Radio Stars Who Are Fit to Print
Radio players in print
By Kimberley Jones,
8:03PM, Thu. Oct. 23, 2008
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.