Here is a picture in the “nerve center” of Dom Giordano Radio Headquarters. My work desk at WPHT 1210 Radio show just a small portion of the books I get from publishers, publicists and authors seeking media coverage or a radio interview.
I have to admit that the idea of being bombarded with books was one of the great perks I quickly discovered when I started my talk radio career at WWDB Radio. Coming from education, books were a big part of my teaching profession. I loved reading from my childhood years. I devoured books at an early age and my folks worked hard to make sure I had a steady supply of reading material- books, newspapers, magazines…you name it. I was a voracious reader.
I took that passion into my teaching career. I went to second-hand book stores, yard sales, flea markets and library book sales to fill my classrooms with books. I always believed (and still do) that if you can hook a child into reading, they can and will excel in any subject. In my years teaching at Triton High School in Runnemede, New Jersey, I had the biggest challenge of all: getting disinterested teenagers to read.
I did what any properly-trained teacher would do: I bribed them. Yep, good old-fashioned bribes. They could pick any book they wanted- if they would read it and get engaged in the topic, my bribes would range from gum and candy to gift certificates (I went door-to-door and visited local businesses to ask them to donate gift certificates for my crazy little scheme).
I got one young man to read two books (one was a football biography and the other was on World War II) and all it took was a gift certificate for a free oil change. I can tell you unequivicably that the kid read those books strictly because he just got his first car and he wanted that oil change (he had admitted that he had gone through high school and had never before read an entire book cover to cover, let alone two).
Years later when I told that story on the radio, several teachers phoned in tell me that they frowned upon such an unorthodox teaching method. I did not care. He graduated high school having read two books, and I was responsible for that. Who knows, maybe that oil change hooked him into reading…I certainly hope so.
So if you can’t tell by now, I love reading. And I love having a job where authors, publishers and publicists practically trip over themselves to send me FREE books. I get about 10 to 15 books pitched to me every week, and I often have to do some intensive reading in order to feel somewhat prepared for a scheduled interview. (And so you know, I try to get those books to local libraries, schools and organizations that can get them into the hands of people who might enjoy them.
But when I’m away from my radio show, I am still addicted to books. Whether I’m at the beach or just relaxing at home, a good book is never far away. And when I am on the radio, invariably a caller will share a favorite book. Then it occurred to me: why not use this blog to promote great books and interesting authors? I know that topics on my radio show can get quite passionate at times, so a discussion about favorite books and authors is a soothing salve!
In the coming weeks and months, I am going to share some of my favorite books and authors. I have interviewed probably in excess of a couple thousand authors in my radio career, and many have been interesting and inspirational (a few have been downright quirky…a couple were rude and eccentric, but I’ll leave those out). But I don’t want this to be a one-sided thing: I want my “fellow residents of DomTown, USA” to be book reviewers as well. If you’re interested in writing a guest review, e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org and give me a 3-4 sentence pitch about your favorite book and why you want to write a guest review. If your pitch “hooks me,” I’ll contact you and give you the details/requirements.
FULL DISCLOSURE: In the interest of being totally transparent and completely honest with you, I have an affiliate relationship with Amazon. Many of the books I will list will connect to Amazon and if you click on that link and purchase the book through that link, I receive a small commission. I do not care where you buy your books, just have a passion for reading good books and authors.