Back to top
Gulf Coast Reads 2019 The Library Book

August 26th, 2019

Houston, TX — Gulf Coast Reads is excited to announce that The Library Book by Susan Orlean has been selected for its 2019 regional reading initiative. Gulf Coast Reads may best be described as a friendly neighborhood book club on steroids. Every October, public and academic libraries along with private and public community partners encourage everyone across southeast Texas to read and discuss a book selected by a panel of area librarians and other reading advocates.


Along with book discussions, libraries and partner organizations host a wide variety of special programs and events drawing on the selected book’s subject and themes. This October, given The Library Book’s incendiary topic and library settings, you can count on visits by real-life arson investigators from the Houston Fire Department, amazingly creative book-related crafts presented by Pop Shop America, as well as writer’s workshops led by Writers in the Schools and Houston VIP Poets to name just a few.


In The Library Book, Orlean chronicles the Los Angeles Public Library fire and its aftermath to showcase the larger, crucial role that libraries play in our lives. The author delves into the evolution of libraries across the country and around the world, from their humble beginnings as a metropolitan charitable initiative to their current status as a cornerstone of national identity. Orlean brings each department of the library to vivid life through on-the-ground reporting, studies arson, and reexamines the case of Harry Peak, the blond-haired actor long suspected of setting fire to the LAPL more than thirty years ago.


“In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, many people along the Texas Gulf Coast learned firsthand what it is to lose their cherished libraries,” said Jennifer Schwartz, Programming Services Manager for Harris County Public Library, “We think the story of LAPL’s recovery from disaster is something many will relate to, but The Library Book is also just a great read. We know people will love its mix of true crime whodunnit and its inside look at the often hidden world of libraries.”


All Gulf Coast Reads programs are free and open to the public. For more information visit

About Gulf Coast Reads

Gulf Coast Reads: On the Same Page is an annual regional reading initiative focused on promoting the simultaneous reading of, or listening to, a selected title by those living along the upper Texas Gulf Coast. Each year, a representative committee of librarians selects a title that has a broad appeal to adults in our communities. The reading initiative’s goal is to encourage our communities to read the same title during the month of October in order to encourage readers to come together in discussions about it with neighbors, co-workers, friends and their families, as well as in classrooms and in libraries throughout the region.


Follow Gulf Coast Reads at @GulfCoastReads


Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id> <div> <i class> <p>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.