The Library Book by Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief, on the surface is a whodunnit. Who set fire to the Los Angeles Public Library on April 28, 1986? Why did he/she do it? What was the outcome? Orlean chronicles the investigation into the fire that reached 2000 degrees and destroyed 400,000 books and damaged 700,000 more. In addition, the author also tells the broader story of libraries and librarians as well as a fascinating social history of California.
Orlean has written a detective story that is a love letter not just to the Los Angeles Public Library, but to all public libraries and what they represent in a democratic society – a place for free access to information. Public libraries are a combination of a people’s university, a community hub, and an information base, happily partnered with the Internet rather than in competition with it. Public libraries are a government entity that is nonjudgmental, inclusive and fundamentally kind.
A dazzling love letter to a beloved institution—and an investigation into one of its greatest mysteries—from the bestselling author hailed as a “national treasure” by TheWashington Post.
A WASHINGTON POST TOP 10 BOOK OF THE YEAR * A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER and NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2018
“A constant pleasure to read…Everybody who loves books should check out The Library Book.” —The Washington Post
“CAPTIVATING…DELIGHTFUL.” —Christian Science Monitor * “EXQUISITELY WRITTEN, CONSISTENTLY ENTERTAINING.” —The New York Times * “MESMERIZING…RIVETING.” —Booklist (starred review)