Susan Orlean's The Library Book released in October to a great deal of critical acclaim. Everyone was talking about this book leading up to its release. I first heard about it in August, and the more I heard about it, the more I was compelled to read it. I ended up pre-ordering this one on faith, as I had never read anything from Susan Orlean before (though I soon found out that I actually have another one of her books sitting on my shelf waiting to be read!). Thankfully, I wasn't disappointed.
First off, The Library Book is gorgeous. I love its cover and the feel of the pages. I was impressed immediately and had to start reading right away. The book investigates the Los Angeles Public Library fire of 1986 while also delving into the history of libraries and its patrons. I found this book absolutely fascinating, so much so that I couldn't put it down. I was engrossed in the history and all the information.
Orlean splits the information up into easy to digest chapters, switching between the history of the Library and the LAP Library Fire in 1986. She writes in such a way that it makes the reader feel as though she is sitting next to them, sharing what she has gleaned. I learned so much while reading this book without even realizing it at the time.
I can not praise the book enough. It is superbly done. You can tell that Orlean was diligent in her painstaking research and development of this book. There is a great deal of information amongst the pages. Often in a case where there's a lot of info in a book, it tends to leave the reader feeling overloaded. That's not the case with The Library Book. Orlean handles the whole thing beautifully.
I love Orlean's writing style. She has been a staff writer at The New Yorker for over 20 years, and that journalistic style shines through in this book. It reads beautifully and holds the reader captive until the very end. The Library Book is officially among my three favorite books of 2018, and it has earned a permanent place on my "Favorites" shelf.
I give it a 9/10.
Liz Austin. Bibliophile. Writer. Book hoarder. I would rather be reading....