Thursday, January 21, 2016

All I Did Was Ask - Terry Gross


I have to admit - I have an "aural" crush on Terry Gross. Whenever I hear "This is Fresh Air" I feel like everything will be OK. If you are not a fan of Terry or her show this book will still be interesting for many people. 

Quick rundown on her and the show (from my highly biased opinion) - she is hands down one of the best interviewers anywhere. When she talks to her guests you get an immediate sense that she did her homework. She is not just trying to get through a conversation. She has put in the time necessary to ask good questions. She asks the questions we might like to ask and more. Her program really seems like a great conversation. There are no "gotcha" moments here. She lets people tell their story. But she is not a push over either. She has something sorely lacking in many of today's interview shows - civility. You can tell she does not always agree with the people she speaks with but she lets them speak. This is not a yelling match. No one is trying to one-up the other here. Good conversation with interesting people. Imagine that.

Onto the book - this is a collection of some of her thousands of interviews with some biographical moments and candid memories. The people highlighted here have left their imprint on our culture in many ways. Even though I know many of the people she spotlights here I learned quite a bit about everyone. As I said - I love her voice. As I read the parts where she is asking questions or introducing the segments, I can hear her voice in my head. This is a great book if you only want to read a few minutes a night. The interviews are mostly short and succinct. Sometimes I read just one or two, sometimes I plow through the connected interviews. There is an effort to keep the book flowing by putting actors and authors who worked together back to back. There is an emphasis on the movie "Taxi Driver" at the end of the first half of the book.

This book is like her show. For me that means it was a comforting read. Just like listening to her show is for me. Truth be told I hate it hate it when the show comes on there is a guest host. I like the guest hosts but - and I cannot stress this enough - her voice just calms me for some reason. I think I will pull up an old show right now. I wonder if she can sing? Maybe I could get her to just read some books to me? Somethings are best left unexplained - my fascination with her voice is one of them I guess.

Again - I would share this book with you but it is on my Kindle. I picked it up during a sale a while ago. If you like to read I highly suggest checking Amazon often for their sales. Sometimes I add 5-6 books for under $10. Of course that means I have dozens of books to read now though.

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