By Angie Georgeff
If any of you night owls have watched Late Night with Seth Meyers, you may have chanced to see a bit where Seth’s fellow Saturday Night Live alum Fred Armisen judges a book by its cover. For the most part, Armisen’s predictions prove the old adage “you can’t judge a book by its cover.”
One exception to the rule may have been “A Gentleman in Moscow,” whose author Amor Towles proclaimed on social media that Fred had gotten “close enough” when he described the novel as a “heartwarming mystery…with beautiful language…”
Although I categorized “Gentleman” as historical fiction when I cataloged it, I concur with “heartwarming” and “beautiful language.”
Gazing at the cover of Stuart Woods’s latest novel “A Delicate Touch,” I am tempted to exercise my less-than-Sherlockian powers of observation and deduction.
In the muted light of a single lamp, we see a desk and tufted leather chair. Behind them stand shelves filled with rows and rows of books and a large black safe that commands our attention. The word “excelsior” is emblazoned on the safe’s door in capital letters as large as the book’s title. It must be important.
Looking closer, I notice that the ranks of leather-bound books are covered by a grid and that the grid is padlocked.
It appears to be the private library of a person of great wealth, many secrets and little trust. Since “Excelsior,” translated “ever upward,” is the state motto of New York (and nothing about the décor suggests wood shavings, another meaning of the word), I’m guessing that this Stone Barrington novel will be set in New York. There may not be any first-class flights to Paris this time. Now about that title: Could the “delicate touch” refer to safe-cracking or simply Stone Barrington’s legendary finesse? It could be either or both, but since I—unlike Mr. Armisen—make no claim to discerning a novel’s plot from its cover, you’ll have to read the book to find out.
The Board of Trustees of the Unicoi County Public Library will meet in the library lobby at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 17. The public is welcome to attend. If you require special accommodations in order to attend the meeting, please call the library at 743-6533 for assistance.
The annual meeting of the Unicoi County Public Library Foundation will be held at the library at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 17. Foundation members are encouraged to attend and the public is also welcome.
For further information or any assistance that may be needed, please contact the library at the phone number listed above.