So I recently clipped through Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan. It was a fun little book about books and about what we do with our lives. If you've ever read Foucault's Pendulum, imagine a more cheerful upbeat version and you've got a good handle on it.
Clay Jannon is a recently unemployed graphics designer looking for any kind of job he can get. Walking around San Francisco, he comes across a small, skinny store called Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour bookstore and he winds up landing a job working the graveyard shift. Not many customers from 10pm-6am and when they do come in, they don't buy anything. Instead, they return a book to the store and Clay makes the perilous climb up into the stacks for a book that they request. A book, like the one being returned, that's never sold and doesn't appear in any database that Clay can find.
Eventually, Clay starts to dig into the mystery and with the help of his talented friends and acquaintances, he uncovers a secret society all based around ancient texts (a bit like the Rosicrucians). But while the folks in the long robes laboriously work through the secret messages of their order, Clay is dating a girl at Google and has a slightly different approach.
I liked this book. I liked how it turned the "secret society" genre on its ear and produces a rather upbeat, positive, human story about what and who motivates us. It moved along quickly and kept up a good tempo. It's easy to brush of Clay as having a ludicrous number of connections that help him resolve plot points, but while I'm not dating anyone from Google, there are a lot of fabulous and talented people in my life and that's one of the things the book drives at.
Anyway, a cheerful read and recommended.