Title: The Library Book
Author: Susan Orlean
Publisher: Simon & Schuster 2018
Rating: 5/5 stars
Reading Challenges: I Love Libraries; Nonfiction Bingo - True Crime
In The Library Book, Orlean chronicles the LAPL fire and its aftermath to showcase the larger, crucial role that libraries play in our lives; delves into the evolution of libraries across the country and around the world, from their humble beginnings as a metropolitan charitable initiative to their current status as a cornerstone of national identity; brings each department of the library to vivid life through on-the-ground reporting; studies arson and attempts to burn a copy of a book herself; reflects on her own experiences in libraries; and reexamines the case of Harry Peak, the blond-haired actor long suspected of setting fire to the LAPL more than thirty years ago.
One of those books that’s gotten such rave reviews from loads of people. I had to eventually read it! And it was such a delight. I was immediately sucked into the mystery of the burning of the Central Branch of the L.A. Public Library back in 1986. But this book is so much more than just a fire. Orlean celebrates libraries past and present. She traces the unique history of the L.A. public library highlighting some very interesting characters along the way. I savored each page feeling like Orlean was a bosom friend reveling in our shared love of libraries.
Next up on the TBR pile: