Yes, they are fictional characters in many of the novels written by John Lescroart. But they became my friends at a time when I needed them. I spent a lot of time this summer with my nose stuck in Lescroart’s books, reading about Hardy, the colorful San Francisco defense lawyer, and his best friend, Glitsky, a homicide detective.
Lescroart describes the latter as being an imposing Jew who is half black. Among Glitsky’s characteristics are the scar on his lip, his disdain for profanity and fondness for the salted-in-the-shell peanuts he keeps in a desk drawer in his office.
Maybe like me, you get an image in your mind of how a character looks as you read a novel. Thanks to the Google machine, I see that Lescroart polled his fans earlier this year to see what actor they thought would be the best Glitsky. They chose Danny Glover I’ve always thought of Delroy Lindo as I’ve read Lescroart’s books. And I was pleased to see Lindo was the writer’s choice as well.
Anyway, as I read those books this summer, the thought struck me: When i finally landed again in my own office, it’d be neat to fill a desk drawer with salted-in-the-shell peanuts. And so I have. In fact, it was one of the first things I did this week in my new office at Muscatine Center for Social Action.
The biggest challenge for me simply will be to not eat all of the peanuts. But I figure I might need some help luring people in for a visit, so maybe the peanuts will do the trick. It has to be better than a box of candy. David Stoeffler, now the executive editor of the News-Leader in Springfield, Mo., was the first editor I worked for who kept candy in his office. This was something I tried to copy when I first became an editor, but I’d wind up eating all of the chocolate.
I’m hoping Glitsky’s willpower will rub off on me. He abstains from alcohol and doesn’t drink coffee — two beverages I’m not ready to give up. But he drinks hot tea, so maybe I can serve that, along with some peanuts, to for anyone who drops by. I’m looking forward to visitors.
More about books: National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” broadcast a really good interview Thursday with writer Joe Queenan, the author of nine books. His newest book, “One for the Books,” is a meditation on Queenan’s lifelong obsession with reading.
If you like books and reading, this interview is worth a listen. It’s 8:19 long.