THE LIBRARY BOOK
On April 29, 1986, a fire at the Los Angeles Central Library burned out of control for seven hours. This was the biggest fire in LA history and the worst ever experienced by any American library. Some 400,000 books were destroyed, and 700,000 more were damaged.
Almost immediately, arson was suspected. Investigators eventually fingered a sole suspect. Harry Peak was a handsome, young charmer who dreamed of a career in movies, despite zero acting talent. Instead, he drifted from one menial job to another while bragging of hanging out with the likes of Burt Reynolds. To his buddies in the suburbs, Harry boasted that he had set the fire, then recanted, and eventually offered multiple versions of what he was doing that day. He was, Orlean writes, “eager to please, anxious to entertain, hungry to be noticed.” For Orlean, the fire and its aftermath form the dramatic centrepiece for The Library Book, which becomes a loving homage to libraries everywhere.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. The Next Person You Meet in Heaven Holy Ghost Ambush The Witch Elm A Spark of Light Killing Commendatore Vince Flynn: Red War Winter in Paradise The Clockmaker’s Daughter Alaskan Holiday