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The Library Book

By Susan Orlean
Narrated by Susan Orlean / 12 hours 8 minutes
Bookseller Recommendation

The Library Book

“The Library Book by Susan Orleans is ostensibly about the Central Los Angeles library fire in 1986 but it is SO much more! Orleans' incredibly well researched and yet personal history and commentary on the public library system in the United States is fascinating on many levels. The mystery surrounding the fire is a story unto itself with an interesting cast of characters including the man who was accused but never convicted of arson. In addition, the personalities of the librarians and administrators of the LA library system are varied and incredibly colorful. Finally, Orleans examines the ever-changing roles of public libraries and how information dissemination and services for the homeless are some of the greatest challenges facing libraries today. I listened to this book on LIBRO and hearing Susan Orleans read was a joy! Really a terrific read for anyone interested in books, libraries, social justice, architecture and even crime drama!”

Wellesley Books image Phyllis, Wellesley Books

Susan Orlean’s bestseller and New York Times Notable Book is “a sheer delight…as rich in insight and as varied as the treasures contained on the shelves in any local library” (USA TODAY)—a dazzling love letter to a beloved institution and an investigation into one of its greatest mysteries. “Everybody who loves books should check out The Library Book” (TheWashington Post).

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 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; brings each department of the library to vivid life; studies arson and attempts to burn a copy of a book herself; and reexamines the case of Harry Peak, the blond-haired actor long suspected of setting fire to the LAPL more than thirty years ago.

“A book lover’s dream…an ambitiously researched, elegantly written book that serves as a portal into a place of history, drama, culture, and stories” (Star Tribune, Minneapolis), Susan Orlean’s thrilling journey through the stacks reveals how these beloved institutions provide much more than just books—and why they remain an essential part of the heart, mind, and soul of our country.

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Author
Narrator Susan Orlean
ISBN 9781508266488
Length 12 hours 8 minutes
Language English
Publisher Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication Date
Edition Unabridged
Libro.fm Rank #8 Overall
Genre Rank #1 in History
 
Celebrate Independent Bookstore Day with Free Audiobooks on Saturday, April 27th. Learn More

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