Book Review: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

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24hr bookstoreMr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore

Written by Robin Sloan 
Published September 26, 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Genre/Topics: Adult Fiction, Mystery, Books, Technology
288 pages 

Three Word Book Review: Fun, Humorous, Mysterious

Clay Jannon recently lost his job as a web designer for NewBagel Company. He’s searched online for jobs with no luck until he stumbles upon a simple help wanted sign outside Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore. It actually is open 24 hours and Jannon works the night shift when hardly anyone enters the bookstore. However, Jannon begins to notice something strange because the individuals who do enter don’t exactly buy the books instead they trade books after giving him unique cards with codes. These individuals and books are so unique that Mr. Penumbra tells Jannon that he cannot read them and must keep a detail log of each individual down to their coat buttons. Jannon is now very curious and attempts to uncover the truth with his friends and technology. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is a fun book that makes you think about how today’s technology with ebooks mixes with paper books. Which book version will you read the book in?

Sour Patch Kid vs. Gummi Bear

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I destroyed some of my taste buds while eating sour patch kids. You know the candy that begins tart and sour then changes to sweetness. (Of course, you also can’t forget the annoying commercials with the weird sour patch kids who are ‘sour’ to begin with then their behavior turns ‘sweet’ at the end.) Sure it wasn’t a terrible taste or too unpleasant, but it took awhile before I tasted the sweet taste. Finally, I felt happiness when my taste buds were relieved and I tasted the sweetness. I love gummi bears, so it made me think about how those candies compare to life.

Are you more of a sour patch kid who’s ready for challenges (tartness) to then enjoy pure pleasures (sweetness) in life? Or are you always a gummi bear who doesn’t feel the desire to boldly face challenges and instead are already satisfied with the present circumstances? At times, roles need to be adjusted. Sour patch kids may need to step back to enjoy life now instead of striving forward. Gummi bears may need to taste the tartness and prepare for struggles. Of course, the bag  mixes and we’re both sour patch kids and gummi bears whether we like it or not. So, which do you identify yourself more: someone ready to conquer the tartness or someone who loves the soft sweetness now? Explore the full range of  ‘taste’ in life: sweet, salty, bitter, and sour.

If you’re always a sour patch kid, don’t worry taste buds grow back in about 10 days. It’s a misconception that each taste is in a separate region of the tongue. Ah, perhaps our ‘tastes’ in life mingle together with challenges and pleasures at the same time. Here’s more information about the fascination of taste buds:









Breaking Dawn Invitation

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I knew the day would come that sooner or later I’d post about the Twilight series. Let me start by saying that I’m not a ‘Twihard’. Yes, I’m a fan of the ‘other’ group that’s too often compared with Twilight which is the Harry Potter group. The difference between the two is another post. However, those Twihards should know that I read the entire series. As a teacher, I’m glad I did since a third grader really shouldn’t be reading the final book. However, I’m not going to forbid a student from reading it.

I’m a fan of fandango, which is a movie website that provides movie information, previews, and movie sale tickets. I buy most of my tickets through fandango, since I can print the tickets at home. Well, I opened my email and saw a fandango invitation to Bella and Edward’s wedding. I suppose if you’re a Twihard this is exciting news, but I thought it was a little humorous. Yes, that’s exactly my type of wedding. I love a wedding where the bride agrees to marriage in exchange for more intimacy and to become a vampire. That could be a fun first kiss as husband and wife. (Yes, I know the bite doesn’t occur then.) Perhaps Jacob will attend and object to the marriage between a senior citizen vampire that sparkles and a girl who dreams to have ‘fangs’. I wonder if there will even be wedding cake, since vampires don’t eat. Oh, I forgot they’re ‘vegetarians’. Of course, one line they’ll have to change: ‘As long as you both shall live‘. Hmm, there may be a problem if both will soon be dead. So, I guess until another gorgeous vampire that sparkles more than Edward flashes near they are stuck with each other. Can you imagine divorce court between vampires? Drama is good, so I need to decide how to check my response card to attend or not.

Click on the invitation and it will take you to Twilight’s homepage on fandango. If you’re a Twihard this is old news.

Do I want to be a bookworm?

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I thought of the word ‘bookworm’ with affection. I mean worms aren’t very harmful and tag along the word book and it should be cute. I was curious about the word’s origin. Well, the exact origin wasn’t clear but I thought the results were interesting. Normally, when definitions are given in a dictionary the first entry is most commonly used followed by other definitions. It was the order that I thought was funny. Bookworm is basically used in two definitions: a reader and an insect that feeds off book paste.

Webster’s New World College Dictionary:


  1. any of a number of insects or insect larvae that harm books by feeding on the binding, paste, etc.
  2. a person who spends much time reading or studying

American Heritage Dictionary:


  1. One who spends much time reading or studying.
  2. Any of various insects, especially booklice and silverfish, that infest books and feed on the paste in the bindings.

Both dictionaries provide two definitions for the word bookworm, but the order is different. Which defines bookworm better as a reader or an insect that eats books? I suppose you could look at it that a bookworm is a reader who devours and eats books as though they were dessert. Luckily, the term bookworm used as a person who enjoys reading doesn’t destroy books. There isn’t exactly one type of  ‘bookworm’  insect, instead it is various insects that eat the book’s glue which ultimately wreck them. Here is information about the bookworm as an insect:

I am a bookworm. For play, I bury myself in the corners of libraries and read.
– Robert Littell

Bookworm Pictures & Coloring Pages 

What’s the message inside your fortune cookie?

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I got this idea from a prompt after I published a post and I thought it was fun idea. Everybody looks forward to the end of a Chinese meal at a restaurant when the fortune cookies arrive at the table. It’s silly, but there’s a hidden mystery when we hope to read something good with luck, success, love, or money. However, did you know that fortune cookies have nothing to do with being Chinese. I know from personally being there and never once given a fortune cookie after my meal. Instead, it supposedly originated in California. Read more about its history from the links below. So, what does your fortune say? I’m not even sure what it means if you receive an empty cookie with no fortune.

*You shall live a long and fulfilling life. *

*Look and you shall find love.*

*Your meal containing MSG will haunt you later.*

*Look no further, your life at its present state is where it will be.*

*Examine a mirror, there may be something in your teeth.*

*Be careful not to initiate a disagreement with a loved one.*

*Leave a generous tip and you will be great.*

*Love  your enemy as your friend.*

*Be careful, danger is ahead.*

*The thing you are dreading is fast approaching.*

*Take a trip and escape your life’s demands.*

*Look to the stars for guidance.*

*Try take out Chinese next time.*

*Smile more, it may make lines but it improves your mood.*

*Remember to say please and thank you.*

I’ve never made fortune cookies, but here’s a recipe I found that could be fun to try.


  • 3 egg whites
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons water
Prep Time:
15 Min
Cook Time:
10 Min
Ready In:
25 Min


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets, or line with parchment paper. Have fortunes ready to go on small strips of paper.
  2. In a large glass or metal bowl, whip egg whites and sugar on high speed of an electric mixer until frothy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low, and stir in melted butter, vanilla, almond extract, water and flour one at a time, mixing well after each. Consistency should resemble pancake batter. Spoon the batter into 3 inch circles on the prepared baking sheets. Leave room between for spreading.
  3. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges begin to brown slightly. Quickly remove one at a time, place a message in the center, and fold in half. Fold the ends of the half together into a horse shoe shape. If they spring open, place them in a muffin tin to cool until set.

Now you can find fortune cookies at parties, fundraisers, weddings, holidays, or even as creative invitations. Here are some pics with jazzed up fortune cookies for different occasions. Check out the website for even more unique fortune cookies.

Brief history of the fortune cookie: