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The library book / Susan Orlean.

By: Orlean, Susan [author.].
Material type: TextTextSeries: Hello Sunshine Book Club: Publisher: New York : Simon and Schuster, 2018Edition: First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.Description: 319 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781476740188; 1476740186; 1476740194; 9781476740195; 1476740208; 9781476740201; 9781782392262; 1782392262.Subject(s): Los Angeles Public Library. Central Library -- Fire, 1986 | Los Angeles Public Library. Central Library -- History | Public libraries -- California -- Los Angeles -- History | Arson investigation | Books | Library materials | Libraries -- Social aspects | Fires -- California -- Los Angeles | Fires -- California -- Los Angeles | Library Materials | HISTORY -- United States -- 20th Century | HISTORY -- Social History | Los Angeles Public Library. Central Library | Arson investigation | Books | Libraries -- Social aspects | Library materials | Public libraries | California -- Los Angeles | Bibliothèque Municipale Mülhausen | Brandkatastrophe | Los Angeles, Calif | Los Angeles Public Library. Central Library -- History | Public libraries -- Los Angeles (Calif.) -- Fires and fire prevention -- History | Public libraries -- Los Angeles (Calif.) -- HistoryGenre/Form: True crime stories. | History. | True crime stories. | True crime stories. | History.DDC classification: 027.4794/94 Other classification: HIS036060 | HIS054000 Summary: The author reopens the unsolved mystery of the most catastrophic library fire in American history. This book chronicles the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) fire, and its aftermath, to showcase the crucial role that libraries play in our lives. The author delves into the evolution of libraries around the world, from their humble beginnings to their status as a cornerstone of the community; brings the departments of the library to life through on-the-ground reporting; reflects on her own experiences in libraries; and reexamines the case of Harry Peak, the actor long suspected of setting fire to the LAPL. The fire was disastrous: it reached 2000 degrees and burned for more than seven hours. By the time it was extinguished, it had consumed four hundred thousand books and damaged seven hundred thousand more. Investigators descended on the scene, but more than thirty years later, the mystery remains: Did someone purposefully set fire to the library? In addition to examining the circumstances of the fire, the author delves into the history of the LAPL. The book introduces us to a cast of characters from libraries past and present - from Mary Foy; who in 1880 at eighteen years old was named the head of the LAPL at a time when men still dominated the role, to Dr. C.J.K. Jones, "The Human Encyclopedia," who roamed the library dispensing information. The book introduces readers to Charles Lummis, an eccentric journalist and adventurer who was determined to make the L.A. library one of the best in the world, and to the staff in the twenty-first century, who work every day to ensure that their institution remains a vital part of the city it serves.--adapted from publisher's description and end-papers.
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Two week reserve University of Texas At Tyler
Reserves Desk - Circulation
Z733.L8742 O75 2018 (Browse shelf) Checked out 12/13/2019 0000002248730

Added to Reese Witherspoon's book club Hello Sunshine after publication.

The author reopens the unsolved mystery of the most catastrophic library fire in American history. This book chronicles the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) fire, and its aftermath, to showcase the crucial role that libraries play in our lives. The author delves into the evolution of libraries around the world, from their humble beginnings to their status as a cornerstone of the community; brings the departments of the library to life through on-the-ground reporting; reflects on her own experiences in libraries; and reexamines the case of Harry Peak, the actor long suspected of setting fire to the LAPL. The fire was disastrous: it reached 2000 degrees and burned for more than seven hours. By the time it was extinguished, it had consumed four hundred thousand books and damaged seven hundred thousand more. Investigators descended on the scene, but more than thirty years later, the mystery remains: Did someone purposefully set fire to the library? In addition to examining the circumstances of the fire, the author delves into the history of the LAPL. The book introduces us to a cast of characters from libraries past and present - from Mary Foy; who in 1880 at eighteen years old was named the head of the LAPL at a time when men still dominated the role, to Dr. C.J.K. Jones, "The Human Encyclopedia," who roamed the library dispensing information. The book introduces readers to Charles Lummis, an eccentric journalist and adventurer who was determined to make the L.A. library one of the best in the world, and to the staff in the twenty-first century, who work every day to ensure that their institution remains a vital part of the city it serves.--adapted from publisher's description and end-papers.

Includes bibliographical references (pages 317-319).

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

In this lively and multilayered portrait of the Los Angeles Public Library by Orlean (The Orchid Thief), the author describes a source as "electrified by everything he told me about the library." The same can be said for Orlean, whose enthusiasm and affection for the nearly 150-year-old institution is contagious. As in previous books and essays, Orlean assembles a panoramic profile from an array of fascinating details, from the library's earliest days as a reading room to its current thriving community presence as a provider of English classes, sheet -music for orchestras, services for the homeless, and more, including sketches of its charismatic-sometimes eccentric--directors, staff, and patrons. This sweeping, cheerful history revolves around a singular terrible event: the 1986 fire that ravaged the Central Library, destroying some 400,000 books. Orlean's affecting account of the tragedy and its painful aftermath, as well as the many people it touched, points to a suspect who was never indicted. But the overall tone is warm and engaging, offering a love letter to libraries everywhere. VERDICT Orlean's fans, library lovers, and readers of eclectic nonfiction will enjoy this entertaining, informative account. [See Prepub Alert, 4/9/18; "Editors' Fall Picks," LJ 8/18.]-Lisa Peet, Library Journal © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Susan Orlean is a staff writer for The New Yorker and has also written for Outside, Esquire, Rolling Stone, and Vogue. She graduated from the University of Michigan and worked as a reporter in Portland, Oregon, and Boston, Massachusetts. <p> Orlean is the author of The Orchid Thief and Rin Tin Tin: The Life and Legend. <p> She now lives in New York City and can be reached via the internet at www.susanorlean.com <p> (Bowker Author Biography)

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