Sloan, Robin. Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Book Store
Clay Jannon, an out of work web/graphic designer, ends up taking a job as the night clerk at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, a used bookstore tucked away on a San Francisco street. He soon discovers that this store is unique. In addition to the shelves of relatively normal stock up front, there are huge towering shelves full of strange, seemingly encrypted books in the back. There is a small contingent of peculiar people—customers? Members of some odd book club?—who come in at all hours of the day and night requesting specific books from those odd shelves. In his spare time, Clay begins to build a 3D computer-generated model of the store and begins to find strange patterns in the borrowing habits of these odd customers and their odd books. Soon, he finds himself caught up in a mystery dating back to the earliest days of printing, a vast hidden code that has yet to be decrypted. Those trying believe it may hold the key to eternal life itself. But Clay would just settle for a good job with good friends and a pretty girlfriend.
Aptly mingling the latest and greatest of modern technology—Clay’s girlfriend is a Google employee and all-around tech wiz, Clay’s best friend owns a 3D modeling company specializing in accurate depictions of human anatomy in animation—with the oldest and most enduring technology—books themselves—this book will appeal to a wide audience. Fans of The Night Circus will find some of that book’s unique whimsy on display here as well.