Andrea Nelson, Library Assistant, recommends The Library Book by Susan Orlean.
Ahh, Los Angeles in the eighties! Such a study in contrasts. At once glittering, decaying, innovative, desperate, brilliant and dark. Shining stars, black holes, and all manner of people. In the twentieth century, dreamers from every corner of the planet flocked to L.A. By the mid-eighties, the City of Angels was both a cultural mecca and its own stylized cliché, but at its heart stood one true thing, steadfast and dependable: a wonderful public library.
The Los Angeles Central Public Library was not just any library, mind you. It supplied the entire sprawling metropolis with books. Its complicated transportation network ensured that a steady stream of knowledge and literacy would flow in and out of the many satellite libraries that popped up to enrich its ever-expanding suburbs and boroughs.
Once considered an architectural masterpiece, time had not been kind to the Central Library. It needed costly renovation, expansion and safety upgrades. As always, such things were expensive, and the City Council had many budgetary demands. The fabled landmark that boasted some of the largest and most important collections in the Western United States began to decay. One day in 1986, a charismatic storyteller and aspiring actor with a memorable mop of bright blonde hair may–or may not–have visited the library. On that day, a fire started...
Read Andrea's's entire Book Review here.
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