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A fantasy, a mystery, an adventure, a secret society, and a little romance too

I just listened to a fabulous debut book, “Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore” by Robin Sloan. After techie Clay Jannon is laid off from his San Francisco web design job during the recession, he lands an unlikely job as the night clerk at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore.

After only a few nights, Clay notices that the bookstore’s clientele is rather – hmm, how to put this – rather unusual. There are only a few customers every night, all visit frequently, and each one seeks an obscure, dusty volume from strange nooks and corners of the jam-packed store. Stranger still, Clay is required to write a complete detailed description of all customers and the title of the book each one seeks in a massive log book, one in a set of many.

With a lot of time on his hands during his shift, Clay begins to explore the book store, the log book, and the books themselves. He pulls his friends into helping him complete a complex computer analysis of the customers’ behavior and discovers secrets that extend far beyond the bookstore. Enter this bookstore you’ll never want to leave for a fun and entertaining read. You can find it at Waukee Public Library.

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