Far Left of the Radio Dial

A free Kindle book got me to listen to the pledge breaks on our local NPR affiliate in a new way. “Diary of a Public Radio Slave” by Kerri Wood Thomson was offered for free on the day I ordered it in February. The amusing story is set at a radio station on a college campus in a snowier climate than here. I suspect that the book evolved from a blog Thomson started in 2006.

I had to ignore a few typographical errors and the chapter headings confused me. The days and times of the fictional diary entries didn’t seem to match the action in the chapters. Much of the story deals with the impending visit of “Sebastian Kohler,” a thinly disguised version of Garrison Keillor. The synopsis of the plot on Amazon.com and on the author’s blog gives away too much about the book’s ending.

Aside from those minor problems, the book is very good. The scenes of volunteers happily eating donated food was reminiscent of my own experience as a volunteer at our local public television station. Shortly after I read a chapter that mocked the artwork on t-shirts and coffee mugs offered as premiums, I heard real radio announcers offering similar items as gifts to Knoxville donors. In the book, there was a body part hidden in a line drawing of their city on the mugs and shirts. In my mind, I could only picture the Sunsphere.

As I neared the end of “Diary of a Public Radio Slave,” I found another Amazon freebie. “The Zombie Wilson Diaries” by Timothy W. Long looks like it could be pretty funny. My reading is in a little bit of a holding pattern as I await the arrival of my review copy of the new Body Farm novel, “The Inquisitor’s Key” by Jefferson Bass. I’m such a fan that I even sprung for the 99¢ to pre-order an e-book prequel called “Madonna and Corpse” that will be delivered to my Kindle on April 24.

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