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The Library Book

– tekijä: Susan Orlean

Muut tekijät: Katso muut tekijät -osio.

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
3,0782023,221 (4.07)182
Susan Orlean re-opens the unsolved mystery of the most catastrophic library fire in American history, and delivers a dazzling love letter to the beloved institution of libraries.
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englanti (198)  saksa (1)  espanja (1)  Kaikki kielet (200)
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 200) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
What a wonderful book!

It’s a fascinating account of the LA Public Library fire in 1986, from the morning the fire started to the immediate aftermath, the restoration of the building and the books, and the arson investigation that pointed the finger at Harry Peak. It also covers the history of the LAPL and the librarians who helped it grow, and what the library looks like today and how it impacts the community.

While the focus is on this one particular library, it is also a love letter to libraries in general: why they’re important, the vast contributions they make to their cities, what people love about them, and why they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. Books are a treasure; but libraries are so much more than books! ( )
  vvbooklady | May 13, 2021 |
Susan Orlean’s “The Library Book” is brilliant and I’m glad to have read it. It’s beautifully written, painstakingly researched. Her storytelling is captivating and masterful. Every time I read about the destruction of what was lost, I felt anguish, even grief. Now I understand how libraries are vital living, breathing entities, places of community, hands-on museums—a place where everyone is equally rich with the treasures therein.

It’s fascinating to me how libraries survived the world’s entry into the digital age. They could have gone the way of dinosaurs and become redundant, unnecessary places. Instead, librarians not only embraced the inevitable march of technology but pressed it further by imagining, reimagining, constantly seeking how to renew, to be relative, and helpful community centers with a heartbeat and breath. They operated in the future a hundred years before the future became the past. That is truly visionary. From the start, the core mission and vision of these tremendous leaders ensure libraries will always thrive, always be relevant because they bring the memories of humanity, community, and information together in a manner no other place or thing can. The book made me realize the loss of a library is a violation of humanity, a grievous genocide, a form of terror to be vigilant against.

Regarding the mystery of why the L.A. Central Library burned...was it caused by an act of arson perpetrated by Harry Peak or faulty wiring of an old building? I’m as undecided as is the author. At one point, I thought Harry responsible. It wasn’t his lying or his many versions of what he was doing that morning. It was the fact Harry knocked over the elderly lady when leaving the library. To me, it means he was back glancing over his shoulder, not paying attention to where he was going, worried and in a rush to get away from something he had done, worried someone might be pursuing him. Afraid and in a hurry. That action alone speaks to me of a consciousness of guilt. However, if he did start the fire, I don’t think he did so with ill intent. If he did do it, it would have been a thoughtless, dangerous act of adolescent negligence that got out of hand.

The other possibility is an electrical short. As stuffed as those deep stacks were, it wouldn’t take much for one of those 40-watt bulbs to start a fire. It was so very dark down there, perhaps, some well-intended employee, in a rush to see something used a 75-watt bulb (because it was what was available when they went to look for a lightbulb) that then led to the fire?

Try as I might, I cannot criticize even one aspect of this book. Orlean’s investigative research left no stone unturned, and her writing is crisp and elegant. It’s perfect. It is educational, tragic, haunting, and illuminating. If I had read this book, I would have considered becoming a librarian. This book will make you want to be a librarian. It is a truly noble, heroic career ( )
  KatoJustus | May 10, 2021 |
Can I just say a quick kudos to the cover designer for this book? Not only does it have the look and feel of an old library book, but my copy also included those classic stamped borrowing card inserts. The only thing I would have added myself was infusing each book with the perfume of “eau de old book” scent.⁣
When I read the description for this book, I was shocked at both the fact of the tragic Los Angeles Public Library fire of 1986, and that in all of my years as a devoted bibliophile, this was the first time I had ever heard of such an event! The author herself makes note of her same shock and dismay, as I did, upon hearing this news. The fire destroyed much of the library; over 400,000 books were lost, and another 700,000 were damaged. At the time of the fire, authorities did have a suspect in mind, and Ms. Orlean dives into the background of this suspect with a professional demeanor. She manages to remain neutral throughout her findings, and during her interviews with the suspect’s family and friends. ⁣
In between chapters about the suspected arsonist, the author shares the history of the Los Angeles Public Library and it’s many unforgettable employees. (P.S. Dear Hollywood, please make a movie about the “Great library war of 1905” and Mary Jones!)⁣
Us readers are also treated to the author’s history with the impact libraries have had on her life, as well as the continuing impact libraries continue to impart around the world. We see several days in the life at the Los Angeles Public Library today, and the jobs and lives of the librarians who work up front and behind the scenes, all contributing to make the day to day operations run smoothly. As a library employee, I really enjoyed getting to see how a larger library operates, and getting to share in the good and the bad of our shared occupation. ( )
  brookiexlicious | May 9, 2021 |
La historia de cualquier incendio es la historia de un olvido, por eso casi nadie recuerda lo que ocurrió el 29 de abril de 1986. Aquel día la Biblioteca Pública de Los Ángeles amaneció consumida por el fuego, cuatrocientos mil libros se convirtieron en cenizas y otros setecientos mil quedaron irremediablemente dañados. Siete horas ardieron las estanterías y las mesas y los ficheros, pero ningún periódico cubrió la noticia porque al otro lado del mundo, entre los bosques densos de la Unión Soviética, ocurría el mayor accidente nuclear hasta la fecha: Chernóbil.
¿Quién querría quemar una biblioteca? ¿Por qué? Susan Orlean se hizo esas dos preguntas y al poco tiempo entendió que el fuego sería apenas un rastro, una línea punteada sobre la que dibujar su personalísima visión del conocimiento y de las personas que creen en él. La biblioteca en llamas es un homenaje a la lectura y el relato de una periodista obsesionada por encontrar al culpable de un crimen contra la memoria. Una investigación que se extendió más de una década y que a cambio nos revela personajes desopilantes, inverosímiles y tiernos. (Fuente: https://www.planetadelibros.com/libro-la-biblioteca-en-llamas/290266)
  vanesaberasa | Apr 22, 2021 |
This book started out with great momentum and so much promise. It ended up as a direction less mix of tangents, unnecessary details, and way too much speculation about Harry Peak. It became less interesting as it went along; by the end I was glad to be done with it.

The only thing that kept me turning pages was Ms. Orleans excellent writing style. I know that it seems contradictory to give this book two stars and then praise the author, but it's the truth.

Can't recommend this book, but would like to check out some of the author's other works. ( )
  CrimsonWurm | Apr 11, 2021 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 200) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
On 29 April 1986 Los Angeles Central Library went up in flames. ... Susan Orlean has a knack for finding compelling stories in unlikely places. ... Orlean uses the fire to ask a broader question about just what public libraries are for and what happens when they are lost. You might not perhaps have LA pegged as the most bookish city, yet right from its inception in 1873, the central library attracted a higher proportion of citizens through its doors than anywhere else in the US. By 1921 more than a thousand books were being checked out every hour. The reason for that, Orlean suggests, is that LA has always been a city of seekers – first came the gold prospectors and the fruit growers, then the actors and the agents, and then all the refugees from the dust bowl prairies. No one was as solid or as solvent as they liked to appear, everyone was looking for clues about how to do life better.

This was where the library came in, providing the instruction manual for a million clever hacks and wheezes. In the runup to prohibition in 1920 every book on how to make homemade hooch was checked out and never returned. Five years later a man called Harry Pidgeon became only the second person to sail solo around the world, having got the design for his boat from books borrowed from the LA public library. More mundanely, the library quickly became the chief centre for free English language classes in the city, a service that it continues to provide for its huge immigrant population today.

It is this sense of a library as a civic junction that most interests Orlean. ... Or, as she puts it: "Every problem that society has, the library has, too; nothing good is kept out of the library, and nothing bad."
 
“The Library Book” is, in the end, a Whitmanesque yawp, bringing to life a place and an institution that represents the very best of America: capacious, chaotic, tolerant and even hopeful, with faith in mobility of every kind, even, or perhaps especially, in the face of adversity.
lisäsi tim.taylor | muokkaaThe Wall Street Journal, Jane Kamensky (maksullinen sivusto) (Oct 11, 2018)
 

» Lisää muita tekijöitä

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
Orlean, Susanensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
André, EmeliKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Loman, CarlySuunnittelijamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Peters-Collaer, LaurenKannen suunnittelijamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Schneiter, SylvieKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Trejo, JuanKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Villeneuve, GuillaumeKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu

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Memory believes before knowing remembers.
---William Faulkner, Light in August
And when they ask us what we're doing, you can say, We're remembering.
---Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
I have always imagined Paradise as a kind of library.
---Jorge Luis Borges, Dreamtigers
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For Edith Orlean, my past
For Austin Gillespie, my future
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Even in Los Angeles, where there is no shortage of remarkable hairdos, Harry Peak attracted attention.
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A book feels like a thing alive in this moment, and also alive on a continuum, from the moment the thoughts about it first percolated in the writer's mind to the moment it sprang off the printing press---a lifeline that continues as someone sits with it and marvels over it, and it continues on, time after time after time.
The idea of being forgotten is terrifying. I fear not just that I, personally will be forgotten, but that we are all doomed to being forgotten---that the sum of life is ultimately nothing; that we experience joy and disappointment and aches and delights and loss, make our little mark on the world, and then we vanish, and the mark is erased, and it is as if we never existed.
Taking books away from a culture is to take away its shared memory. It's like taking away the ability to remember your dreams. Destroying a culture's books is sentencing it to something worse than death. It is sentencing it to seem as if it never lived.
Pigeons the color of concrete marched in a bossy staccato around the suitcases.
There was a sense of stage business—that churn of activity you can't hear or see but you feel at a theater in the instant before the curtain rises—of people finding their places and things being set right, before the burst of action begins.
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Susan Orlean re-opens the unsolved mystery of the most catastrophic library fire in American history, and delivers a dazzling love letter to the beloved institution of libraries.

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