Reviews by cherylo
Starts out a little slow
Sophie Kinsella's books are the romance equivalent of the mystery genre known as the 'cozy' from what I can tell; but perhaps that is an apt description of all chick lit. I was pleasantly surprised by her novel I've Got Your Number, so I decided to give this one a try. With characters you love to hate, and a protagonist who is clueless about what (and who) she wants, the formula holds true. I was not sure at first that I would stick this one out, but once the plot got moving, I couldn't put it down. I thoroughly enjoyed the exploration of the concept of secrets and what intimacy means in various kinds of relationships.
Très drôle
Steve Martin's comedy persona is an odd combination of pseudo-egomaniac, everyman, and erudite literary figure, so I suspect his humor is not for everyone. Even so, I adored some of the material in this book, such as the "sing-a-longs," and also his candor in explaining he didn't really get Twitter at first. A quick, light read.
Another bizarre turn
From the dangers of allowing library fines to accumulate to the contemplation of gourds, the wacky and sublime create a melange unseen anywhere else. Cowboys, Robin of Loxley, and African explorers alike do the unexpected. You will never view the line between normal and abnormal quite the same. It becomes much more of a squiggle.
Beyond Bizzaro
Whether you are looking for a primitive device to shred beetroot or steel pants, you will find it here. Cowboys, snoods, and vikings blowing soap bubbles also populate this bizarre collection of comics. Some truly inspired juxtapositions will be seen, and a lot of puzzlement will be your companion.
Several years ago, I read a short story entitled "Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour bookstore" that was a sample piece posted by Robin Sloan as the come-on for a Kickstarter called "Robin writes a book, and you get a copy..." The book produced from that Kickstarter, Anabel Scheme, was okay, but I felt it did not entirely live up to the quality of the teaser short story. When Robin emailed to his Kickstarter followers and fans that he was expanding Mr. Penumbra to novel length, I literally squeed. I have not been disappointed at all. For design and data geeks, and, I suspect, every 20- or 30-something freelancer as well, there is a lot to be excited about and recognize in this book. The humor is dry and nerdy, just how I prefer it. It does not stop me from enjoying books from either of them, but it should be noted that, like Neal Stephenson, endings are not Robin Sloan's string suit.

Also, I'm very glad I checked out a physical book to read, even though I purchased the novel for Kindle immediately on release, because the cover is subtly glow-in-the-dark, for extra cool factor. I may have to buy a physical book now too.