Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself

Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Picking up where his bestselling memoir Never Have Your Dog Stuffed left off–having been saved by emergency surgery after nearly dying on a mountaintop in Chile–beloved actor and acclaimed author Alan Alda offers an insightful and funny look at some impossible questions he’s asked himself over the years: What do I value? What, exactly, is the good life? (And what does that even mean?) Here, Alda listens in on things he’s heard himself saying at critical points in his life–from the turbulence of the sixties, to his first Broadway show, to the birth of his children, to the ache of September 11, and beyond. Reflecting on the transitions in his life and in all our lives, he notices that “doorways are where the truth is told,” and wonders if there’s one thing–art, activism, family, money, fame–that could lead to a “life of meaning.” In a book that is candid, wise, and as questioning as it is incisive, Alda amuses and moves us with his uniquely hilarious meditations on questions great and small.

Praise for Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself

“Engagingly thoughtful and thought-provoking . . . [Alan Alda] candidly shares many stories of his life, so easily and wittily you can hear him speak as you read.”
Sydney Sun Herald

“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.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Smart, engaged, funny and observant.”
San Antonio Express-News


Chapter 1

Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself

I was so glad not to have died that day that I made it my new birthday.

A few hours earlier, I was on top of a mountain outside a small town in Chile when I doubled up in pain from an intestinal obstruction. This is a pain more intense than...
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