I think this is a great choice for library lovers! I enjoyed most of the tangents Orlean explored but can also see how the lack of focus on the fire alone might bother some readers who wanted a clear cut resolution of the mystery of the fire. I felt excited and energized by her reading of the librarians' hope for the future of librairies.
LOVED this book! Orlean tells story of tragic fire at Los Angeles Central Library back in 1986. She covers the investigation and accusation of Harry Peak and how he was never convicted of arson. But she also tells the wonderful history of this library, its design as well as its many librarians over the decades. You can tell by her writing that Orlean loves books and libraries as she seemed to have enjoyed the research as much as writing about various people involved in the history of Central Library.
I borrowed this book from my local library and now am sorry I don't own my own copy. I have it on PBS Wish List, so some day my copy will come.
Initially I thought that a book about the Los Angeles library fire would make for an interesting story with dramatic scenes, firemen and the loss of many books. As things unfolded, I realized that this was far more than just the story of the fire. It was about the history of the library and how the perception of what a large city library should be has changed over the years. Although I am not from Los Angeles, I was fascinated and amazed by it and loved this book.