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If You Only Knew: NeNe Leakes

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If You Only Knew: Malcolm Gladwell

Larry King NowJul 29 '16

Take a glimpse into the mind of New York Times-bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell as he divulges who he’d trade places with for a day, the last time he found himself surprised, and the surprising profession he’d pursue if he weren’t a writer in our signature rapid-fire Q&A segment.

Larry: Okay we’ll play a little game of 'If You Only Knew.' These questions just throw them out.

Larry: Who were your role models growing up?

Malcolm: You know who I was obsessed with growing up was William F. Buckley. As a kid.

Larry: Knew him well.

Malcolm: Oh yeah? I had read all - I'd read every one of his books by the age of probably 15.

Larry: Did you become a conservative?

Malcolm: I just wanted to be like him I just thought he was hilarious and brilliant and a great writer and I loved his way of looking at the world that kind of... he just took so much delight in... I mean if you knew him you knew this

Larry: Oh I knew him well. But he was wrong about a lot of things.

Malcolm: Oh of course, yeah. I mean so am I!

Larry: What's a guilty pleasure?

Malcolm: I like to drive cars very fast, perhaps that's a guilty pleasure.

Larry: What's the last great book you read?

Malcolm: I just read a book by Diana Mitford. She's the woman who married a British fascist during the Second World War. She wrote this autobiography that is so appalling but it was fascinating. I mean she's the worst human being who ever -

Larry: She was a Nazi?

Malcolm: She was more than that, she was - she wasn't a Nazi she was she was an apologist for Nazis. But the book is so appalling it's just fascinating you just can't... she has a whole chapter comparing how she knew both Churchill and Hitler. And she was like, 'they're a lot alike.' It's like, what? Like what. You read it but anyway it was just like was unreal experience reading this book.

Larry: What podcast do you never miss?

Malcolm: Bill Simmons' sports podcast.

Larry: Tell me the last time you were surprised.

Malcolm: I think I'm surprised every day.

Larry: Me too. How would you describe your job to a five-year-old?

Malcolm: I would say that I walk around all day I sit in coffee shops and I write up my thoughts.

Larry: Who would you most like to trade places with for a day?

Malcolm: There's a - I'm a big runner - there's a - the greatest miler in the world is a man named Asbel Kiprop. He's a Kenyan. I would like to be Asbel Kiprop for – I would like to know what it means to be able to run a mile in 3 minutes and 45 seconds.

Larry: I'm - when I was a kid there'dnever be a four-minute mile.

Malcolm: Yeah- Asbel can go a lot faster than that.

Larry: A mindless activity you enjoy?

Malcolm: Is running mindless?

Larry: I guess.

Malcolm: Going for a 12 mile run is pretty mindless, and I get a big kick out of it.

Larry: What makes you angry?

Malcolm: I don't think I get angry.

Larry: If you weren't a writer, what would you be?

Malcolm: This is so crazy but I think I would like to be a real estate developer the idea of building buildings is fantastic.

Larry: Making money.

Malcolm: No no no I don't care about the money, I care about the buildings. I'd like to be able to point at that building over there and say I built it. That would be great.

Larry: That's what an architect told me once. He loves being an architect because you can drive on the street and say, 'I created that.' That's why Ayn Rand chose an architect for 'The Fountainhead.' What's on your bucket list?

Malcolm: I went to Japan very briefly for the first time this year and I would like to go back and spend a huge amount of time there.

Larry: What do Americans get wrong about Canada?

Malcolm: Well actually most of the things Americans think about Canada are true. They think Canadians - Canada is boring and they're right. But the thing they get wrong is that's a good thing. Can you imagine? I mean, I could use a little dose of boring in the United States right now, I mean.

Larry: Boring would be nice.

Malcolm: Boring would be nice.

Larry: Best piece of advice you ever got? I read it from in a book about John Wooden,the great basketball coach and he said 'Be quick but never hurry.' I think about that almost every day. I just think it's so interesting.