BookWatch Review: Radio Daze

Zevy presents a collection of stories about collecting old radios in this memoir.

Radio Daze: A Descent Into Collecting pairs lovely color photos of Aaron Zevy's personal antique radio collection with a chronicle of how he became enamored of radios from the 1930s and 40s. He built his attraction and historical knowledge from the unexpected development of a writer's block which led him to turn his attention to collecting for respite and rejuvenation.

Most book introductions provide staid background information, but Zevy's colorful way of capturing his passion brings its origins to life in a manner that portends an equally colorful series of stories:

"Someone even had the temerity to use the line "if these radios could talk, oh what stories they could tell." I threw that person out of my house. Let the radios be, I pleaded. Let them sit on their shelves, and let them sing their songs of unbearable static. They were not literary devices. They were not writing exercises. They were just old radios. And then, as you may have guessed, I wrote a story. And then another. And then this book."

'The Radio Contest' opens the collection with a memoir of Zevy's youth and entering a radio station contest that promised coveted concert tickets as a prize. There was only one special challenge to winning-a father's strict rule about dinner time and phone calls.

Readers won't expect the diversity of stories which chronicle lives, bygone years, and early dating scenarios in which radio collections were not to be mentioned.

The lively intersection of memoir and radio history represents a rare conjoined history of fate and snafus involved in growing a collection, an interest, and a mindset. The reflections on particular pieces that proved a collecting challenge or the backgrounds and appearances that made these radios a major attraction to Zevy form the foundations of a series of interlinked stories that will attract and educate even readers who held little prior interest in radio history or collecting.

A good collection of stories will reach beyond its intended audience to surprise, delight, and entertain the masses.

Radio Daze: A Descent Into Collecting's ability to reach beyond radio's signals and into the lives of any reader who has cultivated a passion for collecting, art, or history makes it a top recommendation for general-interest lending libraries as well as specialty media collections. Book clubs interested in an uncommon, exceptionally lively blend of memoir and collector's passion will find Radio Daze: A Descent Into Collecting will provoke all manner of connection and lively discussion.