The Library Book by Susan Orlean—When Susan Orlean started to write about the Los Angeles Public Library fire in 1986, she didn’t realize how deep into library culture and history it would take her.
If you too want to delve deeper into library culture and history, here are some other books about libraries, librarians and books in general:
The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean
If you like the way Orlean immerses herself in the subject at hand, then this exploration into “Orchidelerium” is fascinating. John Larouche is an orchid collector who is charged with the theft of a rare orchid for the purpose of cloning and then selling it. But that’s just where Orlean begins. She is off and running to other collectors.
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
Inspired by the Kentucky Pack Horse Library Service of the 1930’s, Richardson has written a love letter to the brave librarians that brought the first mobile service to rural Kentucky. Cussy Mary Carter, otherwise known as a Blue, to match the color of her skin, must fight prejudice on many sides to bring books to her neighbors.
This Book is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All by Marilyn Johnson
There are those that predicted the demise of libraries in the digital age. But they were wrong. It is librarians that we look to, to sort through the detritus of all that information. Johnson introduces us to the daily, crazy life of these librarians.
The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hammer
If you, like me, did not know where Timbuktu is…it’s in Mali in the southern part of the Sahara near the Niger River. When Al Qaeda threatened to destroy Mali’s historical manuscripts, archivist Abdek Kader Haidara went on a quest to save them by smuggling 350,000 volumes out of Timbuktu into southern Mali. It’s a fascinating look at how one man saved history.
The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
If you enjoyed The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, you may also like The Giver of Stars because it is basically the same story with different characters. An English bride joins four other women as they become part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s Traveling Library. Their clashes with the men in power and the often harsh terrain make for a fascinating read. Watch out for a possible movie in the future!
The Library of the Unwritten by A.J. Hackwith
For all those books that are never finished, there is a place for them…in Hell! And Claire The Librarian is in charge. But she’s got extra duties now. A hero from one of the books has escaped in search of his author. It is Claire’s duty to track him down. This is the first in a fantasy series called Hell’s Library.