Lois Clary is a software engineer at General Dexterity, a San Francisco robotics company with world-changing ambitions. She codes all day and collapses at night, her human contact limited to the two brothers who run the neighborhood hole-in-the-wall from which she orders dinner every evening. Then, disaster! Visa issues. The brothers close up shop, and fast. But they have one last delivery for Lois: their culture, the sourdough starter used to bake their bread. She must keep it alive, they tell her—feed it daily, play it music, and learn to bake with it.

Lois is no baker, but she could use a roommate, even if it is a needy colony of microorganisms. Soon, not only is she eating her own homemade bread, she’s providing loaves daily to the General Dexterity cafeteria. The company chef urges her to take her product to the farmer’s market, and a whole new world opens up.

When Lois comes before the jury that decides who sells what at Bay Area markets, she encounters a close-knit club with no appetite for new members. But then, an alternative emerges: a secret market that aims to fuse food and technology. But who are these people, exactly?

Sourdough Details

Book TitleSourdough
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Sourdough Reviews

  • Larry H
    Dec 31, 1969

    Larry H

    I'm between 4 and 4.5 stars here. Well, now that we've gotten that out of the way...The above GIF probably clues you in on one of the reasons I requested this book from NetGalley the minute I saw it. (My obsessive love of carbs aside, I was a huge fan of Robin Sloan's last book, Mr. Pe...

  • karen
    Dec 31, 1969


    DRAMATIC BREAD!!!review to come post-vacation/when sober - whichever comes first. ...

  • PattyMacDotComma
    Dec 31, 1969


    4.5★“She explained that a software sieve had scanned my résumé and flagged it as promising, and that she agreed with the computer’s assessment. Here’s a thing I believe about people my age: we are the children of Hogwarts, and more than anything, we just want ...

  • Carol (Bookaria)
    Dec 31, 1969

    Carol (Bookaria)

    This book is about a woman baking bread and how this process transforms her and her life. I know, sounds simple, right?Well, if you have baked bread you know there's a lot more to it than just putting the ingredients together. First, you have to understand that there is something di...

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    Dec 31, 1969

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    A sourdough starter opens the door to a mysterious underground world in near future San Francisco. Like most Sloan stories, this requires a healthy amount of suspending disbelief, but worth it. This was a very fun read, in fact I feel I should use the word "delightful." I want a spicy ...

  • Cindy (Thoughts From a Page) Burnett
    Dec 31, 1969

    Cindy (Thoughts From a Page) Burnett

    4.5 starsI absolutely loved this unique, beautiful, frequently hilarious, life-affirming book. I am a huge fan of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore and was thrilled to have the opportunity to read Robin Sloan’s new work early; thankfully, Sourdough does not disappoint. Lois Cl...

  • Dorie
    Dec 31, 1969


    Oh what a wonderful, funny, insightful, delightful and page turning read this book by Robin Sloan was! I had read Mr. Penumbra’s 24 hour bookstore and had always hoped that it had found a wide audience. This book is even better!Our main character Lois has done everything right. Sh...

  • Book of the Month
    Dec 31, 1969

    Book of the Month

    The Life-Changing Magic of CarbsBy Judge Dana SchwartzBaking has always seemed a form of magic to me. You combine ingredients that you've had sitting in the pantry all along—nothing in my hat, nothing up my sleeve—and by stirring them in the right ratio and plopping in the ov...

  • Katie
    Dec 31, 1969


    I was extremely excited to pick up a copy of Sourdough at BookExpo a mere 3 days after hearing of its existence in the first place. I loved Mr Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore because of its silliness, its adventure, and the tone of Robin Sloan's writing. Sourdough is similar in tone, but ...

  • Cynthia
    Dec 31, 1969


    Come on. This book is about food and tech and San Francisco. What's not to love?! (Well, maybe the shout to Cole Valley at the end of the book. That neighborhood is supposed to stay secret..). Robin Sloan has this remarkable ability to write about real stuff and interweave made-up stuf...