Livermore Reads Together is a community reading program featuring Robin Sloan’s delightful novel Sourdough. The community of Livermore is invited to read Sourdough and join their neighbors by participating in events related to the book, such as talks featuring Erica J. Peters, author of San Francisco: A Food Biography, and Laura Smith Borrman, author of Iconic San Francisco Dishes, Drinks and Desserts. University of the Pacific (UOP) Professor of History Ken Albala will give a talk titled Bread: A Slice of History. The library will host a hands-on program for teens and adults on making and nurturing a sourdough starter. Sourdough author Robin Sloan kicks off Livermore Reads Together at the Civic Center Library on Saturday, February 1, 2:00 p.m. Copies of Sourdough are available to check out at the Livermore Public Library.
About the book: 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 is 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?
Leavened by the same infectious intelligence that made Robin Sloan’s Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore such a sensation, while taking on even more satisfying challenges, Sourdough marks the triumphant return of a unique and beloved young writer.
Sourdough was one of the best books of 2017 by NPR, Amazon, San Francisco Chronicle, Barnes & Noble, and Southern Living.
• Saturday, February 1, 2:00 p.m.: An Afternoon with Robin Sloan. Kick off Livermore Reads Together with the author of Sourdough!
• Tuesday, February 4, 7:00 p.m.: San Francisco: A Food Biography with author Erica J. Peters. This food biography presents the story of how food traveled from farms to markets, from markets to kitchens, and from kitchens to tables, focusing on how people experienced the bounty of the City by the Bay.
• Sunday, February 9, 2:00 p.m.: Bread: A Slice of History. UOP Professor of History Ken Albala talks about the fascinating world history of bread making.
• Monday, February 10, 4:00 p.m.: STEM class for grades 1-5. At this special Livermore Reads STEM class, kids will make their own robotic arm using recyclable materials.
• Thursday, February 13, 6:30 p.m.: The Soul of Sourdough. Join San Francisco’s Sour Flour at this interactive program for teens and adults. Participants will learn how to make and nurture their own sourdough starter. Sign-up required by calling (925) 373-5505.
• Saturday, February 15, 2:00 p.m.: CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap documentary screening and discussion. CODE is a film that exposes the dearth of American female and minority software engineers and explores the reasons for this gender gap. Join us for a post-screening discussion with members of the Livermore science community.
• Thursday, February 20, 7:00 p.m.: Iconic San Francisco Dishes, Drinks, and Desserts with author Laura Smith Borrman. Discover the disputed origins of local specialties like the chicken tetrazzini, chop suey and the classic martini, along with the legend behind the creation of Green Goddess Dressing. Learn how the abundance of the bay contributed to classics like the Hangtown Fry and Cioppino, and explore the history of San Francisco’s iconic sourdough bread.
• Saturday, February 22, 2:00 p.m.: Family movie day at the library featuring Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Free popcorn!
• Sunday, February 23, 2:00 p.m.: Sourdough Readers’ Theater presented by the Livermore Shakespeare Festival.
• Saturday, February 29, 2:00 p.m.: Cobotics: When People and Robots Collaborate. Learn about the innovative ways robots and people work together (just like in Sourdough) in this fun interactive program presented by students from the Del Arroyo 4-H Club.
In addition, throughout the month of February the Civic Center Library Art Gallery will feature a special exhibit promoting local Girls Who Code clubs, in partnership with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District.
Livermore Reads Together 2020 is generously sponsored by The Friends of the Livermore Public Library. For more information about this and other library programs, visit
www.livermorelibrary.net or call (925) 373-5505.