Susan Orlean

The Library Book

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A New York Times Book of the Year, 2018
A dazzling love letter to a beloved institution - our libraries.
After moving to Los Angeles, Susan Orlean became fascinated by a mysterious local crime that has gone unsolved since it was carried out on the morning of 29 April 1986: who set fire to the Los Angeles Public Library, ultimately destroying more than 400,000 books, and perhaps even more perplexing, why?
With her characteristic humour, insight and compassion, Orlean uses this terrible event as a lens through which to tell the story of all libraries — their history, their meaning and their uncertain future as they adapt and redefine themselves in a digital world.
Filled with heart, passion and extraordinary characters, The Library Book discusses the larger, crucial role that libraries play in our lives.
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386 printed pages
Original publication
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    Nast Huertashared an impression4 years ago
    👍Worth reading


    Pavel Groznyhas quoted4 years ago
    By 2009, more than 1.5 million people in the United States met the federal definition of homeless—anyone without a “fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.” Los Angeles has more homeless people than almost any other city except New York: At last count, in 2017, there were almost sixty thousand homeless people in Los Angeles.
    Pavel Groznyhas quoted4 years ago
    I decided to burn a book, because I wanted to see and feel what Harry would have seen and felt that day if he had been at the library, if he had started the fire.
    Pavel Groznyhas quoted4 years ago
    It housed the largest collection of books on food and cooking in the country—twelve thousand volumes, which included three hundred on French cuisine, thirty on cooking with oranges and lemons, and six guides to cooking with insects, including the classic Butterflies in My Stomach.

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