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The Library Book

F libraries and librarians in a way that has never been done beforeIn 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 than thirty years agoAlong the way Orlean introduces us to an unforgettable cast of characters from libraries past and present from Mary Foy who in 1880 at eighteen years old was named the 35 mixed opinions on this but I ll post something later It dragged on a bit too much at the end and as I read I got exasperated Okay Time to explain myselfIn The Library Book Orlean aims to offer a well rounded discussion of libraries rooted by the story of the Los Angeles Library fire in 1986 When I read the summary of this book there was a lot of emphasis placed on the library fire which really drew me in I was curious to learn about it and hoped this book would provide a detailed exciting explanation Instead I found Orlean s narrative style rather choppy and lacking focus The narrative is hard to follow especially since Orlean introduces so many different story lines historical sometimes multiple historical threads going at once observational her own memories and then alternates between each one in chapters that vary in length While this usually keeps a book moving and helps me maintain focus I found it hard to remember the details of the previous section on that same topic when I returned to a chapter on that same topic Since Orlean jumps between all these topics so often it makes the whole narrative hard to follow and creates a lack of focus in general While I appreciate library history and all the other details Orlean explored I wanted to learn about the fire itself It was hard to mush all the different chapters I had read about the fire into one coherent story since all the chapters are broken up and separated I feel like this book should be marketed less as one about the fire and one about libraries or the LA central library in general I think that would have helped me tame my expectations regarding the focus of the bookMy last complaint is that sometimes Orlean gets so deep in small plot points that really have no purpose She goes on and on with small topical details about library history which especially began to grate on me in the end I felt that the book really dragged on in the end as I began to get sick of the lack of focus on the fire and the endless seemingly meaningless details about the library or libraries in general I felt like Orlean was listing trivia points for no point other than to show off all the weird things she discovered during her research It would have been nice to see all these details cohered into some sort of larger purpose but that didn t happen I really enjoyed the first half of this book but as I continued I began to get frustrated If you are curious about library history and the LA public library system then I would definitely read this book just to learn some history Orlean s writing is strong and propels the book forward at least making this a pleasurable read I did really enjoy parts of this book so I can t completely write it off Thank you to NetGalley and Simon Schuster for providing me a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

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Head of the Los Angeles Public Library at a time when men still dominated the role to Dr CJK Jones a pastor citrus farmer and polymath known as “The Human Encyclopedia” who roamed the library dispensing information; from Charles Lummis a wildly eccentric journalist and adventurer who was determined to make the LA library one of the best in the world to the current staff who do heroic work every day to ensure that their institution remains a vital part of the city it servesBrimming with her signature wit insight compassion and talent for deep research The Library Book is Susan Orlean’s thrilling journey through the stacks that reveals how these beloved institutions provide much than just books and why they remain an essential part of the heart mind and soul of our country It is also a master journalist’s reminder that perhaps especially in the digital era they are necessary than ev Susan Orlean was speaking with the Los Angeles Times about this book before its release I enjoyed listening to her speak on NPR as wellWhen talking about her interest in writing about a big city library this is what Susan said I could have done that anywhere I like the idea of doing it in LA out of this contrarian idea that people don t associate libraries with LA which made it kind of delectable That said the 1986 fire forgive me was a sparkThe reason I find Susan s comment about folks not associating libraries with Los Angelesis because I never really thought about it but she s absolutely right She s so right it wasn t even in my consciousness at all and I live in California with family throughout LA I also never heard of this fire shows you how asleep I was and every LA person in my life too My youngest daughter was a year old in 1986 Everything in this book was new to me This past year I ve used the public library system daily a zillion times in one year at age 66than ALL my past years combined Some readers might be appalled aghast at such horror I m only telling the truth I wasn t much of a reader as a kid I remember some lovely walks I took alone or with a friend to the library as a child to listen to the storytelling lady but reading wasn t encouraged in my family Not really Actually nothing was encouraged other than good behavior at school and elsewhere Many of you have heard this before I m a very late bloomer passionate reader I fell in love with reading for pleasure accidentally as an adult the year the book The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls came out in the year 2006 I ve already shared my reading process in my Glass Castle reviewPoint isI didn t come close to having the experience that Susan Orlean had with books and reading as she did I don t have mom me reading memories to draw on and my dad died when I was 4 I m sincerely grateful to Susan Orlean other authors with similar writing skills to my long time reader friends hearing their childhood memories are a treasure for meAll that saidI liked MUCH of this book I LEARNED A LOT about libraries in general not ONLY in LA but my fear is I ll forget many details too I don t own this book I listened to Susan read her book as an Audiobook It s a GORGEOUS PHYSICAL BOOK I think I d continue getting value if I owned it I can t possibly hold all the details from the Audiobook alone I took notesThe parts I found interesting I remember Some parts of her book she lost me I just don t know what she was talking about so then of course I felt stupid like why haven t I heard of that book or personEverything about the fire was fascinating of course devastating in reality HORRIFIC but the THEN WHAT The examination of this nightmare was fascinating and ALL THAT FOLLOWEDbooks going to restaurants into freezers learning about water damage all the volunteers and learning all the logistics of WHAT WE NEED TO KNOWin case such devastation should ever happen again And better ways to avoid it EVER HAPPENING AGAIN Lots and lots of details answer uestions I didn t even know I had The pure knowledge was eye opening Susan s Family was inspiring to meher INCREDIBLE love for books goes without saying Her research was top notch She gave us history mystery in the similar way Erik Larson did in The Devil in the White City She gave us personal history We got a great education on how libraries run and their importance for our communities We were given history on the arson investigationTONS TO GREAT INFORMATIONButhonesty I had mixed feelings about the ENTIRE PROCESS of Susan burning a book just to have the experience from her three week prior agony as to which book to choose to the NAILS ON A CHALKBOARD description of every detailphysically emotionally mentally and spiritually in burning that book My stomach was churningand not because I m a book protecting police saint although I treat books with respect and cherish them as a live entitytoo somewhatbut because Susan s book burning story was a little over the top dramatic for me Something about it made me want to rebel from the general greatness from where this book comes fromwhich isA LOVE TRIBUTE TO OUR PUBLIC LIBRARIES45 stars rating upthis book deserves it I personally didn t enjoy every part of it but I did most of it and my appreciation is much bigger than my small gripes

Susan Orlean é 6 Free download

On the morning of April 29 1986 a fire alarm sounded in the Los Angeles Public Library As the moments passed the patrons and staff who had been cleared out of the building realized this was not the usual fire alarm As one fireman recounted “Once that first stack got going it was ‘Goodbye Charlie’” The fire was disastrous it reached 2000 degrees and burned for than seven hours By the time it was extinguished it had consumed four hundred thousand books and damaged seven hundred thousand Investigators descended on the scene but than thirty years later the mystery remains Did someone purposefully set fire to the library and if so whoWeaving 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 mesmerizing and uniuely compelling book that manages to tell the broader story o I m suddenly eager to run off to my local library and check out ALL THE BOOKS This book gives a lot of insight on what goes into running a library and has you growing a sense of appreciation for those who put in the the work to keep everything afloat It s kind of shaped as a true crime book but evolves into a love letter to books libraries At times it was a whiplash experience for me in terms of enjoyment as I didn t always find much interest in some of the things that were being explored but then something would pull me in and I d be right back in the zone


10 thoughts on “The Library Book

  1. says:

    chef's kiss

  2. says:

    I'm suddenly eager to run off to my local library and check out ALL THE BOOKS This book gives a lot of insight on what goes into running a library and has you growing a sense of appreciation for those who put in the the work to keep everything afloat It's kind of shaped as a true crime book but evolves into a love letter to books

  3. says:

    45 stars Hundreds of thousands of books were burned to nothing but ash and hundreds of thousands of books were damaged enough to bring chills up the spine of any book lover reading this book about the fire at the Los Angeles Public Library that occurred on April 29 1986 The research and the writing here are impeccable The descriptio

  4. says:

    This is absolutely brilliant nonfiction and a book about books about libraries ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ In April 1986 there was a large fire in the Los Angeles Public Library; so large in fact that over four hundred thousand books were burned completely and seven hundred thousand were damaged Initially the thoughts were that this

  5. says:

    An ode to libraries past and present To the importance of books and how they are used by malignant governments book burning to control and frighten their citizens Although the main focus in on the library in Los Angeles and the fire that destroyed it and so many of their materials this book is so much The way libraries have had to change and adapt in light of our electronic obsession in order to stay viable in our communities In

  6. says:

    35 mixed opinions on this but I’ll post something later It dragged on a bit too much at the end and as I read I got exasperated Okay Time to explain myselfIn The Library Book Orlean aims to offer a well rounded discussion of libraries rooted by the story of the Los Angeles Library fire in 1986 When I read the summary of this book there was a lot of emphasis placed on the library fire which really drew me in

  7. says:

    Susan Orlean was speaking with the Los Angeles Times about this book before its release I enjoyed listening to her speak on NPR as wellWhen talking about her interest in writing about a big city library this is w

  8. says:

    Susan Orlean is a true genius at bringing seemingly any subject to life in a manner which is utterly fascinating and immensely readable I’d even read instruction manuals and Congressional reports if she wrote them Whether it’s

  9. says:

    If I hadn’t read it on my Kindle I would have considered burning this book after I finished it Yeah I finished i

  10. says:

    The Library Book by Susan Orlean is a 2018 Simon Schuster publication I couldn’t have been happier when this book finally reached the top of my TBR pile I’ve been looking forward to reading it for a long time Naturally I was drawn to the ‘books about books’ aspect but was also mortified by the true crime elements Who on earth would

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