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Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself Paperback – September 9, 2008
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
About the Author
From the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
The title of Alda's book alludes to the approach he adopted in trying to come up with an answer to that question. Alda dug up speeches he had delivered on various occasions over the years, talks which he'd attempted to infuse with some wisdom pertinent to the occasion. Many of these speeches were delivered at commencement ceremonies, but Alda also talked to historians at Monticello and to psychiatrists at Cornell. He spoke at a ceremony honoring Simon Wiesenthal. He delivered eulogies for Ozzie Davis and Peter Jennings and Anne Bancroft. He spoke over the grave of his grandchildren's dead rabbit.
Alda structures the book around excerpted passages from these speeches, but Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself is by no means wholly or even primarily a collection of excerpts. Rather, Alda uses the excerpts as writing prompts, wrapping stories from his life around them. In one chapter, for example, Alda excerpts passages from a talk he delivered at Emerson College in 1977 on the subject of living up to one's values.Read more ›
In an excerpt from Alan Alda's commencement address at Eve's graduation, he talked about the need for people to question their "assumptions" because our assumptions are our windows through which we view the world...he also talked about the happiness found in existentialism because life is what you make of it. For those of you who have read the books of Barry Neil Kaufman, you will likely find a delightful synergy of outlook.
Most of one chapter is about Alda's fascination with Richard Feynman....the chapter is so intriguing that the next book I plan to read is about Richard Feynman. In the this book, you learn about Alan, but also about things that you didn't expect, like when Alan went in search of a greater understanding of Thomas Jefferson by talking to scientists in China. He reaches into the dark and pulls out something magnificent that nobody else would have found.
"Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself" starts you thinking about what you value and what excites you. As much as I loved "Never Have Your Dog Stuffed", I LOVE this new book even more! This book is clearly from Alan Alda's heart and it goes straight to the reader's heart...Read more ›
Alan Alda looks at his own writings from the past -- his speeches -- in which he has publicly declared his philosophies of life. He quotes from those speeches he has selected as representative of his quest for meaning in life. And he intersperses them with relevant vignettes from his experience. In that way, he examines his own values and the sources of those values.
He reveals himself as a lifelong learner, a man of insatiable curiosity engaged in an incessant search for knowledge and understanding -- especially self-knowledge -- and insight. He shows his penchant for rigorous research in his gathering facts and statistical support for his ideas and conclusions. It is easy to see how he might have wished to be a scientist at times, since he proceeds so much like one in preparing speeches. (And I'm sure his 11 years of interviewing scientists for Scientific American Frontiers contributed to his methodological and empirical approach.) He does what he has suggested scientists do. He takes complex information, ideas and analyses and converts them into stories, analogies and mental images that make them understandable and relevant to the average guy or gal.
So, he models for you how to approach the search for meaning and values in life and how to think about what you find in that search.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I found the book entertaining. I've never seen Mr Alda as an actor except on the hit series MASH. He was excellent. Read morePublished 4 days ago by G. ONeill
As good as "Never Have Your Dog Stuffed...etc.." - sorry, the full exact title escapes me right this moment. If you liked one you'll enjoy both. Read morePublished 1 month ago by amazonalto
Incredible insight, humility, humor, and good advice. Highly recommend!!Published 1 month ago by Lucy Denzin
Disappointed that the dust cover was missing. Other than that it was in nice quality.Published 7 months ago by Alisha
This is one that I will listen to multiple times, I've already loaned it out to my daughter.Published 11 months ago by Dave Rosene
Wonderful book with many of Alan Alda's inspiring graduation talks. I liked his previous book a little better, possibly because I learned a little more about his life which I found... Read morePublished 11 months ago by ema