The Library Book

By: Susan Orlean

In 1986, a fire at the Los Angeles Public library burned for seven hours, destroying 400,000 books and damaging 700,000 more. More than thirty years later, the mystery remains: Did someone purposefully set fire to the library—and if so, who?

Selected sources.

ISBN: 9781476740188

JLG Release: Mar 2019

Sensitive Areas: Mild sexual themes, Strong language
Topics: Los Angeles Public Library , Los Angeles Central Library 1986 fire , Arson investigations , History of Los Angeles, California

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Awards & Honors

2019 Indies Choice Award Finalist, Book of the Year - Adult Nonfiction
CPL Best of the Best - 2018
Booklist Top of the List 2018, Adult Nonfiction
NYT Notable Books - 2018
NPR’s Book Concierge - 2018
Washington Post Best Books - 2018

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Publishers Weekly, Booklist*, Kirkus Reviews

Book Details



First Release

March 2019



Dewey Classification


Trim Size

9 1/4" x 6 1/4"

Page Count


Accelerated Reader

Level 0; Points: 0;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 0; Points: 0;




Print Book


Hardcover edition


Simon & Schuster (Adult)

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Mild sexual themes, Strong language


Los Angeles Public Library, Los Angeles Central Library 1986 fire, Arson investigations, History of Los Angeles, California,

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