Sourdough Books review, special features and comparisons

Hardcover, 259 pages

Published:  September 5th 2017 by MCD Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Original Title: Sourdough

ISBN 0374203105 (ISBN13: 9780374203108)

Edition Language: English

Setting: San Francisco Bay Area, California (United States)

Literary Awards: Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Fiction (2017)


Lois Clary, a software engineer at a San Francisco robotics company, codes all day and collapses at night. When her favourite sandwich shop closes up, the owners leave her with the starter for their mouthwatering sourdough bread.

Lois becomes the unlikely hero tasked to care for it, bake with it and keep this needy colony of microorganisms alive.  Soon she is baking loaves daily and taking them to the farmer’s market, where an exclusive close-knit club runs the show.

When Lois discovers another, more secret market, aiming to fuse food and technology, a whole other world opens up. But who are these people, exactly?


“Here’s a thing I believe about people my age: we are the children of Hogwarts, and more than anything, we just want to be sorted.”

“The internet: always proving that you’re not quite as special as you suspected.”

“I have come to believe that food is history of the deepest kind. Everything we eat tells a tale of ingenuity and creation, domination and injustice-and does so more vividly than any other artifact, any other medium.”

“Baking, by contrast, was solving the same problem over and over again, because every time, the solution was consumed. I mean, really: chewed and digested. Thus, the problem was ongoing. Thus, the problem was perhaps the point.”

“Greatest among us are those who can deploy “my friend” to total strangers in a way that is not hollow, but somehow real and deeply felt; those who can make you, within seconds of first contact, believe it.”

“I felt the disorientation of a generous offer that in no way lines up with anything you want to do: like a promotion to senior alligator wrestling, or an all-expenses paid trip to Gary, Indiana.”

“It felt, also, like an empty spaceship, and, as a rule, you do not enter an empty spaceship without first knowing the fate of the crew.”

“I told them I didn’t have time for this bullshit, and if either of them wanted to ask a lady out, he could do it by text message like a normal person.”

“It’s always new and astonishing when it’s yours. Infatuation; sex; card tricks.”

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