The Library Book by Susan Orlean
This book chronicles the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) fire, and its aftermath, to showcase the crucial role that libraries play in our lives. The author delves into the evolution of libraries around the world, from their humble beginnings to their status as a cornerstone of the community; brings the departments of the library to life through on-the-ground reporting; reflects on her own experiences in libraries; and reexamines the case of Harry Peak, the actor long suspected of setting fire to the LAPL. The fire was disastrous: it reached 2000 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. Investigators descended on the scene, but more than thirty years later, the mystery remains: Did someone purposefully set fire to the library?