I could easily name five or six novels that have brought me to tears at the end of my reading. Today, I am telling a story that drove me to tears from the first two or three paragraphs. The Library Book by Susan Orlean has done just that. This review will be different than most.
Let’s begin. “On the morning of April 29, 1986, a fire alarm sounded in the Los Angeles Public Library. As one fireman recounted later, ‘Once that first stack got going, it was “Goodbye Charlie”. The fire was disastrous: it reached 2,000 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.
The Central Library [in downtown Los Angeles] was opened in 1926. As Susan writes, “My family was big on the library. We were very much a reading family, but we were a borrow-a-book-from-the-library family more than a bookshelves-full-of-books-family. My parents valued books, but they grew up in the Depression, aware of the quicksilver nature of money, and they learned the hard way that you shouldn’t buy what you could borrow. […] // When I headed to college, one of the