Janice’s Review Blog

Zany actor writes inspiring book

Posted on: July 11, 2009

"Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself" written by Alan Alda.

"Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself" written by Alan Alda.

The title of this book alone made me want to pick it up and read it, but when I discovered that Alan Alda of “Hawkeye Pierce” fame wrote the book, I knew I needed to read “Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself.”

The book begins with Alda’s life-or-death experience in Chile, and how the fates put all of the right people at the right places so he lives to tell another silly story or maybe not so silly.  He even got to impress the surgeon who performed the life-saving surgery by naming the surgical procedure before the doctor told him what it was.  The writing doesn’t do justice to the story as told in person by Alda.

Alda talks about values and how he shares his values in the way he lives his life and in the types of work he chooses to pursue.  He also shares his values and the important things he’s learned in life by performing public speaking engagements at universities and organizations.

After 9/11, Alda talks of people’s desire to help and how the flag became important to all of us.  He went to ground zero to talk to workers and vividly describes the situation as his group comes upon the scene.

“Work lights illuminated the scene almost as if it were daylight,” he writes.  “Steel shard reached many stories high, piercing the black sky.”

Alda shakes hands with workers and volunteers, listens to their stories and asks what they need.  One mentions how much they enjoyed candy bars someone brought them.  Johnnie, one of the workers, describes how people came from everywhere to help.  He points out that race and religion don’t matter, but everyone works together as one country, and he hopes it continues.  Alda promises to pass this sentiment on whenever possible, and he makes sure the Hershey factory sends a truck load of Hershey bars to the site.

The book relates more of Alda’s stories-some happy, some sad, all meant to show the values he treasures in his life and how he came by them.  Alda proves to be not only a talented actor and writer, but also a man of character.

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2 Responses to "Zany actor writes inspiring book"

It’s nice to know that people can remain connected to their true selves after spending years acting as another. It’s not only actors and actresses, living their lives behind the footlights and under the spotlights, who can lose sight of their souls. We’d all do better if we strengthened our connection to our humble origins, and frequently recalled the lessons we learned at our mothers’ knee.

Thanks for your comment Eileen. Maybe with the time we’re going through, we will all get back to basics and be ourselves.

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