The NPR Interviews
Those who set their watches or time their commute to coincide with All Things Considered now have another way to indulge their addiction. The NPR Interviews collects more than 100 of the network’s interviews from the past year, lifting out the sweet spots and delivering superb anywhere/anytime reading. It’s no surprise that writers, like William Maxwell and Isabel Allende, are the craftiest speakers. But it’s the rough-cut, extemporaneous yakking of lesser minds that creates the most memorable entries in these Q&A’s: Julia Child announcing that in a pinch, she prefers a Quarter Pounder to a Big Mac; Joni Mitchell describing her young voice as sounding ”like I was on helium”; Mary Tyler Moore gushing maniacally over her autobiography. Sure, some excellent material gets lost in the translation from radio to printed page: the Dalai Lama’s giggle, Studs Terkel’s jabbing delivery, and David Brinkley’s signature drone are impossible to ”read,” but as a portable compendium of wit, off-the-cuff charm, and all-purpose eloquence, this collection is blue-ribbon from start to finish.