What We’re Reading: Sourdough

Sourdough by Robin Sloan book cover

Available on the New Book Shelf at the Durham Tech Main Campus Library

Title: Sourdough
Author: Robin Sloan
Genre: Uh… contemporary tech fiction with a light touch of magical realism?
Read by: Meredith Lewis (Orange County Campus Librarian) & Courtney Bippley (Main Campus Librarian)

Why did you choose to read this book?

M: Honestly? The description was really interesting– a San Francisco robotics engineer “adopts” a mysterious international sourdough starter and gets involved in a secret underground farmer’s market. With a weirdo plot like that, this book could have been really charming or really stupid. (Spoiler: It was super charming.)

C: Meredith told me about it and said it was a happy book. I hadn’t read a happy book in a long time so that was very appealing.

What did you like about it?

M: I’ve been not-unfairly accused of reading too many sad and depressing books this year. (But they were good depressing books!) I needed something lighter and happier and this book fit that bill perfectly. The characters weren’t evil, the plot was interesting, the outcome was satisfying– it just worked. And it was happy! I read most of it with a bit of a grin on my face. (How often do you get to say that about a book?)

C: Oprah saying "I love bread."

Did it remind you of any other book, or a movie?

M: It kinda reminded me a little of Strega Nona and Like Water for Chocolate, but that’s only because the sourdough starter takes on a life of its own.  

C: It reminded me of the 1999 movie Simply Irresistible. The movie was more of a romance than this book was but the theme of a [magical item here] helping your cooking skills and your life is similar.

Who would you recommend the book to?

M: Anyone who likes food novels, contemporary fiction, or pretty much anyone– it really was a great book. In fact, I think I have recommended it to almost everyone. 

C: Anyone who likes easy reads and magical realism. Or who just wants a nice palate cleanser book.

What would you pair this book with? 

M: Some fresh sourdough. Duh. (Preferably non-sentient.)

C: A trip to the farmer’s market and some spicy take-out.


About Meredith Lewis

Meredith is a reference librarian at Durham Tech on both the Main and Orange County Campuses. She likes fantasy, science-fiction, and historical fiction and is trying to be a better reader of non-fiction (just after she finishes that stack of novels on her bedside table...)