What I’m Reading Now


Here’s a special Sunday edition of another in the occasional series to make up for missing an entry on Friday. Explanation for the omission will emerge during the week.

This is a case of another book that I’ve already finished.

Bob Edward’s A Voice in the Box: My Life in Radio has been on my Kindle since before I got mad at Amazon. It was an on-again, off-again reading experience, completed on Friday.

Bob Edwards has long been a consummate newsman, and it was absolutely infuriating when NPR took its right turn and canned him. He was the most solid reporter on the air at the time. Reading A Voice brought it all back, especially his insightful reporting, his fabulous instinct for a great story, and his stellar interviewing skills.

The book occasionally bogs down with too much detail about particular people or events. He goes into “I’d like to thank the Academy” mode on occasion, but for the most part A Voice is a joy to read. His description of the late Alistair Cooke reveals not the urbane upper-crust Englishman but a down-in-the trenches journalist who used “salty” language and chain smoked.

Everyone should take note of “Bobspeak,” which involved short sentences, easy to present on the radio. It took me a long time make that discovery in connection with public speaking. Wish I’d found Edwards long ago.

Most of all Edwards is a fabulous storyteller. The brief vignette of Father Greg Boyle, cancer survivor, true student of the Bible, and top interview subject, offers just one example.

The arc of the book takes Edwards from one type of new and innovative program (NPR Morning Edition) to another (The Bob Edwards Show on SiriusXM). He said at the end of the book that he was writing at the happiest time of his life. SiriusXM has since canceled the show, but I’m sure that Edwards will follow his own advice and dream more new dreams and work to make them come true.

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