Playing Catch With Strangers


“Bob Brody's Playing Catch with Strangers is a gem. Brody spent years honing his craft as a hard-working newspaper and magazine reporter. He has a reporter's eye for detail and ear for a good story coupled with a writerly heart. This collection is filled with insights, wit, pithy observations, common sense and neighborly decency. This delightful and thought-provoking memoir proves that Brody has developed into a master of the short essay.”

  • Dan Rather, former CBS anchor

“A good man, Bob Brody is also an observant one. Nothing escapes his vision. Growing up with deaf parents, he learned to listen hard to the world around him, and this poignant memoir is the result.”

  • Phillip Lopate, editor of The Art Of The Personal Essay

“In this winning memoir, Bob Brody wears his heart on both sleeves, along with a chip on both shoulders. He’s every inch a diehard New Yorker, equally tender and tough. Give the guy credit: he gets stabbed five weeks after moving into the city, but sticks around for the next 41 years.” 

  • Nicholas Pileggi, author of "Goodfellas"

“Bob Brody is a modern-day E.B. White who writes about everyday life with clarity, honesty and humor. He has a light touch and a piercing intelligence that floats above the swamp gas of most contemporary literature. He is a delight to read.”

  • Bob Guccione, Jr., former editor of Spin and Discover magazines

“Bob Brody's work is poignant, heartfelt, always good natured and earnestly funny. In a world swollen with snark, it's refreshing every now and then to sit down with a writer so sincere.”

  • Joshua Greenman, opinion editor of The New York Daily News

“Brody offers us ringside seats to an engrossing journey through his life with unflinching honesty and quirky charm. Playing Catch with Strangers is full of wonder, regrets, and ultimately love.”

  • Danielle Ofri, MD, author of What Patients Say, What Doctors Hear and editor-in-chief of The Bellevue Literary Review

“Bob Brody writes about family, friends, life and love in mesmerizing and meaningful prose. Every essay engages and teaches. Every essay shines a new light on the heart and the soul.”

  • Maureen Mackey, former features editor of Reader’s Digest

"In Playing Catch with Strangers, Bob Brody honors his parents for confronting the struggles of being deaf -- back when society still saw deafness largely as a stigma – and pays tribute to his father for ultimately becoming a hero to the deaf community nationwide."

  • Robin Feder, executive director, Central Institute for the Deaf

“A family memoir always heartfelt and occasionally harrowing and hilarious. A New York baby boomer lays his life on the line about love sought, lost and regained.” 

  • Judy Mandel, author of Replacement Child: A Memoir

“If you like to laugh or cry, but don't get around to big, satisfying emotions as much as you'd like -- rejoice! (in between laughing and crying, that is). Bob Brody is here!”

  • Lenore Skenazy, author of Free-Range Kids: Giving Our Children the Freedom We Had Without Going Nuts with Worry

“Bob Brody's essays provide a visceral experience. Readers become 11-year-olds, stretching the days of summer to their furthest edges; they become grown children, standing outside the home of a parent they haven't seen in ages, anxiously wondering if the door will open. As his long-time editor at Newsday, I was grateful when Bob's submissions showed up in my inbox. I knew I was in for a great read that would resonate deeply with our audience, while shedding a little more light on those universal human conditions: nostalgia, yearning, love and loss.”

  • Alleen Barber, former editor of the opinion section of Newsday

“There is a reason Bob Brody's writing has been featured in many top publications: He has a sharp eye for life and his prose is powered by beautifully disciplined emotion. Here is a fine writer worth your time.”

  • Skip Bayless, former ESPN anchor and author of The Boys and Hell-bent

"Bob Brody writes about issues that matter -- work and family, courage and cowardice, how we hurt those we're closest to, and how we reconcile with them -- with a touch as light as a Zen painter's brush. He navigates the thickets of everyday life with the sharp eye of a jungle explorer, discovering nuggets of wisdom under coffee-shop napkins, on sidewalks in Queens, and in the wallet of his sleeping father. These essays are smart, moving, compassionate, and often laugh-out-loud funny."

  • Kenneth Miller, contributing editor at Reader's Digest and former senior editor of People magazine

"What makes Bob Brody remarkable is his commitment to fully, and courageously, observing his relationships. Where he discovers cracks, he shines a light. He is able to get us to look at his life – and therefore at our own -- more closely than before."

  • Patty Chang Anker, author of Some Nerve: Lessons Learned While Becoming Brave

“In his essays, Bob Brody believes in getting personal. Whether the topic is family, friends, life in New York City or pickup basketball, he shares these intimate experiences with all his heart. And we come away feeling both a little more understanding and much more alive.”

  • Howard Dickman, former deputy editorial features editor of The Wall Street Journal

"Brody helps us see ourselves more clearly by using the tools of a great journalist to tell deeply personal stories. By sharing his unflinching view of the man in the mirror, he tells us something about what makes us tick. By exposing his fears and vulnerabilities, he makes us feel stronger. Savoring Bob Brody's life lessons is like spending time with a true friend."

  • Robert Davis, former reporter at USA Today

"Playing Catch with Strangers gets you right in your heart and soul. Bob Brody's memoir is about the sorts of struggles so many of us face with our families. It will bring you to laughter and tears, often at the same time.”

  • Tania Grossinger, author of Memoir of an Independent Woman: An Unconventional Life Well Lived and Growing Up At Grossinger’s

“I can't imagine a better Sunday morning than having the kids entertain themselves, nursing a cup of coffee and settling down to pore over Bob Brody's essays.”

  • Jill Smokler, author of Confessions Of A Scary Mommy

“Bob Brody writes about friends, family and bygone times with grace, compassion and a simplicity that is deceptive, given that his essays capture so beautifully the profound truths that touch upon us all.”

  • Neal Hirschfeld, co-author of Dancing With The Devil, Detective and Homicide Cop and former Daily News reporter

“With genial prose and thoughtful insights, Bob Brody reminds us not only what is important in life, but that we're all in this together. Playing Catch with Strangers is wondrous commentary told wonderfully.”

  • Clem Richardson, former human-interest columnist for the New York Daily News

Playing Catch with Strangers | By Bob Brody © 2017