Dear SOURDOUGH by Robin Sloan: A new bizarre, heart-warming favorite

Dear Sourdough by Robin Sloan:

I decided to listen to your audiobook on a whim one day after seeing its gorgeous cover design and reading its enticing blurb: a story about a software engineer at a robotics company in San Francisco who is given a seemingly magical sourdough starter and ends up uncovering a secret and potentially sinister underground food market? To say I was intrigued would be an understatement. I expected you to be a fun, enjoyable read.

I did not expect you to become a new favorite of mine. Which you absolutely did.

For some reason, you just really resonated with me when I read you. I didn’t expect to be so enthralled by your story like I was. I listed to you at the beginning of the chaos that was April 2020, and you were just the book I needed to read in the midst of everything that was happening.

To start, your premise is so creative. Your plot went in a direction that completely took me by surprise, but I was so into it. Sloan did an excellent job of slowly introducing quasi-magical elements bit by bit. I say “magical” for lack of a better word–you’re not quite a fantasy book, and you’re not quite science fiction, but you’re also not quite realistic either. You actually start off kind of sad and serious: Lois, the main character, realizes she is unhappy with her coding job because she spends all of her time working and has no other interests, friends, or hobbies outside of work. When the mysterious sourdough starter arrives in her life, the bizarreness of the plot gradually unfolds. Yet your wackiness somehow never felt too over-the-top or ridiculous.

“Here’s a thing I believe about people my age: we are the children of Hogwarts, and more than anything, we just want to be sorted.”

Sourdough by Robin Sloan

I also loved all of your little details, especially the Lois Club. Lois was always told growing up that she could find a little club of Lois’s in any city she moved to (also, THIS IS A REAL THING?!?!), and she finds one in San Francisco to meet with on a regular basis. Something about this little group of old ladies named Lois made me so happy. I want to join a Holly club!

Moreover, I adored Sloan’s writing. It is witty and honest and the voice of Lois really shines through. Quotes like these made me think about baking from a whole new perspective:

“Baking, by contrast, was solving the same problem over and over again, because every time, the solution was consumed. I mean, really: chewed and digested. Thus, the problem was perhaps the point.”

“There had to be a scale somewhere–the scale of stars, the scale of far-off cosmic super-beings–upon which we ourselves, we humans with our cities and bridges and subterranean markets, would look like the lactobacilli and yeast.”

You’re a book about so many things: discovering your passion, following what makes you happy, listening to your gut instincts, re-centering yourself. And baking bread, of course: you taught me more about yeast than any science class I’ve ever attended. More than your wild plot, I suppose that this deeper aspect of you was the thing I found most surprising: you resonated with me at a time when everything around me was uncertain. You reminded me of the value of carving out time in a busy schedule to do the things you love, and that you never know where life will take you.

You were so wacky and whimsical and witty and entertaining that I found myself constantly thinking about you in between reading you–and I still find myself thinking about you all these weeks later. I can already tell that I’ll be rereading you in the future.

Until next time, Sourdough.

Yours,

HOLLY

27 responses to “Dear SOURDOUGH by Robin Sloan: A new bizarre, heart-warming favorite”

  1. Love how your wrote your review as a letter to the book. So unique 😍 fab review Holly, this sounds like an interesting read!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much!! ❤ I love writing reviews as letters, they're so much fun and you can talk about so much!

      Like

  2. I first heard about this book some time ago, but I hadn’t thought about it until recently. Reading your review makes me want to get the book right now so I can read it too! It does seem like the perfect time to read a book like this.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Right! That’s how it felt while I was reading it–like it was the perfect time. Hope you enjoy it if you pick it up! 🙂

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      1. I have placed it on hold at the library!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. The first time I read a synopsis for this book it sounded too wacky for my taste, but after seeing Dini’s and your glowing reviews, I’m taking a second look. 🙂 Great review!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you!! 🙂 Hope you enjoy it if you pick it up!

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  4. I loved this book (and the audiobook)! Glad you did, too! I might have to reread this soon. Great review 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! I totally agree–I listened to the audiobook as well, and I’ve actually been thinking of buying a physical copy so I can reread it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I bought one as soon as I finished the audiobook. I haven’t reread it yet, but it makes me happy to see it on my shelves 😊

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s such a great read!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Jessica C Writes Avatar
    Jessica C Writes

    This makes me so so excited to read it and this post was so well written :)) So happy to hear how much you enjoyed this!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ahh thank you so much!! ❤ Definitely let me know what you think of Sourdough whenever you get around to reading it!! I'd love to hear your thoughts!

      Like

  6. Oh lovely that this became a new favourite and that you’re still thinking about this weeks later. I really like the premise as well, so I’m curious about this one. Fantastic review!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much! ❤

      Like

  7. Wow! I so look forward to reading Sloan’s books now. Love your review! 💜

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Woow, I really love the reviews 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

  9. […] Sourdough by Robin Sloan. This book is aptly titled because it feels like a warm, soft loaf of bread: comforting, cozy, and delightful. I adored this book in an unexpected way, in large part because of its emphasis on going after what you’re truly passionate about. {My review} […]

    Like

  10. […] 8. Sourdough by Robin Sloan. This review was a blast to write–I had so much fun gushing about how unexpectedly fantastic Sourdough was. It’s always a great time writing about a new favorite! {My review} […]

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  11. This was a fun book–I enjoyed reviewing it as well. And, the Lois Club was my favorite part!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad to hear that you enjoyed this book as well! The Lois Club was SO fun 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. […] Sourdough by Robin Sloan. I listened to this audiobook on a whim, not quite sure what to expect. A few hours of listening later, I was completely enthralled. Sourdough is charming and bizarre and unexpectedly inspirational. If you ever need a little pep talk to go out there and do what you’re truly passionate about, then this is the novel for you. {My review} […]

    Like

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