Susan Orlean’s Featured Book

On Animals

Of course, I will always read anything that Susan Orlean writes – and I would encourage you to do the same, regardless of the topic, because she’s always brilliant. Elizabeth Gilbert

Susan Orlean – the beloved New Yorker staff writer hailed as “a national treasure” by The Washington Post and the author of The New York Times bestseller The Library Book – gathers a lifetime of musings, meditations, and in-depth profiles about animals.

“How we interact with animals has preoccupied philosophers, poets, and naturalists for ages,” writes Orlean. Since the age of six, when Orlean wrote and illustrated a book called Herbert the Near-Sighted Pigeon, she’s been drawn to stories about how we live with animals, and how they abide by us. Now, in On Animals, she examines animal-human relationships through the compelling tales she has written over the course of her celebrated career.

These stories consider a range of creatures – the household pets we dote on, the animals we raise to end up as meat on our plates, the creatures who could eat us for dinner, the various tamed and untamed animals we share our planet with who are central to human life. In her own backyard, Orlean discovers the delights of keeping chickens. In a different backyard, in New Jersey, she meets a woman who has twenty-three pet tigers – something none of her neighbors knew about until one of the tigers escapes. In Iceland, the world’s most famous whale resists the efforts to set him free; in Morocco, the world’s hardest-working donkeys find respite at a special clinic. We meet a show dog and a lost dog and a pigeon who knows exactly how to get home.

Equal parts delightful and profound, enriched by Orlean’s stylish prose and precise research, these stories celebrate the meaningful cross-species connections that grace our collective existence.

Buy the Book:
Owl’s Nest Books (Calgary) | Shelf Life Books (Calgary) | Glass Bookshop | Flying Books (Ontario) | Massy Books (B.C.) | Indigo

Borrow the Book from the Library:
Calgary Public Library

Susan Orlean’s Other Book

The Library Book

Susan Orlean’s bestseller and New York Times Notable Book is “a sheer delight…as rich in insight and as varied as the treasures contained on the shelves in any local library” (USA TODAY a dazzling love letter to a beloved institution and an investigation into one of its greatest mysteries. “Everybody who loves books should check out The Library Book” (The Washington Post).

On the morning of April 28, 1986, a fire alarm sounded in the Los Angeles Public Library. The fire was disastrous: it reached two thousand 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 – and if so, who?

Weaving her lifelong love of books and reading into an investigation of the fire, award-winning New Yorker reporter and New York Times bestselling author Susan Orlean delivers a “delightful…reflection on the past, present, and future of libraries in America” (New York magazine) that manages to tell the broader story of libraries and librarians in a way that has never been done before.

In the “exquisitely written, consistently entertaining” (The New York TimesThe Library Book, Orlean chronicles the LAPL fire and its aftermath to showcase the larger, crucial role that libraries play in our lives; delves into the evolution of libraries; brings each department of the library to vivid life; studies arson and attempts to burn a copy of a book herself; and reexamines the case of Harry Peak, the blond-haired actor long suspected of setting fire to the LAPL more than thirty years ago.

“A book lover’s dream…an ambitiously researched, elegantly written book that serves as a portal into a place of history, drama, culture, and stories” (Star Tribune, Minneapolis), Susan Orlean’s thrilling journey through the stacks reveals how these beloved institutions provide much more than just books – and why they remain an essential part of the heart, mind, and soul of our country.

Buy the Book:
Owl’s Nest Books (Calgary) | Shelf Life Books (Calgary) | Audreys Books (Edmonton) | Glass Bookshop (Edmonton) | Flying Books (Ontario) | Massy Books (B.C.) | Indigo

Borrow the Book from the Library:
Calgary Public Library

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