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30

TUESDAY

When they give out the award for the most well-executed book concept of 2006, it’s unlikely that Public Radio: Behind the Voices will be much of a threat. For the most part, Lisa Phillips’ profile of public-radio hosts lacks the in-depth criticism, analysis, and storytelling that we’ve come to expect from her subjects. Instead, Behind the Voices offers a series of fluff-filled interviews with notables such as Cokie Roberts, Juan Williams, and Terry Gross, punctuated by a bunch of ho-hum chronological résumés. That’s not to say that Phillips’ book doesn’t have its share of scandalous gossip, however: We don’t find out what was behind Bob Edwards’ firing—but we do learn that he had a fling with Nina Totenberg. Still, hardcore NPR addicts will probably want more than the trivial factoids found in most of Behind the Voices’ 334 pages, which is all the more reason to bring your questions when Phillips reads at 7 p.m. at Olsson’s Books & Records, 418 7th St. NW. Free. (202) 638-7610. (Ryan Grim)