Another show I actively miss.
Two people. A desk. Period.
Bran Lamb, (founder of C-Span) week after week, interviewing people about their books. The books could be historical, sociological, cultural, biography etc. There was nothing flashy. Nothing "gotcha." Just an incredibly diligent and intelligent man asking really basic, yet important questions and sometimes getting bizarre, fascinating answers.
The classic was when he asked this very dignified Southern gentleman type where he wrote, only to find out he wrote on his porch, in the nude.
Or the time he was interviewing a biographer of Winston Churchill and it came up that Churchill had been accused of buggery. So Bryan asked, "What is buggery?" and the guy nearly lost it.
Guests from all points on political spectrum and even when it was infuriating to my raving liberal soul, Bryan treated every one of them with respect and either allowed (or forced as the case may be) them to explain both where they were coming form and how they got there.
I'm not sure when we started watching or how we found it, but once we did, Sunday was Booknotes night. How important was Booknotes in my life? I'd run out on Karaoke, even if I had a song in rotation to make sure I got home by 8PM to watch. Later we started taping, so I could be a bit late, but for hubby and me Booknotes was like a date night and if either of us blew it off, there were words to be had.
There are whole piles of books in my apartment (or were before the great de-cluttering) that I only heard about and bought because of Booknotes. Believe it or not, I only heard of Angela's Ashes and Midnight In The Garden of Good and Evil because the authors were on Booknotes. I got to know historians like Stephen Ambrose, Michael Beschloss and Doris Kearns Goodwin from their Booknotes interviews. People I'd normally loathe were somehow humanized when answering Brians "simple" questions.
One of my favorite moments was when Brian asked Christopher Buckley why he wrote something and he answered, "For the money, Brian."
I know it must have been exhausting for Brian to read those books, but damn I miss him and those questions.
Click on the website link and watch a few videos or read the transcripts. Join me in the Booknotes love.