Sunday, May 6, 2012

Book 21 - Diary of a Public Radio Slave by Kerri Wood Thomson

When I was on vacation recently, I didn't want to bring a whole lot of paper books with me because they get heavy and are sometimes really just inconvenient to drag around. So I wanted to put some interesting looking but light books on the Kindle to read and I saw this one when I was browsing around. I love NPR and my local NPR affiliates (OK, I'm a total dork and I love listening to them all the time because I actually learn something while I'm getting my news; and those links take you to different affiliates). This one seemed to fit the bill and looked light and interesting so I borrowed it on my Kindle.

When we first meet Sloan, the protagonist of this book, she has just been fired from her job. She thinks that she can manage this because her fiancee, with whom she has just bought a home and with whom she will be marrying within a short period after receiving her pink slip, has gotten cold feet. In fact, he tells her that he's going out and will be right back and doesn't return for days on end - his mom breaks up with her for him. Afterwards, when Sloan finally manages to break herself out of her slump, she interviews and gets a position at her alma mater's public radio station (which she learned about after visiting her most favorite college professor). The position is a step down from what she was doing before - she was an announcer/journalist - but hey, this is a job and beggars can't be choosers. In fact, she's in no position to turn down any sort of paying job that carries benefits so she immediately takes the position. While working there, she meets many people - Horg, a student that is working on his British accent so that he can get a job at the BBC; Gladys, who has worked at that public radio station since the War of the Worlds was broadcasted and shows no sign of stopping; Marjorie, the resident hippie and fundraising coordinator who disappears during the interview to make herself a wheat germ smoothie made from ingredients that she grew in her own office; and their elusive manager who is absent so much that he is nicknamed a ghost).

At first, I was really wary of this book. I didn't think that I was going to like it because it seemed too fluffy. And don't get me wrong, it is fluffy and a novel that ends much more neatly then my troubled soul wants thought provoking literature to end - I want books to give me food for thought for ages after they end. I was expecting to be throughly disappointed and let down but this book was perfect for me at the time that I read it. It wasn't written so heavily that I was tired when I was done and I could easily put it down and then get back into it after dealing with the kids or jumping in the pool or putting sunscreen on. And the characters were funny, even though I felt like I was dealing with stereotypes. I found moments so perfectly clear in my mind that I occasionally would let out a random snort or a giggle.

The book also dealt mostly with day to day life at the radio station and the ups and downs of the job but didn't get into Sloan's personal life a whole lot, which I'm not sure is realistic considering that it's written in journal or diary form and what person isn't going to divulge everything about anything to their journal? On the other hand, the book kept flowing at such a rapid pace, a pace that wouldn't necessarily have been maintained if every minute detail about Sloan's life. What irked me about this book was the lack of proofreading that was readily apparent - it bugs the living bejesus out of me to see things that are not spelled correctly or commas that aren't placed in the appropriate place. At least half a dozen times, the wrong word was used (it's "descent" into the bowels not "dissent" - things like that) and that distracted me from the experience of the book.

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