All Henrico Reads 2020
As our day-to-day lives become increasingly driven by technology, our reverence for the hand-made and the artisanal seems to grow deeper. The rise of smartphones, Google, and Amazon coincided with the rise of craft beer, the fetishization of farmer’s markets, and a greater veneration of home cooking. Is it nostalgia, or is it something deeper? What does this say about our values? The tension between technology and craft in today’s America is explored in this year’s All Henrico Reads selection, Sourdough by Robin Sloan. The author will appear Thursday, April 2, 7 pm at Glen Allen High School for the twelfth annual All Henrico Reads author event.
Sourdough is the 2017 novel from Robin Sloan, the internationally-bestselling author of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore. Like Penumbra, Sourdough and its protagonist, Lois, are set in a San Francisco Bay Area sprinkled with a touch of the fantastic. Lois, a programmer at a robotic arm company, finds herself bequeathed a sourdough starter by neighborhood bakers, a gift that leads her on a culinary adventure with vocational, legal, and moral consequences. Sourdough is a “beautiful, small, sweet, quiet book” (NPR) that raises important questions about the nature of technology and the nature of human culture and creation. This thought-provoking, yet light-on-its-feet blend of bildungsroman, satire, science fiction, and fantasy was named one of the Best Books of 2017 by Southern Living, NPR, and the San Francisco Chronicle.
Praise for Sourdough
“Think of it like Candide without the pirates. And set in San Francisco. Wait, that's not quite right. It's like Fight Club meets The Great British Bake Off. It's like Fight Club if no one got punched. It's like Fight Club if Fight Club was written by someone concerned with a different, quieter kind of revolution, and if Fight Club was all about bread.” — NPR
“The novel opens a door on a world that’s both comforting and thrillingly odd.” — The Guardian
"Filled with crisp humor and weird but endearing characters." — Booklist
“It is that rare thing: a satire that has a love of what it satirizes while also functioning as a modern fairy tale about, of all things, the magic of certain carbohydrates.” — Los Angeles Times
"Delicious fun...a novel as delectable as its namesake.” — The Washington Post
Get the Book
Our libraries have lots of opportunities to meet and discuss this year's featured title. We hope you will join us!
Author Visit and Book Signing
April 2, Thursday, 7:00 – 8:30 PM
Glen Allen High School
10700 Staples Mill Road, Glen Allen
In partnership with Henrico County Public Schools and the Friends of Henrico County Public Library, we are proud to host author Robin Sloan for an informal discussion of his book and writing career. This event is free and open to the public, and no tickets or admission fee are required. Seating is limited, and available on a first-come, first-served basis.
About All Henrico Reads
All Henrico Reads is an annual reading program in which we encourage the Henrico community to all read the same book, then discuss it together—whether at Henrico Library book discussion groups, or on their own—and join us to hear the author speak at a public event. By bringing people together over a common topic, we aim to encourage a sense of community, promote literacy, and foster a love for the connecting power of literature.
Since 2008, we have partnered with Henrico County Public Schools and the Friends of Henrico County Public Library to host the author of our featured book at a public event. We thank them for their support.
Previous All Henrico Reads Titles
2016 — One Amazing Thing by Chitra Divakaruni
2015 — Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones
2014 — Guests on Earth by Lee Smith
2013 — The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani
2012 — The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
2011 — Wish You Well by David Baldacci
2009 — Feed by M.T. Anderson
2008 — How the García Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez
2007 — Kindred by Octavia Butler