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Library Book
Library Book | Susan Orlean
Susan Orlean, hailed as a "national treasure" by The Washington Post and the acclaimed bestselling author of Rin Tin Tin and The Orchid Thief, reopens the unsolved mystery of the most catastrophic library fire in American history, and delivers a dazzling love letter to a beloved institution--our libraries. 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 false alarm. As one fireman recounted later, "Once that first stack got going, it was Goodbye, Charlie." The fire was disastrous: It reached 2,000 degrees and burned for more than seven hours. By the time it was extinguished, it had consumed 400,000 books and damaged 700,000 more. Investigators descended on the scene, but over thirty years later, the mystery remains: Did someone purposefully set fire to the library--and if so, who? Weaving her life-long love of books and reading with the fascinating history of libraries and the sometimes-eccentric characters who run them, award-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author Susan Orlean presents a mesmerizing and uniquely compelling story as only she can. With her signature wit, insight, compassion, and talent for deep research, she investigates the legendary Los Angeles Public Library fire to showcase the larger, crucial role that libraries play in our lives. To truly understand what happens behind the stacks, Orlean visits the different departments of the LAPL, encountering an engaging cast of employees and patrons and experiencing alongside them the victories and struggles they face in today's climate. She also delves into the evolution of libraries across the country and around the world, from a metropolitan charitable initiative to a cornerstone of national identity. She reflects on her childhood experiences in libraries; studies arson and the long history of library fires; attempts to burn a copy of a book herself; and she re-examines the case of Harry Peak, the blond-haired actor long suspected of setting fire to the library over thirty years ago. Along the way, she reveals how these buildings provide much more than just books--and that they are needed now more than ever. Filled with heart, passion, and unforgettable characters, The Library Book is classic Susan Orlean, and an homage to a beloved institution that remains a vital part of the heart, mind, and soul of our country and culture.
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MamaGina
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Hi Litsy Friends, I‘m curious...how many Library holds do you currently have?? I have 13!!! 🤓

(FYI: You do know they‘ll all come in at once, right?!? 🤣)

SamanthaMarie 17 😬 but some are for my husband and a couple are for my son 😂 12h
Megabooks 10! 11h
Owlizabeth My library limits holds to 10 at a time soooooo 10!! 8h
See All 7 Comments
Redwritinghood Too many! About a dozen. 8h
amie 26 books and 3 dvds 😆 4h
sprainedbrain 15 holds... and 7 loans out right now. 😳😂 3h
Ruthiella Only two! 😀 1h
19 likes7 comments
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Librarybelle
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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I think we can all say that at one time or another, the #temptation was there to call off work and read all day. For some of us, it‘s nearly a daily temptation! Pictured is part of my personal library (I have still have a lot of books to organize and boxes to unpack before this is anywhere near completed) and tagged is a recently finished book about libraries and books. #ayupaugust

squirrelbrain I loved The Library Book, and I love your library too! ❤️ 18h
Kalalalatja Love your library! 😍 18h
Daisey Lovely! 17h
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GlassAsDiamonds Love it & I see you have superb taste in (cat) bookends as well 😂♥️😂 17h
Librarybelle @GlassAsDiamonds Thank you! 😂 17h
GatheringBooks that‘s a temptation i wish to indulge in 24/7. 🧚🏼‍♀️📚😍 16h
gradcat Your library is beautiful...and just between us? I‘ve been known to give into that temptation...shhh! 😂 I just noticed the bookends—love them! ♥️ (edited) 9h
Cinfhen I‘d NEVER leave my house!!!! 9h
116 likes10 comments
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candority
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Library book sale was a success! 📚#bookhaul

rabbitprincess How appropriate that you found The Library Book at the library book sale! 2d
candority @rabbitprincess I know right?! 2d
101 likes1 stack add2 comments
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danibel
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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monalyisha
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Art by Trindles & Read 😍📚🤓

Readage I love this 😍 5d
hermyknee Just started following them on IG - what a cute account! 5d
99 likes3 comments
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EmMcKee
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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This is so delightful that I couldn't parse it down into simple quotes.

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danibel
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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danibel
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Copwithabook
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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We found another free little library in town. These are starting to pop up everywhere, and it makes me so happy!!

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Sargar114
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
Pickpick

This was such a fascinating read. She tells an incredibly descriptive and detailed history about the Los Angeles library and the fire that almost destroyed it in the 80s. In doing so you get a comprehensive look at how libraries have evolved and their impact on society. I‘ve been recommending this to anyone who is a history buff.

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EmMcKee
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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"War is the greatest slayer of libraries."

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RowReads1
Library Book | Susan Orlean
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BarbaraTheBibliophage These are amazing! 1w
43 likes1 comment
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EmMcKee
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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"But if something you learn or observe or imagine can be set down and saved, and if you can see your life reflected in previous lives, and can imagine it reflected in subsequent ones, you can begin to discover order and harmony. You know that you are a part of a larger story that has shape and purpose--a tangible, familiar past and a constantly refreshed future."

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Ivonnini
Library Book | Susan Orlean

In Synagale the polite expression to say someone died is to say his or her library had burned

6 likes1 comment
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EmMcKee
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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"As a kid, he dabbled in the minor deliquincies and pranks that delighted an audience. Girls liked him. He was charming, funny, dimpled, daring. He could talk anyone into anything. He had a gift for drama and invention. He was a storyteller, a yarn-spinner, and an agile liar; he was good at fancying up facts to make his life seem less plain and mingy."

What a gorgeous set of sentences.

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EmMcKee
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Right in the introduction page!!

"Memory believes before knowing remembers." (Quoting William Faulkner in Light In August)

I had to read that several times to really let it sink in. Wow.

2 likes1 stack add
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danibel
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Currently reading

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Maria514626
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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A book and a puzzle. ❤️ This book is so good. The author paints such remarkable stories. #readathon #deweys24hourreadathon

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SheilaChew
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Pickpick

This is a great book for anyone who loves books and libraries! Part library history, part Los Angeles history, and part mystery - who set fire to the Central Library in 1986?

Up next - The Italian Party. I‘m hoping it‘s light and fun!

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actualdisneyprincess
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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I...love this book so far. I‘ve cried about five different times, about several different things, and I just...what a book, and what a story. #thelibrarybook #susanorlean

13 likes1 stack add
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Sargar114
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Not a bad view while I try to catch up on some reading...

Andrew65 Great view! 3w
7 likes1 comment
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Lidia
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Hi girls! I‘m in the middle of my book and it‘s been really interesting learning all about the LA Central Library. Today I was reading while on a little road trip to San Diego. #LMPBC @Sward7 @mrsmarch @Fridameetslucy

Sward7 I mailed you my book - did you get it yet? 3w
Megabooks Love this book! 3w
AJBowers This picture is awesome! 3w
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mrsmarch 😍😍😍 3w
Fridameetslucy I listened to it on Audible. I loved thisbook and can‘t wait to tell you why :) 3w
Lidia @Sward7 Sorry I haven‘t gone to the PO box to get my book. I will go until the weekend. 3w
35 likes6 comments
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Sheridanb
The Library Book | Susan Orlean

“...because here is the home of our oldest and best friends-Books.”

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actualdisneyprincess
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Finally opening this! Twelve pages in, and already entranced. #thelibrarybook #susanorlean

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Sheridanb
The Library Book | Susan Orlean

“The problem was that I have never been able to do harm to a book.”

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Librarybelle
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Pickpick

Third book read during the #24in48 #readathon . I wish I could give this one to every library supporter I know. Orlean gets it - the feel when walking into a library, the dedication of library staff, and the love of books. I did laugh out loud when she said librarians are paid well - maybe in some cases, but that‘s not always the case. Loved it and loved learning about the Los Angeles Public Library!

DaveGreen7777 @Branwen This sounds like a good book for you! 😀 1mo
Branwen @DaveGreen7777 I read this a few months ago and LOVED it! Super informational but also beautifully written! 😀💕📚 1mo
ferskner 🤣🤣🤣 1mo
MicheleinPhilly I was actually pleasantly surprised when I read how much some of the LA librarians are making. That is most definitely not the salary range in Philly! 4w
Librarybelle @MicheleinPhilly Me too! If only it were the salary range in PA... 4w
100 likes1 stack add5 comments
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AJBowers
Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Surrounded by books is my favorite place to be 📚💕

jenniferajanes Mine too! ❤️📚 1mo
limada Agreed. It's why so many of my bookshelves are in my bedroom. They soothe me. 1mo
UwannaPublishme 😊👍🏻 1mo
94 likes3 comments
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BethM
Library Book | Susan Orlean
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I love it when I have enough time between allergy shots and yoga to curl up in the library. Turned in my last summer reading card, I‘ve been doing it for years but have yet to win anything 🤷‍♀️

42 likes2 stack adds
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Librarybelle
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Check in time for #24in48 #readathon ...finished book three, the tagged book. #Vladimir is keeping me company as I dive into my fourth book, Hummus and Homicide. On track to complete the readathon! #catsoflitsy

Crazeedi Loved the tagged book!💗 1mo
Megabooks Great book! 1mo
90 likes2 comments
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janeycanuck
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Pickpick

So interesting! I love how the history of the library was intertwined with stories of today and the fire, itself.

Book 4 finished for #24in48

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Maria514626
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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This book is so hard to put down! Since it‘s an audio, I could get these little guys ready for the oven.

I‘ve been bopping all over in this #24in48. Listening to two, reading two. 🤦‍♀️ It‘s been quite fun. Like appetizers for dinner.

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janeycanuck
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Yesterday was too hot to read outside, today it‘s too wet.

I‘ve got another 11 hours to go for #24in48. Time to get reading!

Tamra Nice reading spot though! 1mo
janeycanuck @Tamra thanks! I‘m pretty fond of it. 1mo
39 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Librarybelle
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Calling it a night for #24in48 #readathon . I started and finished two books today, and I‘m well into the tagged book. Good night!

Mollyanna Great progress! 1mo
93 likes2 comments
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Sargar114
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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When you find book recommendations in the book your reading 😂🤣🤘🏻

3 likes1 comment
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SheilaChew
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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“... he believed he‘d learned more at the library than he would have at a university.”
Ray Bradbury read at the Los Angeles Public Library almost every day for thirteen years.

33 likes1 comment
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SomedayAlmost
Library Book | Susan Orlean
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When your 5 year old son follows you into the biography section... #racecars #helikesbooks #notmystyle #biography

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SheilaChew
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Reading about the Los Angeles library fire with my mint plant and holiday coffee mug.

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sarahljensen
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Pickpick

This is basically a love song to the LA public library. I almost put it down after the first two chapters because I don't romanticize the city of LA at all, but I'm really glad I stuck with it. If you love libraries you'll love this book.

brit91 Aww I love this picture you're cat is so beautiful!!😍📚 1mo
sarahljensen He's a very sweet boy. :) 1mo
9 likes1 stack add2 comments
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A5panglish
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
Pickpick

Yes, this book is driven by the mystery of a library arsonist ; however, I was most enthralled with the inner-workings and the culture surrounding the libraries of LA. This book is a celebration of every library in the country and beautifully reminds us how libraries are institutions central to our humanity.

Chelleo Welcome to Litsy! Hope these #Litsytips by @RaimeyGallant http://bit.ly/litsytips and #LitsyHowTo videos: goo.gl/UrCpoU are helpful. #LitsyWelcomeWagon
1mo
RaimeyGallant Welcome! 1mo
Eggs Welcome to Litsy 🌺 1mo
4 likes3 comments
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SheilaChew
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Starting a new book ❤️

39 likes3 stack adds
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readtheworld
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Pickpick

The Library Book is a history of the Los Angeles Public Library, and in particular the Central Library building, which was heavily damaged in a 1986 fire. I really enjoyed this book, though I think the review I read emphasized the arson investigation as a larger part of the book (I found that section to be much less interesting than expected).

#library #susanorlean #audiobook #nonfiction

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MEGR
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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“Once words are poured into (books), books are no longer just paper and ink and glue: They take on a kind of human vitality. The poet Milton called this quality in books “the potency of life.”

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MEGR
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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“I pictured Los Angeles as a radiant doughnut, rimmed by milky ocean and bristling mountains, with a big hole in the middle.” 📸: LA State Historic Park

14 likes1 stack add
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squirrelbrain
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Here‘s my Top 6 for the first 6 months of the year... thanks for the fun idea @Cinfhen !

The 5 in the picture are books that I own - the 6th is the tagged book which, of course, I borrowed from the library!

Cinfhen Yay!! thanks for sharing 🥰🥰🥰I‘m so excited for 2mo
Leftcoastzen 👍📚 2mo
Cathythoughts I loved Hedgehog too ♥️👍🏻 2mo
77 likes3 comments
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Eggs
Library Book | Susan Orlean
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#community #quotsyjuly19 @TK-421
Photo: Pinterest

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Moray_Reads
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this contemplation of libraries. Part investigation into the fire at Los Angeles Central Library in 1986, part library history, party reflection of libraries' role in society Orlean had written a fascinating and insightful book about those places that act as havens for so many.

Suet624 This is such s great book. I still think of some of the passages. 1mo
54 likes1 stack add1 comment
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GidgetsTreasures75
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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6-26-19: My 51st finished book of 2019! I really enjoyed this one. #thelibrarybook #susanorlean 👍🏼📖#️⃣5️⃣1️⃣

6 likes1 stack add
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BookishShelly
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Pickpick

Part library fire mystery, part Los Angeles Central Library history, and part love letter to books. Some have disliked that mostly dual stories of mystery and history but I thought they worked well together. The mystery would have bored me by itself and the history by itself would have probably bore others who don‘t love history as much as me. 4⭐️

Mamashep Loved this one. Her description of how books burn and trying to talk herself into burning a book have really stuck with me. 2mo
TheBookbabeblog84 I really need to add this to my list to buy. 2mo
Bookish_B I loved this book! 2mo
36 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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Nute
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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#30JuneBooks - Library: It is knowledge and kindness that prepares us best for a life worth living. Dr. WHO had it right...let knowledge and kindness be your weapons of choice - find these things in abundance -> libraries and librarians. I can‘t imagine a world without either!💕
Poster Source: Aenaon Art Work -Etsy

71 likes2 comments
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Sargar114
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
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And this is just so the LA I picture 😂😎