortality that is not built on friendship and work done with care.”

When I read a book for this club, I highlight words and passages that provide images.  For this book, my highlights are dominated by three words: “leather”, “font”, and “Google”. Hmm. I’d been admiring the leather strips and pewter findings in my local bead stores --a shout-out to Colleen at Bead Breakout for her great suggestions!  I decided to make a cuff using gray and black-with-silver leather strips, a magnetic pewter clasp engraved with a swirly design (“the cloud”), some crystals in Google logo colors, and a charm engraved with a serifed "M", for Manutius (or Marie ;-)). 
See Andrew's blog to view others' inspirations!