Radio Stars Who Are Fit to Print

Radio players in print

Radio Stars Who Are Fit to Print

In this week's issue, Arts Editor Robert Faires reviews Sarah Vowell's newest book, The Wordy Shipmates. Vowell, of course, first sprung to national attention as a contributor (later "consigliere") to Public Radio International’s This American Life, and she's one of several little-voices-in-our-ear culture commentators who have new books in print.

In More Information Than You Require (Dutton Adult, $25), John Hodgman – also a TAL vet (but more famous as the lumpy-looking PC guy) – expands upon The Areas of My Expertise with another wild ride through made-up history, including bogus entries to a page-a-day calendar (as in Oct. 30, 1938, when Orson Welles supposedly followed up his The War of the Worlds panic-inducing broadcast with a radio adaptation of Whitman’s Leaves of Grass – “Listeners fall for it again: Across America, hysterical citizens run through the streets singing the body electric, and falling in love with teenage boys”). Next month, Ricky Gervais podcast superstar Karl Pilkington releases his third volume of simple-man, (semi-)wise-words musings in Karlology: What I’ve Learnt So Far (Dorling Kindersley, $20). And two regulars from NPR’s quiz show Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me hit the stands and hit the town at next month’s Texas Book Festival: Roy Blount Jr., of the baroquely worded Alphabet Juice: The Energies, Gists, and Spirits of Letters, Words, and Combinations Thereof; Their Roots, Bones, Innards, Piths, Pips, and Secret Parts, Tinctures, Tonics, and Essences; With Examples of Their Usage Foul and Savory (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $25), and Wait Wait host Peter Sagal, who’s just reissued his The Book of Vice: Very Naughty Things (and How to Do Them) (Harvard Paperbacks, $13.95), will hold court on Saturday, Nov. 1, at 3:30pm in the Capitol’s Senate Chambers.

Speaking of, check next week's issue for our advance coverage of the Texas Book Festival and the Austin Jewish Book Fair. It's a good time to love books and be in Austin, no?

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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More Sarah Vowell
Sarah Vowell's <i>Lafayette in the Somewhat United States</i>
Sarah Vowell's Lafayette in the Somewhat United States
Everyone give it up for America's favorite fighting Frenchman

Rosalind Faires, Oct. 30, 2015

Of Thee She Sings
Of Thee She Sings
A conversation with Sarah Vowell, America's patriot laureate

Kimberley Jones, Feb. 26, 2010

More John Hodgman
Fake It Till You Make It
Fake It Till You Make It
Know-it-all John Hodgman tix on sale in morning

Kimberley Jones, Oct. 31, 2011

More by Kimberley Jones
Downton Abbey: A New Era
Small-screen stately manor still can't fill the big screen

May 20, 2022

Take Me to the River New Orleans
Rhythms of the generations resonate in a portrait of the Big Easy

May 20, 2022


Sarah Vowell, John Hodgman, Roy Blount Jr., Peter Sagal, Karl Pilkington

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