The Library Book

336 pages

English language

Published Dec. 6, 2018

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4 stars (2 reviews)

On the morning of April 28, 1986, a fire alarm sounded in the Los Angeles Public Library. The fire was disastrous: it reached two thousand degrees and burned for more than seven hours. By the time it was extinguished, it had consumed four hundred thousand books and damaged seven hundred thousand more. Investigators descended on the scene, but more than thirty years later, the mystery remains: Did someone purposefully set fire to the library—and if so, who?

Weaving her lifelong love of books and reading into an investigation of the fire, award-winning New Yorker reporter and New York Times bestselling author Susan Orlean delivers a “delightful…reflection on the past, present, and future of libraries in America” (New York magazine) that manages to tell the broader story of libraries and librarians in a way that has never been done before.

In the “exquisitely written, consistently entertaining” (The New York Times) The …

2 editions

Interesting history of the LA public Library

4 stars

Part history of a calamitous fire, part true crime investigation, with sprinkles of snapshots into the life of current public library workers and those of the past.

I enjoyed this book, though not really for what it was supposed to be. I feel like the investigation into the cause of the fire fizzled out quickly, a sort of non-story with no satisfying conclusion.

But the snapshots of the lives of previous and current library staff was absolutely delightful. Some real strong characters in the libraries history who really shine in this book.

Overall, interesting and enjoyable.