By Angie Georgeff

The annual meeting of the Unicoi County Public Library Foundation will be held on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018. Members and the public are invited to attend. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization established to provide financial support to our library. I’m not exaggerating when I say we couldn’t keep going without them. The amount they contribute each year constitutes approximately one-third of our operating budget. If you are interested in sustaining and improving library services in Unicoi County, please join us at this meeting and become a patron of the Foundation with a contribution of $25 or more.

Board Meeting

The Board of Trustees of the Unicoi County Public Library will meet in the library lobby at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 18. The public is welcome to attend. If you require any special accommodations in order to attend the meeting, please call 743-6533 for assistance.

Holiday Closure

The library will be closed on Monday, Jan. 15, in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. No items will be due on that date, but our two drop boxes are always available. They are located in front of the library in Erwin and at Town Hall in Unicoi so choose the one that is more convenient for you.

Spotlight Book

Amor Towles’s sophomore novel “A Gentleman in Moscow” spent 46 weeks on The New York Times best-seller list, and it is still being recommended. I started reading it at the change of the year. The “gentleman” is Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov, who was born to a life of ease in tsarist Russia. In 1922, five years after the Bolshevik revolution, he is spared execution on the strength of a renowned revolutionary poem he penned as an idealistic youth.  Rostov is sentenced to house arrest in Moscow’s grand Metropol Hotel, where he is assigned a tiny attic room instead of the luxurious suite he has long occupied.  If he were to leave the hotel, which is located next to the Kremlin, he would be shot on sight.

In the lobby, Rostov meets a young girl whose circumstances confine her to the hotel premises almost as rigorously as his own. With her predilection for all things yellow marking a sunny disposition, Nina teaches her new friend everything he needs to know about navigating and appreciating his permanent home. So many people come and go that the count is never bored.  Yet there are reminders that Moscow’s political climate can be hazardous to anyone’s health, let alone someone who is out of favor.