Sourdough by Robin Sloan


Hey, did you guys know that I really like weird fiction? Like, really really like it. Give me your straight fantasy, yes. Give me your hard sci-fi, your space opera, your military sci-fi. But also, also-the weird ideas. The strange worlds. Your trucks powered by bugs, your aliens that can only speak the truth and only through two mouths, your strange creeping invasion, your hippo plantations in the Mississippi; I want them all. I make the grabby hands at them.

It is not surprising at all, then, that I loved Sourdough. It's got a weird/alien/sentient/magical sourdough starter for goodness sake. This book was recommended to me when I started baking last year, and yeah, it was right up my alley because of that too. Like, I don't ever not want to be baking, because there's not much more satisfying than eating bread that you've baked yourself, but this book made me want to bake even more. It's got this theme about the satisfaction of working with your hands and making something for yourself, just for the joy of making something running through it that I also found compelling. I tap away at a computer doing tasks for someone else most of the day at my day job, and while it's certainly the best day job I've had so far, it doesn't satisfy like baking, or knitting, or writing my own opinions and made-up worlds down does.

This book also has some absolutely amazing scene-setting, some beautiful prose; I've never been to San Francisco, but I certainly feel like I know it now. Not the street-level detail but the feel, the energy. Plus, Sloan accurately captures the shock of going from the Midwest to California for the first time. In my case it was Illinois to L.A. and only for a vacation, I can deeply relate to the "verdant vertical shock of California." The Midwest is flat, and then you go out west and suddenly the ground is 3D! It's amazing.

Anyway, I really liked this book! It's weird, it's fun, it's easy to read, and it leaves you with a happy want-to-bake-or-create sort of feeling. I highly recommend this one.

5 out of 5 Stars on Goodreads.