The Best Strangers in the World: Stories from a Life Spent Listening

HarperAudio. Mar. 2023. 8:15 hrs. ISBN 9780063221376. $27.99. MEMOIR
Shapiro (host of NPR’s All Things Considered) provides insight into his work at NPR, singing in the band Pink Martini, and his formative years. Being one of the first “out” kids in high school sometimes put a target on his back, but his supportive family, friends, and confidence helped launch his success in work and life. Photographed marrying his college boyfriend in San Francisco in 2004 when then-mayor Gavin Newsom directed licenses to be issued to same-sex couples, he inadvertently became part of a story. Most chapters delve into his favorite features, giving listeners a larger window into the people he covered for NPR. An innate performer, his narration is exactly what listeners will be hoping for. Shapiro is a pro who makes his living telling stories on the radio, and this makes the audio format a clear winner over print.
VERDICT A must-listen for fans of Shapiro’s work on NPR and journalism memoirs. Purchase multiple copies (perhaps even forgoing the print), and put in the hands of sure-to-be-delighted patrons.
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