If you’re going to read (or listen to) a non-fiction book this year, make it The Library Book by Susan Orlean. It’s one of my favorite books of 2018, and I’m sure you will love it, too.
In 1986, a fire broke out in the Central Library of Los Angeles. So many elements came together to create a fire that devastated the library: over 400,000 books were burned, and 700,000 books were damaged. It is the largest library fire ever in the United States. What happened, and why? Was it deliberately set? How does a library, and a city, rebuild from such a monumental disaster?
Susan Orleans frames her investigation into the fire around her experiences as a library lover; she spends time talking to the librarians at the Central Library—which is huge! She traces the history of libraries and city librarians in Los Angeles and all the scandals that . Along the way you’ll discover some truly quirky folks who took on the job of city librarian and made it their own. You’ll also meet patrons and staff that have made the library their home away from home. Libraries provide a unique space for everyone, and that is demonstrated time after time in Susan’s observations of daily library life. Libraries truly are an information hub for all.
I was immediately captivated by this book and couldn’t put it down. The Metro Library Network has it available in hardcover, audio, Overdrive, large print, and Playaway format. It would make a great read for your Thanksgiving weekend.
Sue Gerth, Collection Strategies Manager