Snapshots - #37: It, Breathe, Mark Felt – The Man Who Brought Down the White House

It (2017), (♦♦♦♦): Four inseparable friends in middle school bond with other three newcomers. They all have in common that they are bullied by the same people. Over the course of one summer they'll fend off bullies and face a centuries-old demon in the form of a clown, named Pennywise, whom has been disappearing kids and terrorizing the town of Derry, Maine, every twenty-seven years since the town was founded.
Based on Stephen King's novel of the same title, It is a movie with a smart script and a sympathetic ensemble of nerds that deliver light humor, and deep thrills. It doesn't hurt that each and every character has his or her own arc, thus one gets to know their motivations and fears before Pennywise enters head on into the picture.
In a nod to 1980s movie classics such as The Goonies, and the Brat Pack ensemble, the newest adaptation of It takes place at the end of that decade, when it seems, at least from the Hollywood perspective, that every kid harbored a genius insi…

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan (♦♦♦♦½)

During the height of the latest recession, newly-minted designer Clay Jannon loses his job in a start-up company and is forced to screen job postings looking for a new position. He finds it at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. His job comes with three requirements that are not to be agreed upon lightly. Jannon is assigned the night shift.

As days go by, Jannon starts wondering what kind of establishment is this bookstore in which hardly anyone buys anything. The clientele is unusual and the stock eclectic leaning towards the strange.

Soon Jannon’s friends come to visit the store and his curiosity is piqued to the point of embarking (unbeknownst to him) in a quest to discover the existence of a secret fellowship and a centuries-old mystery.

I loved Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. I had so much fun that lost my sleep during the three nights I was reading the novel and I can effectively say that I haven’t had as much fun with a book since…ever?! When I wasn’t laughing out loud I was smiling at least.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is populated by quirky characters and has an even quirkier storyline, original, unique. It sparkles with wit and intelligence and makes techie talk so simple that you won’t need a degree in computer science or programming to understand it. It is a nerd’s dream of a novel; it’s “so uncool that is cool again”, as Jannon is so fond of saying. Is it possible that I just found my newest favorite book?

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore covers many topics--such as the power of friendship and how people in relationships change for better or worse-- but the love for books and the amazing reach of what science and technology can accomplish… those themes recur and run deep within the fibers of this unique and sparkly story.

By the way, the book cover glows in the dark, if that is not cool I don’t know what is!


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