Alda Looks For Life's Meaning In New Book

Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself (Hardcover) by Alan Alda (Author
Random House
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
Alan Alda is a nice guy. Everyone knows that. He's also a consummate actor, director and writer. Did you know he won an Emmy for writing some of the M*A*S*H episodes?

Alda wrote a memoir titled, "Never Have Your Dog Stuffed," which became an instant best-seller. Now he has a new book, "Things I Overheard While Talking To Myself." It's a meditation on Alda's search for meaning in life.

Were it almost anyone else, I'm not sure we'd be interested. But since it's Alda, we are.

Alda is a man who looks at the work the way it should be and acts accordingly. Unlike many of the rest of us, Alda actually listens to the voice within him that tells him not to do the things he shouldn't. And he tells us, even though the world would have us believe otherwise, that things can turn out pretty well.

As I read the book, I kept thinking that most of us left self-examination in a college dorm somewhere. Alda's new book is a humbling and inspiring refresher course.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.