Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan: Fun, Quirky Bookworm’s Delight!

Mr Penumbras 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan Book Cover Image

Rating: 4 stars Category: Mystery/ Adventure Synopsis: Clay Jannon has just lost his marketing position after the company went bust. Unemployed and increasingly desperate, he takes a job as the night clerk at Mr Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore. His eccentric employer has only 2 requirements: 1. A detailed record of every single customer must be made in the ancient logbook at the front desk. 2. Clay must never open any of the books. One night, when there are no customers, Clay can no longer suppress his curiosity and opens one of the forbidden books. Its contents will draw him into a centuries-old unsolved mystery...

Archive Nostalgia: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley Book Cover Image

Yesterday marked the birthday of Mary Shelley and the perfect time to bring her classic gothic tale, Frankenstein, back into the light... Victor Frankenstein is a scientist obsessed with the miracle of life. In an intricate but ghastly experiment, he endeavours to discover the nature of life itself by resurrecting a cobbled human corpse. The resulting creation haunts him from the secluded Scottish coastline to the breath-taking lakes of Switzerland, causing us to question the very nature of humanity.

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes: Science Fiction with a Big Heart

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes Book Cover

Algernon is no ordinary lab mouse – scientists have performed a pioneering experiment to exponentially increase his intelligence. Charlie is a man with learning difficulties working as a cleaner in a bakery. He longs for a higher IQ, believing it will make him feel more equal to those around him and is to become the experiment’s first human test subject. It opens up a world previously closed to him, but Charlie soon learns that increasing IQ is too simplistic an approach to solve the complexities of human emotions and relationships. With Algernon’s behaviour also becoming more erratic, Charlie’s future looks increasingly uncertain… I have mentioned previously on Miscellany Pages my prejudice against science fiction. Too often, I find the genre crosses a line of “weirdness” that alienates me. However, a friend at book club was so enthusiastic about Flowers for Algernon that I felt I had no other choice but to put aside my snobby sci-fi misgivings. I am so glad I did.