Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself

Alan Alda, Author . Random $24.95 (209p) ISBN 978-1-4000-6617-9

After actor Alda (Never Have Your Dog Stuffed ) recovered from a nearly fatal intestinal obstruction, he decided to live as if he'd been given a second life. To make his new life as meaningful as possible, he wanted to remember those rare moments when a special “stillness” had come over him, “the kind that hits you when you hear something that goes to the core of who you think you are.” These were moments when he'd had some understanding about the meaning of his life, his reason for living—the central questions that Alda grapples with, as he looks back over his life. While poking good-natured fun at some of his earlier rhetoric (“the ravings of a naïve Hollywood liberal”) he shares highlights of the various commencement speeches and keynote addresses he's given to future doctors and physicists, or even to the odd group of Jefferson scholars. He phrases it differently for each audience, but the message is consistent: It's not what you do in life, but how you do it. Notice everything. Always be open to new ideas, new experiences. Alda is chatty, easygoing and humble, rather like a Mr. Rogers for grownups. His words of inspiration would be a perfect gift for a college grad or for anyone facing major life changes. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 06/25/2007
Release date: 10/01/2007
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 237 pages - 978-0-09-951964-5
Hardcover - 209 pages - 978-0-09-192102-6
Compact Disc - 978-0-7393-5470-4
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Paperback - 239 pages - 978-0-8129-7752-3
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Paperback - 352 pages - 978-0-7393-2757-9
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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