march, 2022

wed16mar11:00 AM12:00 PMOutdoor Event: Adult Backyard Book Club - The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean (Group B)* Event moved to Southeast Branch Library due to weather forecast.*11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Event Details

–> Update: Due to potential thunderstorms, we will be meeting at the Southeast Branch Library.

REGISTRATION REQUIRED. Join us for an outdoor book club that focuses on our natural world. We discuss our all-time favorite nature titles, both fiction and non-fiction. The book club meets at parks throughout St. Johns County, practically in your own backyard!

This month we’ll be reading The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean. In Susan Orlean’s mesmerizing true story of beauty and obsession is John Laroche, a renegade plant dealer and sharply handsome guy, in spite of the fact that he is missing his front teeth and has the posture of al dente spaghetti. In 1994, Laroche and three Seminole Indians were arrested with rare orchids they had stolen from a wild swamp in south Florida that is filled with some of the world’s most extraordinary plants and trees. Laroche had planned to clone the orchids and then sell them for a small fortune to impassioned collectors. After he was caught in the act, Laroche set off one of the oddest legal controversies in recent memory, which brought together environmentalists, Native American activists, and devoted orchid collectors. The result is a tale that is strange, compelling, and hilarious.

New Yorker writer Susan Orlean followed Laroche through swamps and into the eccentric world of Florida’s orchid collectors, a subculture of aristocrats, fanatics, and smugglers whose obsession with plants is all-consuming. Along the way, Orlean learned the history of orchid collecting, discovered an odd pattern of plant crimes in Florida, and spent time with Laroche’s partners, a tribe of Seminole Indians who are still at war with the United States.

This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Please notify us at least 3 days in advance if you should need a sign language interpreter. The title is available in e-audio format on our Hoopla platform and as an ebook on our Libby/Overdrive platform. If you need a print copy, please contact Amy at 904.827.6942 or


(Wednesday) 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM