Susan Orlean is an American journalist and author. She is best known as the author of The Orchid Thief and The Library Book.

In addition to her work as an author, Orlean has been a staff writer for The New Yorker for over thirty years. She was raised in Shaker Heights, Ohio and then went on to attend the University of Michigan where she graduated with honors. She studied literature and history in school, and then made plans to go to law school, but ended up getting a job writing for the Williamette Week which changed her trajectory.

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Publication Order of Susan Orlean Gardening Books

The Orchid Thief (1998)Description / Buy at
The Floral Ghost (2016)Description / Buy at

Publication Order of Susan Orlean Animal Books

Publication Order of History Books

Red Sox and Bluefish and Other Things That Make New England New England (1987)Description / Buy at
Saturday Night (1990)Description / Buy at
The American Man at Age 10 (1992)Description / Buy at

Publication Order of Library Science Books

The Library Book (2018)Description / Buy at

Publication Order of Susan Orlean Biographies Books

The Bullfighter Checks Her Makeup: My Encounters with Extraordinary People (2001)Description / Buy at
My Kind of Place: Travel Stories from a Woman Who's Been Everywhere (2004)Description / Buy at
A Gentle Reign (2016)Description / Buy at

Publication Order of Children's Books

Lazy Little Loafers (2008)Description / Buy at

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

You Are Ready For Takeoff: A Short Trip (2021)Description / Buy at

Publication Order of Anthologies

Life Stories(2000)Description / Buy at
The Thong Also Rises: Further Misadventures from Funny Women on the Road(2005)Description / Buy at
The Best American Essays 2005(2005)Description / Buy at
Secret Ingredients(2007)Description / Buy at
Cornbread Nation 7: The Best of Southern Food Writing(2014)Description / Buy at

If You Like Susan Orlean Books, You’ll Love…

On Animals is Orlean examining the how we live with animals, and how they abide by us. The book gets into a wide variety of creatures, including household pets, the animals that we eat, the animals that could eat us, and various other animals. From her own experience raising chickens to a woman with twenty-three pet tigers, a whale that doesn’t want to be saved, ands the hardest working donkeys in the world; Orlean presents her tale with her trademark stylish prose and precise research.

Orlean’s The Library Book was a Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club pick and New York Times bestseller. A fire alarm sounds at the Los Angeles Public Library on April 29, 1986 and it was no fire drill. The fire rocked the library and burned for more than seven hours, and destroyed more than four hundred thousand books. Thirty years after the fire and there are still questions. Did someone set the fire on purpose? If so, who? And why? Orlean investigates the case, looking into the fire and the aftermath. Along the way she shows how important a role libraries play in our lives, their evolution, the man suspect of setting the fire, and much more.

Order of Books » Authors » Order of Susan Orlean Books

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